Tell me you’re not surprised to learn Elon Musk is a skeevy Republican


I know I’m not. I’ve disliked the posturing phony from day one, so it just confirms my suspicions to learn Musk has been a major Republican donor — he just keeps quiet about it.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been revealed as a top donor to a Republican PAC aimed at keeping control of Congress. Filings published by ProPublica this weekend show Musk contributed $38,900 to the Protect the House PAC, joining the likes of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Houston Texans owner Robert McNair in the PAC’s top 50 donors. The PAC raised more than $8 million in the second quarter for Republican lawmakers hoping to fend off Democratic challengers. Musk has a history of donating to both parties, but contributions to the Republican Party raised eyebrows on Twitter, where many questioned how the “socially liberal” billionaire vowing to fight climate change could support the GOP’s platform.

I’m going to guess that Jon Rosenberg wasn’t fooled, either.

I’m also going to guess that people will pop into the comments to defend him by saying that the wealthy tend to donate to both parties all the time. I will ask…why? Doesn’t that tell you the system is broken already? It should also tell you that both parties tend to favor the rich, so the rich are happy to keep the wheels churning — they know that no matter who wins, the bankers and trust-fund babies and Wall Street will prosper, no matter how much the economy is wrecked otherwise.

Comments

  1. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I’m also going to guess that people will pop into the comments to defend him by saying that the wealthy tend to donate to both Republican parties all the time.

    F.T.F.Y.
    of course I think the Republicans are the goto for the wealthy. People who struggle to survive look to the Democrats for assistance who willingly provide aid.
    only me i guess
    ?

  2. Susan Montgomery says

    Well, it couldn’t possibly be that pointing out corruption means one isn’t hip and jaded enough, could it?

    Nah, let’s just blame Trump. Introspection smacks of effort.

  3. says

    It really took only one comment for the prediction of a Musk defender to come true -.-

    Donating to the republican party is immoral. No, donating to the democrats, especially if it’s the center democrats, does not equalize it. There is nothing to safe that guy.
    Musk was part of the Trump government at one time. That he also supports these bunch of child torturers with money is indefensible, but not surprising.

  4. Zeppelin says

    I love that Daily Kos article’s feeble attempt at the “purity police” accusation. Look at that list of “good guy” things Musk has done: he’s said he is in favour of some milquetoast progressive ideas (Kos spins that as “promoting” them, I guess because Musk talks a lot?), and also “risked everything he owned” (something not actually borne out by the source they link, btw) to keep his own company running, which is apparently a selfless act now.

    Not hoarding literal billions in wealth skimmed off other people’s labour doesn’t seem like such a crazy standard of “purity” — I mean, very nearly ever person who has ever lived manages to meet it. A political movement that pretends to care about the interests of ordinary people should not associate with billionaires, any more than you’d expect a democratic movement to seek promotion from monarchs and dictators, even “nice” ones. Elon Musk can’t exist in a just society. But no, this one’s got to be the mythical Good Billionaire who will save us all, we can’t afford to alienate him!

  5. Susan Montgomery says

    @6 And I can say the same thing. Leaving Elon aside (I just feel weird saying “leaving Musk aside”. Feels like I’m a Mephitologist or something) and doing a bit of Big Picturizing, we plainly see that both parties assiduously court the Wall Street elite (Goldman Sachs in particular) and both sides get results. This has been known for some little time. However, it is the mark of one’s naivety and poor breeding to point this out to mainstream Democratic backers who will readily state that “Of course, politics and politicians are corrupt. That’s just how things work”. At least, that’s what get said when the Democrats are (or might be) in power. When they’re not, it’s a different story but, “gosh darnit, we just can’t get the vote out any more. I wonder why”.

  6. lotharloo says

    I’m also going to guess that people will pop into the comments to defend him by saying that the wealthy tend to donate to both parties all the time. I will ask…why?

    Well, I’m sure you know the answer but which one is better: (A) To buy off half of the political parties or (B) buy off 100% of political parties?

  7. Ed Seedhouse says

    garydargan@3: “Her(e)’s what the experts had to say about his cave rescue mini-sub.”

    You don’t need to be an experienced caver to understand that Musk’s idea is almost certainly nonsensical. You just have to have read some books (or even magazine articles) on caves and caving.

    But if, on top of that, you have the word of someone who has done lots of caving, and cave diving at that, and who has also been through that particular cave, well that settles it.

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re 8:
    not to disagree.
    I see a few democrats telling the DNC:
    > we can do better, let’s fix our flaws.
    while GOP all say:
    > we ARE the best, better get in line to let us provide you some profit
    — and that is my liberal bias showing. just sharing my view, not arguing with you.
    *sigh*
    ?

  9. says

    [gizmodo]

    Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk accused one of the British divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave complex of being a pedophile on Saturday in retaliation for questioning Musk’s contributions to the rescue effort.

    Yeah.

    CNN reported that the diver in question, Chiang Rai resident Vern Unsworth, played a critical role in not only finding the 13 members of the trapped soccer team but spent 17 days in the complex helping extract them alongside other specialist cave divers. Unsworth told CNN in an interview that the custom-made “submarine”—really more of an air-filled tube—Musk personally delivered to the cave complex was worthless and could play no role in a rescue attempt. (Thai authorities had already called the device “not practical with our mission.”)

    “He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth said. “It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about five-foot-six long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles.”

    Musk is increasingly revealing himself to be a raging asshole.

  10. Susan Montgomery says

    @11 It’s entirely possible for two people to have frank exchanges of views without arguing. ;)

    But you’re correct that the Democrats do talk more of reform and quite possibly are doing things that don’t make it into the media.

  11. Mark says

    It’s called “hedging your bets.” It’s standard practice of most cynical, business goons. They donate to both parties so they can hold some influence over the one that wins. Raw, amoral capitalism. Elon Musk sounds more like a scheming opportunist than a devout republican.

  12. Dunc says

    Elon Musk sounds more like a scheming opportunist than a devout republican.

    I’m not sure I understand the distinction.

  13. yknot says

    Demonizing all things Musk would be more credible if it didn’t incorporate the socialist fantasy embodied in Jon Rosenberg’s cartoon. “Enough money to feed all the children”? Really?? Even assuming throwing money at a problem would help, for how long? And when Musk’s money is used up, as it inevitably must, what then? How many undeserving Republican bazillionaires can be shamed before that well dries up? And while that one problem gets all the money, what of all the other global problems that “need food NOW”?
    Giving a child a fish feeds him for only a day. That’s not a solution. Global problems require technical innovations to infrastructure. Even though Musk’s ideas are arguably self-promoting, his methods are more likely to find solutions than SJWs’ guilt-tripping.

  14. daulnay says

    @4,6,etc. It helps to remember what has happened to the composition of the Democrats and Republicans over the last 60ish years:
    – blacks moved from the Republican to the Democratic party.
    – their oppressors, the white racists (especially Southern) moved to the Republican party
    – the Rockefeller Republicans (liberal Republicans, for those of you under 50) moved to the Democratic party.

    People forget that last switch. The Clintons helped effectuate it, that’s part of how Bill won. It put pro-business liberals in the Democratic party leadership, where they remain. The Democratic party isn’t straight pro-labor any more, instead it’s torn between the pro-business and pro- worker wings.

    So of course businesses give to both parties – but they don’t give to the pro-labor elements of the Democratic party.
    It’s also why there’s been so much emphasis on the culture wars.

  15. says

    What the Musk defenders aren’t mentioning is that Musk’s donations to the Democratic Party have tended to be either to DINOs facing primary challenges or to races in which DINOs have won their primaries, like the 2016 presidential election. His donations to the Democratic Party, in other words, are very specifically designed to move the party rightward. The shift of the Overton Window is not some sort of mystical coincidence, it’s a deliberate, weaponized phenomenon.

    Anybody who claims that the Democrats need to kowtow to billionaires because they need the money is either lying or mistaken. Whether you like it or not, Bernie Sanders demonstrated quite well that a candidate who actually listens to the base can raise a lot of money very quickly without even first winning a primary — it’s only the candidates who intend to ignore the base who can’t do that, and a Democrat who is going to ignore the base is not worth electing in the first place. Jimmy Carter gave an interview a while back where he was bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be able to become president in today’s climate because he wouldn’t be able to raise the kind of money which is necessary — which reveals that although Jimmy Carter wouldn’t be willing to kowtow to the rich, he also doesn’t give a damn about the rank and file of the Democratic Party and wouldn’t be able to appeal to them for donations, which says a lot.

  16. daulnay says

    @19 Consider the political spectrum as an oval instead of a line. One end of the oval is pro-worker, the other is pro-business. Each of the sides are the two sides of the culture wars — ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’. It makes more sense to see donations like Musk’s as trying to shift power towards the business end of the oval, rather than a shift towards ‘conservatives’. (I put liberal and conservative in ‘ because the terms confuse as much as they clarify).

  17. unclefrogy says

    @17
    what you seem to not understand is the nature of the problem.
    Musk is just one example there are a few others 1% of the population is a number that is being used generally.
    Yes you are correct that it is better to “teach a person to fish than to give them a fish”. The details you leave out tell a lot about who you are.
    how did the “poor” become poor? how much money would it take to make them not poor?
    better how much of the great wealth accumulated by the wealthy came from underpaying those who do the work that earned the profit? It has been the practice of the “job creators” to pay as little as possible to their employees in order to maximize their Multi-million dollar incomes.
    if you own all the water the fish live in it is a little hard for anyone else to get a chance to catch any of them.
    uncle frogy

  18. blf says

    As noted in @13, Musk is a completely deluded liar & troll, Elon Musk calls British diver in Thai cave rescue a pedo in baseless attack:

    Accusation directed on Twitter at Vern Unsworth, who called Tesla CEO’s offer of ‘mini-sub’ to help rescuer a ‘PR stunt’
    […]
    The chief executive of the tech giant Tesla offered to assist the rescue mission by providing a submarine. The request was turned down. Musk lashed out on Sunday, saying he would make a video proving that his “mini-sub” would have been successful and adding: Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.

    The accusation, presented without evidence or context, was directed at Vern Unsworth, a British cave explorer who recently said Musk’s attempt to help the rescue effort was a “PR stunt”. No evidence has emerged to substantiate Musk’s claim of pedophilia.

    “It just had absolutely no chance of working,” Unsworth said in a widely shared interview. “He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5ft 6in long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles.”

    Musk visited the cave system himself. Unsworth said the billionaire “was asked to leave very quickly”. He also told CNN Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts”.

    On Sunday, when a Twitter user pointed out that Musk was “calling the guy who found the children a pedo”, the billionaire responded: Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.

    […]

    I presume his idea of “solving” the problem in Flint is to kill all people who aren’t wealthy and white-skinned.

    He should now be filed in the trash with hair furor & teh dalekocracy, the eejit “perfessor” in Canada, and the whole the UK & Polish “governments”.

  19. says

    @#20, daulnay

    @19 Consider the political spectrum as an oval instead of a line. One end of the oval is pro-worker, the other is pro-business. Each of the sides are the two sides of the culture wars — ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’. It makes more sense to see donations like Musk’s as trying to shift power towards the business end of the oval, rather than a shift towards ‘conservatives’. (I put liberal and conservative in ‘ because the terms confuse as much as they clarify).

    A slight quibble: “business”? No. The already-rich want policies which favor the already-rich. These policies are not necessarily “pro-business”, although they may be “pro-businesses-owned-by-the-already-rich”. Consider the attempt which was made in the EU just recently to require social media platforms to have automated copyright-infringement-detection software — this was something the rich were hoping for. It would not harm any of the current major players, because they can afford it, but it would be a profound barrier to entry for any new business attempting to empty the market, or even to open-source attempts to build distributed alternatives to things like Twitter and Facebook. A law which protects, say, Amazon, by hobbling any would-be competitors, is hardly “pro-business”, but that’s what they generally push.

    (And the Trans-Pacific Partnership was more or less the same thing — a way to screw the poor over while pretending it was going to address trade imbalances, written in secret by CEOs. Any and every politician or commentator who supported or supports the TPP, which is legislatively not dead but resting, is either a fool or a shill for the 1% — and I strongly suggest you do a little looking around to see which candidates you’ve supported have done so, because the answers are surprising.)

  20. bobmunck says

    the wealthy tend to donate to both parties all the time. … Doesn’t that tell you the system is broken already?

    No, the fact that we allow people to bribe politicians with campaign “contributions” tells me the system is broken already.

  21. daulnay says

    @23 As you point out, ‘pro-business’ means pro established businesses. Established businesses do not generally like competitive, unrigged markets and work hard to eliminate them. The Republicans and pro-business Democrats have together removed or quit enforcing most of the laws that ensured competitive and unrigged markets over the last 30+ years. I do not think we actually disagree here.

  22. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ck:

    Of course his fans are saying the diver asked for it by insulting Elon. I guess no depth is too low for them…

    I see what you did there. Well played.

    @blf:

    I presume his idea of “solving” the problem in Flint is to kill all people who aren’t wealthy and white-skinned.

    Indeed.

    I think the most appropriate response to Musk at this point is “Go fuck a spherical cow”.

  23. says

    I’m fine with him being a visionary asshole full of contradictions and irony, really. Most technology leaders have been exactly that and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise. We should… just be honest about it. Don’t teach school kids that Thomas Edison was a good man, or that Steve Jobs was some kind of wonderful inspired human being. It’s also a moment to play “How much better would our technology be, if the leaders who created it could listen better and be more inclusive?” (Spoiler: A lot.)

  24. chrislawson says

    ynot@17–

    1. Rosenberg wasn’t satirising Musk for being a capitalist, he was satirising him for coming up with ridiculous engineering solutions to problems, and even more so for being a thin-skinned egotistical tantrum-thrower when his ill-advised and unsolicited “solution” is rejected by people on the ground with actual expertise. As the diver pointed out, a rigid 5’6″ tube was never going to be able to navigate the caves, and Musk’s response was to call him a paedophile and dump the sub in Thailand.

    2. Just a heads up. Anyone who uses SJW as a pejorative is a self-identified fool with the moral awareness of a parasite. You can change!

  25. chrislawson says

    Doubting Thomas@2–

    I agree with you that Musk in not a Republican and not even socially conservative, but having said that he’s not thinking clearly about this.

    In his own words he’s donating to the Republicans “so that they are willing to listen when I call to object about issues that negatively affect humanity.” But these donations from Musk are not going to make a shred of difference to the Republican denial of climate change. The only “listening” the Republicans will do is to keep quiet and nod their heads while he speaks, hoping to draw another donation out of him. Musk obviously believes he’s buying influence, but he’s really only throwing money at a party that is working feverishly to destroy all his environmental and social ideals.

  26. brett says

    Paying money to the national Republicans and Democrats is basically insurance. SpaceX relies on Commercial Crew funding from NASA, as well as contracting work doing launches for federal agencies. They’re not without enemies – Republicans in the Senate (especially Richard Shelby) have tried to heavily cut or cancel Commercial Crew funding before. But if he kicked them some money, then maybe the next time that comes up somebody in their caucus will say, “Don’t do that – the guy gave us money”.

  27. chrislawson says

    brett@31–

    But that’s not what Musk said. He didn’t say it was insurance for his future corporate plans, he said it was so Republicans would listen when he talks to them about “issues that negatively affect humanity”, which we already know the Republicans will not only NOT listen to him, but have actively muzzled government agencies that have a role in protecting humanity from malicious corporate interests.

  28. blf says

    Paying money to the national Republicans and Democrats is basically insurance.

    The correct term is bribery.

    But that’s not what Musk said.

    Perhaps not surprising? Admitting to bribery is perhaps even too stupid for this supreme fool.

    I know Elon Musk does good, but he’s still a bonehead (Gruaniad edits in {curly braces})::

    […]
    Not Elon Musk, aged 47 […] called the British diver Vern Unsworth — one of the first divers on the scene who helped rescue the Thai football team trapped in a cave — a pedo on Twitter (he has 22 million followers). This was simply because Unsworth pointed out that Musk’s offer of a submarine wasn’t helpful to the rescue efforts.

    […] “He can stick it where it hurts,” Unsworth says, which may have precipitated Musk’s pedo remark, but just to reiterate, Musk is 47, and I do not think Unsworth was seriously considering sodomising him with an oxygen cylinder. Perhaps the best part of the video is when the interviewer says: “But {Musk} was in the cave,” and without missing a beat, Unsworth replies: “And was asked to leave very quickly.” The diver is now considering legal action over the tweet.

    Last week Musk kicked off because the media referred to him as a billionaire. The billionaire label, Musk argued, was used to devalue him (even though it’s factually correct), and in a staggeringly unintelligent observation he moaned that they didn’t call me that until my companies got to a certain size. Well, duh.

    […]

    The thing is, despite finding the Musk online roasting over his cave exploits pretty hilarious, initially I wasn’t entirely convinced it wasn’t mean-spirited. He was, after all, trying to help. But it can actually be quite burdensome when someone tries to help but doesn’t know what they are doing: too many cooks spoil the broth — especially if they can’t cook. Musk refused to recognise this, insisting he had been asked to help, and then released emails which actually suggested those involved with the rescue were politely trying to humour him with the minimum time it took on their part (never mind the questionable ethics of releasing private correspondence).

    But Musk, of course, hopped on a plane with his mini-sub. He left it in the cave, after the boys had been rescued, in case it is useful in the future. Last week I couldn’t think of anything worse than being in those boys’ situation, trapped in a wet, dark cave. But I think being trapped in a wet, dark cave and finding an unworkable Elon Musk vanity project was my only hope of getting out would just about top it.

    […]

    […] How about Musk focuses on fixing the awful working conditions in some of his Tesla factories (Amazon’s Jeff Bezos could do the same), instead of offering them free frozen yoghurt? Zuckerberg would get much more praise from me if he simply stopped avoiding paying a fair share of tax instead of writing 5,000-word manifestos on social justice. […]

    Supporting links at the link.

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