Keep on scrolling. This is mostly for the record.




Fig. 1. “Elon Musk shared a video of his entrance on his Twitter account.” Photograph attributed to Elon Musk, October 26, 2022, via the New York Post,[1] fair use.

Will Oremus et al., “A year later, Musk’s X is tilting right. And sinking,” Washington Post, October 27, 2023,



Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2023

Fig. 1. Photograph credited to Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, date inconsistent with title but given as November 9, 2022, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Clare Foran et al., “Tom Emmer drops out of speaker’s race, hours after being nominated,” Cable News Network, October 24, 2023,

Victor Reklaitis, “Tom Emmer nominated for speaker by House Republicans,” MarketWatch, October 24, 2023,

Victor Reklaitis, “Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson nominated for speaker by House Republicans,” MarketWatch, October 24, 2023,

Lauren Fedor, “Donald Trump ally Mike Johnson elected US House Speaker after weeks of gridlock,” Financial Times, October 25, 2023,

Bess Levin, “Mike Johnson Said Same-Sex Marriage Would Lead to People Marrying Their Pets, Wanted to Sentence Abortion Doctors to ‘Hard Labor,’” Vanity Fair, October 25, 2023,

Bess Levin, “Election Denial, ‘Sexual Anarchy,’ Noah’s Ark: All the Mike Johnson Details We Regret to Inform You Of,” Vanity Fair, October 26, 2023,

Donald Trump

Fig. 1. Donald Trump, depicted in an orange jumpsuit, reportedly by the Drudge, via Mediaite,[2] fair use. Apparently, no mugshot was taken when he was actually arrested over hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.[3]

There’s no specific story here. As my faithful readers know, my assessment of the 2024 has been—very tentatively—that Donald Trump and the Republicans are in for a rude awakening the morning after election day. The divide between white Christian nationalists and the rest of the country on abortion rights and the 2020 election results is sharp. Election results have shown it doesn’t work in Republicans’ favor.

Such forecasts—and not just from me—particularly so early on should always be qualified with recognitions that 1) it’s early, 2) there’s a lot that can happen, and 3) there’s a lot of time for it to happen in.

You can certainly argue with my first paragraph here. But there’s no arguing with the second. With ongoing worries about the economy and wars in Ukraine and Gaza, we’re seeing that. We’re also seeing extraordinary Republican dysfunction that at the very least raises serious questions about the Party’s readiness to govern.

I’m moving to a more cautious stance. I still have an impossibly hard time imagining Trump coming out of all this victorious. But I do think there’s cause for concern.

  1. [1]Thomas Barrabi, “Elon Musk barges into Twitter HQ as deal nears: ‘Let that sink in,’” New York Post, October 26, 2022,
  2. [2]Alex Griffing, “Drudge Puts Trump in an Orange Jumpsuit as Site Monitors His Potential Indictment,” Mediaite, August 29, 2022,
  3. [3]Sarah D. Wire and Alexandra E. Petri, “Trump charged with 34 felony counts in alleged hush money cover-up case,” Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2023,

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