Elon Musk has a history of attempting to downplay his far-right politics. “A party more moderate on all issues than either Reps or Dems would be ideal,” he tweeted in May. However, in June, Musk said he’d voted for QAnon fan Mayra Flores a special election. He’s also already said he’s backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—the man unleashing holy on queer and trans kids in his state—for president in 2024. And in 2021, Musk appeared to support a right-wing coup in Bolivia. How “moderate” of him.
In any case, it’s getting harder and harder for Musk to keep up the facade: On Tuesday evening, while anti-Trump Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) was being defeated by her pro-Trump, Kevin McCarthy-backed, opponent Harriet Hageman, Musk was at a Republican fundraiser in Wyoming, hosted by McCarthy, the House minority leader. Fox News reported Musk offered “fireside chat” with guests and Republican politicians.
Musk fundraising for and buddying up with the party’s more extreme members isn’t exactly surprising at this point, but the billionaire is still trying to preserve his self-proclaimed reputation as a moderate. On Tuesday night, he tweeted: “To be clear, I support the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party!” He also apparently sought to prevent his attendance from being made public, and barred press at his little chat; McCarthy wouldn’t even confirm or deny to Fox News whether Musk had been at the event.
However, that’s not how large gatherings work in 2022. Given that Musk posed for selfies with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), and former Trump administration State Department official Morgan Ortagus, this was never going to remain a secret.
Of course, celebrating Cheney’s defeat seems pretty at odds with Musk’s aforementioned self-identification as a moderate. Given Cheney’s record of staunch conservatism on nearly every issue, her loss transparently stemmed from the one common sense thing she’s ever done: leading congressional efforts to investigate Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Musk’s attendance at the event, surrounded by anti-Cheney Republicans who are either uninterested in holding Trump accountable or supportive of the insurrection itself, is pretty damning.
I don’t know who Musk thinks he’s fooling with his constant emphasis on being neither Democrat nor Republican. He’s a billionaire. He’s an enemy of labor laws; living wages; and maternity leave. If Musk goes to these lengths to mistreat his workers while also hosting “fireside chats” for insurrectionist sympathizers, he should just cut the bullshit, embrace his inner 4Chan user, and proudly tell the world he’s a Republican.