Can We Quit Him?

What I've been reading

Hi there.

The Internet has been a slightly calmer place in the months since Donald Trump was de-platformed from mainstream social media sites. That’s why the media world breathlessly awaited the decision from an advisory board on whether to allow Trump to regain his Facebook account. The New York Times explains what the mysterious Facebook Oversight Board actually is, and NPR previewed the decision.

Ultimately, as the Associated Press reports, the board upheld Facebook’s decision to ban Trump. That’s a decision with major repercussions for the former President, as Axios points out. Trump still may be planning to run for President again in 2024, and social media has always been at the heart of his messaging strategy.

That doesn’t mean Trump is going away, though. The majority of congressional Republicans are still very clearly hanging their hat on supporting Trump. That’s why they’re preparing to remove Liz Cheney from her leadership position in the House as punishment for her insistence that the 2020 presidential election was not fraudulent, as the NYT shows.

In fact, they seem to have found her likely replacement: Elise Stefanik, a 36-year old pro-Trump congresswoman from New York. I wasn’t very familiar with Stefanik until yesterday, so I’ve done quite a bit of reading up on her.

Before running for Congress in 2014, Stefanik had served as a White House aide in the George W. Bush Administration and then worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, according to the NYT. Those are the sort of bona fides that could get someone branded as a RINO in today’s Republican Party, not unlike Cheney herself. She did eventually endorse Trump in 2016, but, as Roll Call shows, she often opposed both his style and legislative agenda in the early days of his administration. Her House of Representatives page indicates that she even voted against his 2017 tax cuts bill.

But, as a Politico profile shows, Stefanik shed her moderate skin in 2019 to become one of Trump’s biggest apologists in the leadup to and during his first impeachment trial. Almost overnight, she turned from Romney-esque to a smarter Jim Jordan. And, importantly, it worked. Her false claims of election support may have cost her a position at Harvard University, as AP News shows, but she’s about to become House Republican Conference Chair, and it’s not hard to imagine her as Speaker of the House in, say, a decade.

The message couldn’t be clearer: unhinged Republican support of the most unpopular President in modern history will not end any time soon, regardless of whether or not he has a Facebook account.

And, frustrating though it may be, there’s a very good chance Republicans take back the House in 2022, as Politico shows. The dominoes just aren’t falling in favor of Democrats thus far.

In other news, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen made some waves yesterday by sending mixed messages on interest rates, according to the NYT. That caused tech stocks like Amazon, Apple, and Tesla to take a tumble, as Business Insider shows.

Lastly, it’s time for a shameless self-plug. My new essay for Mississippi Free Press shows how Mississippi (or any state) can address labor shortages by rethinking labor in general. Cheers to that.

Thank you for caring enough to read.

Be safe. Wear a mask. You are loved.

Talk to you tomorrow.