Vivek Ramaswamy is, like much of the Republican Party, so pathetically desperate.
The 2024 candidate, who joins other elite-educated Republicans in cosplaying as a truth-telling populist while offering no actual solutions to improve people’s material conditions, has reportedly used some of his millions of dollars to pay a Wikipedia editor to scrub his past.
Mediaite reports that Ramaswamy seems to have paid Wikipedia editor “Jhofferman,” to remove information from his page that he presumably thought would damage his candidacy in the Republican primary. A few days later, he announced his 2024 bid.
The editor scrubbed off information related to Ramaswamy receiving the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans in 2011, during his time as a Yale law student. Paul Soros is the older brother of billionaire democratic donor George Soros, who has been the subject of perennial antisemitic conspiracy theories peddled by the right. (The fellowship Ramaswamy received is dedicated to helping immigrants and children of immigrants pursue graduate school.)
Prominent right-wing figures like Jack Posobiec have directed attention toward Ramaswamy’s past fellowship, presumably in line with the aforementioned use of Soros as a catch-all for anything “suspicious.”
Also removed from Ramaswamy’s page was his work serving on Ohio’s Covid-19 Response Team. The editor claimed that Ramaswamy had explicitly asked to remove the mention of his work on the Covid team, while the editor himself deemed the fellowship to be “extraneous material.”
After some back-and-forth with other Wikipedia contributors, information noting Ramaswamy’s Soros fellowship was later added back to the page.
Ramaswamy had announced his bid for president less than two weeks after he seemingly commissioned an editor to modify his Wikipedia page.
To this day, Ramaswamy’s Wikipedia page begins with a disclaimer that the “article has multiple issues” and the “neutrality of this article is disputed.”
“This article contains paid contributions. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view,” Wikipedia warns.
The episode is just another in a long series of Republicans spinelessly refusing to stand by their past when facing Donald Trump, or to offer even a nugget of an argument as to why, hey, maybe it’s OK to care about problems like Covid.
Most remarkable is that any of the Republicans think their hungry embrace of conservatism’s furthest-right instincts will result in anything other than failure. Materially, their policies aren’t helping people. And politically, they’re all losing to Trump, who then proceeds to inspire losses for Republicans across the country.
But nary a Republican can imagine staking any claim or engaging in any imagined “battleground of ideas” they purport to glorify; instead, they’ll go to such lengths as coughing up cash to a random user online to clean up their Wikipedia pages, resulting in outcomes so clumsy that you begin to wonder how any of these people got as far as they did.