J.D. Vance

Where Things Stand: That Was The Most Ominous QAnon Embrace Yet. We Checked.
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Like the soft piano chords of an old time hymn underscore a fire-and-brimstone tent revival service, the chords of a QAnon ballad filled the arena at a Trump rally this weekend — as the former president angrily bemoaned just how “in decline” our nation is.

At a campaign event for Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance Saturday, Trump delivered a speech about the perceived failures our nation has experienced in the two years since he was booted from the White House. The rally featured a speech from QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and the event was filled with standard fare MAGAworld grievances.

But toward the end, we witnessed the former President embracing the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory movement more explicitly than he ever has in the past.

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Where Things Stand: Ohio Newspaper Refuses To Cover DeSantis-Vance Rally Over Absurd Press Restrictions
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Let me just start out by saying this pair deserves each other — truly a dynamic coupling.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: J.D. Vance, author of the book "Hillbilly Elegy," poses for a portrait photograph near the US Capitol building in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2017. Vance has become the nation's go-to angry, white, rural translator. The book has sold almost half a million copies since late June. Vance, a product of rural Ohio, a former Marine and Yale School grad, has the nation's top-selling book. He's become a CNN commentator, in-demand speaker, and plans to move back to Ohio from SF where he's worked as a principal in an investment firm. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)
Where Things Stand: J.D. Vance Is Just A Trump Body Double At This Point
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QAnon Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) recently endorsed “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance’s bid for the Republican nomination in Ohio’s Senate race. And as he continues his descent into Trumpian madness, he’s welcoming the far-right lawmaker’s support — and all the white nationalist ties that come with it — with open, orange-tinted arms.

It’s quaint now, but I wrote a bit here about my impression of Vance from the perspective of a young person living in a small conservative town in the Midwest at the time. I was once cautiously stirred by “Hillbilly Elegy” for what it did to seemingly usher-in a new wave of nuance surrounding conservative intellectualism. But I was also deeply skeptical of his approach to Republican values; a style that seemed far too generous to the GOP during an era in which the conservative movement largely shrugged off the vile and racist rhetoric overpowering the party.

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Where Things Stand: J.D. Vance’s ‘Last Straw’ Was As Shallow As Any Trump Grievance
This is your TPM evening briefing.

J.D. Vance’s initially-praised memoir, “Hillbilly Elegy,” was celebrated as a pioneering work when it was first published in 2016. Pundits and conservative intellectuals lionized Vance for his supposed ability to explain a certain type of blue-collar Republican to confused Ivy Leaguers and “establishment” elites who had never met one.

But the once anti-Trump venture capitalist-turned-social commentator has since turned over yet another new leaf, and can be found embracing some of the most bombastic styles of Trumpism as he seeks to elevate his primary race for a Senate seat in Ohio’s crowded primary. As Washington Post writer Simon van Zuylen-Wood outlines in this new in-depth profile on Vance, the author’s descent into MAGAland was complex, and years in the making.

But, per WaPo, the “last straw” that finally thrust Vance into the raging faux-populist arms of Trumpism was about as shallow as some of the former president’s pettiest grievances: the mainstream masses made fun of him.

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