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By the Way, House Dems' New Leader-in-Waiting Peddles Misinformation and Conspiracies

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Perhaps you missed Julio's post last week about Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the reported heir apparent to Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader.  If and when he is installed into that position, both leading Democrats on Capitol Hill will be from New York -- where Republicans notably over-performed this year, due to Democratic mismanagement -- and New York City, specifically.  Interesting choice.  Some media commentators are describing Jeffries as a "moderate," which is not accurate.  Maybe he's politically moderate relative to the hard Left flank of his party (and he's drawn ire from with the Squad in recent years), but his voting record reveals a fairly dogmatic, down-the-line progressive ideology.  He's a lefty Democrat in a lefty party.

Beyond his votes, however, is a social media footprint that sometimes crosses into rank crankery, election denialism, and attacks on various institutions of our democracy.  These things are terrible and dangerous, we're often told, but certain exceptions (D) apply.  For example, if you're an election conspiracy theorist, you can remain an elderstateswoman of the party in good standing, while getting very rich in the process.  Or if you're an aggressive election denier, you can get celebrated and re-nominated by the party for statewide office in a key state -- or even hired as chief spokesperson for the President of the United States.  Or, as it turns out, you can become one of the highest ranking party leaders in the whole country:

Fox News reports:

The leading candidate to replace Nancy Pelosi as the next House Democratic leader is a 2016 election denier who openly argued that former President Donald Trump was an "illegitimate" president...Jeffries was one of many Democrats who questioned whether Trump legitimately won the 2016 election due to alleged Russian interference and collusion. He often made statements about Trump's 2016 victory that are similar to claims Trump made about the 2020 race being stolen..."The more we learn about 2016 the more ILLEGITIMATE it becomes," Jeffries tweeted from his congressional account in 2018. "America deserves to know whether we have a FAKE President in the Oval Office."  "History will never accept you as a legitimate president," Jeffries tweeted from his personal account about Trump in 2020. Jeffries also claimed Trump cheated in the 2016 election, alleging Trump may be "a Russian asset." "LIE (more than any administration in the history of the Republic.) CHEAT (2016 election/Russian Interference). STEAL (one or two Supreme Court seats). When will Republicans put country ahead of party?" Jeffries tweeted.

When word started circulating that Jeffries was in line to replace Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats, I recalled another reckless attack on our systems and institutions that he launched earlier this year. Norms and institutions are sacred, you see, except when they're not, and Democrats are upset about outcomes they don't like. Then they get to say things like this, with no repercussions and little media hand-wringing:

This guy is a member of House Democratic leadership, who's widely expected to climb the power ladder even further once the party's ancient crop of leaders starts to stand aside," I wrote at the time.  A few months later, I added this preamble to a fun viral clip of Jeffries getting owned during a Congressional hearing: "Jeffries, the Chairman of his party's lower chamber caucus, tends to embarrass himself online from time to time.  This week, Jeffries proved he can also embarrass himself in person.  He's versatile that way."  As we approach the Jeffries era, I'll leave you with that video:


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