Elon Musk and Donald Trump are Mad Online

A petty beef between two petty idiots.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon (L) watches as US President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tes...

After Donald Trump was banned from Twitter for using the app to incite an attempted coup, the platform was absent its permanent main character — a weirdo who would tweet something inflammatory for no reason and dictate conversation for the day. Elon Musk took up the mantle with tweets about population rates, promises to buy Twitter, and objectively bad memes. It appears Trump is not impressed with his work, and now the two are locked in a beef that will determine who is truly the internet’s most online poster.

A quick rundown of how we got here:

The feud has been simmering for some time. It probably dates as far back as when Trump was president and Musk decided to step down from an advisory council over Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Musk came to believe Trump screwed him on the whole situation, which absolutely tracks because that’s what Trump does. The breakup was relatively amicable, considering the loudmouths involved, and things between the two were mostly quiet until Musk decided to turn himself into a part-time political commentator after declaring Democrats “too woke” and decided he would vote Republican going forward.

Trump is no fan of Musk, reportedly calling him “sloppy” and “an idiot” for offering his support to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to Rolling Stone. But with Musk serving as a potential Republican kingmaker and the prospective owner of Twitter, his opinion suddenly became more relevant to Trump. Not only could Musk get the exiled former President back on Twitter (something Musk promised to do), but he could also serve as a major ally in boosting Trump’s 2024 run. Plus, while he’s apparently a DeSantis guy, Musk refused to say whether or not he would vote for Trump if he ran again, leaving the door open for Trump to convince him.

But the beef went from sautéing to flame-broiled when Musk announced he wanted to back out of the Twitter purchase. Once it became clear that Musk would have no value to him, Trump burned the bridge: At a rally, he took a shot at Musk for saying he had never voted for a Republican before. “I said, ‘I didn’t know that. He told me he voted for me, so he’s another bullshit artist.”

That prompted Musk to tweet: “I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat and sail into the sunset.” He also wrote Trump was “too much drama,” which ... pot, meet kettle.

Trump can’t reply to Musk on Twitter, but he fired off a scorched earth response on Truth Social. He attacked Musk’s companies, saying SpaceX launches “rocketships to nowhere” and Tesla makes “electric cars that don’t drive long enough” and “driverless cars that crash.” He said Musk lives off government subsidies and claimed that he could have made the billionaire drop to his knees and beg.

It brings us no joy to report that this post is good. It’s a wild escalation of what was a rather subtle beef. It is the epitome of the classic Clickhole headline, “Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point.” It’s also vintage Trump: petty, vindictive, wildly vicious for no real reason.

There really wasn’t much Musk could do to come back from this one, but he had to try. He dropped a “Lmaooo” and a Grandpa Simpson .gif. It’s boring and it sucks, but it’s also very on brand for Musk, who is a bad poster with a bunch of sycophants who convince him he’s hilarious.

Look, there are absolutely no heroes in this fight. Musk is a billionaire protofascist willing to sell out anything and everything including democracy in order to secure his own wealth and Trump literally tried to install himself as president by force. They are both awful. But there is a difference between them: Trump is an occasionally funny poster and Musk is not.