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Joe Kent Is The Most Extreme House Candidate You Haven’t Heard About

There's a lot going on with Joe Kent.
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About Last Night

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In case you missed it, there was a GOP debate last night. Josh Marshall called it "a brutally stupid spectacle" in a laconic, biting debate blog in which he admitted he was rendered speechless.
Congressional reporter Kate Riga didn't fare much better. It was around 10:15 p.m. ET, just after Mike Pence started talking about having sex, that she reported "my brain imploded and melted out of my ears."
Chris Christie called Donald Trump Donald Duck in one of the saddest digs in recorded history. Ron DeSantis, through pain and anguish, forced his facial muscles to somewhat resemble a smile. Nikki Haley told Vivek Ramaswamy "Every Time I Hear You, I Feel A Little Bit Dumber."
These aren't serious people and, by all accounts, have no shot at the nomination. But that doesn't mean they are harmless. DeSantis is the best example. He's been preparing for this moment for years, willingly trashing his own state to score points among the most extreme MAGA voters nationally.
So the question is: How do you cover unserious yet dangerous actors? Unfortunately, a lot of the mainstream and beltway press haven't figured it out. But at TPM, we've been walking the line between covering the rise of extremism while not amplifying alarmist, incendiary rhetoric for 20-plus years.
For example, take the infamous Jade Helm fiasco we covered back in 2015. Jade Helm was described by the U.S. Army as a routine, multi-state military exercise. But Texas Governor Greg Abbot saw a political opportunity and deployed the state militia to "monitor" the activity. TPM has been covering the trend of far-right politicians seizing on conspiracy theories as a form of governing even before Jade Helm and certainly ever since.

This stuff all presages the madness we see now. We saw it for what it was then, and we see it for what it is now. This is why about 33,000 people depend on TPM to find, contextualize and curate the most important political news events of the day. If you want a publication that can see the current political moment for what it is: Darkly humorous characters carrying out seriously precarious, democracy-threatening deeds, then you need TPM.
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