Jeff Mordock, Washington Times, March 7, 2021
Congressional Republicans have a plan for Democrats’ repeated claim that White supremacists infest the Republican Party: silence.
Challenging accusations of racism and White supremacism is pointless because it won’t stop the name-calling, Republican lawmakers say, but sooner or later the Democrats will go too far.
“At some point, they so overstate their case it doesn’t matter anymore. The more you watch, the more you realize that everybody but Democrats are White supremacists to these people,” said Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Republican.
Republican political strategists warned that Mr. Biggs and his colleagues are making a huge mistake.
Pushing back against accusations of racism is a stronger play, said Ford O’Connell, a Republican Party strategist.
He said the Republican lawmakers fear that sticking their necks out and speaking up will get them branded as White supremacists and drummed out of Congress like Steve King of Iowa. Mr. King was formally censured by the House and defeated in his 2020 reelection campaign after pondering how “White supremacist [and] Western civilization” became offensive terms.
“It’s a reasonable fear,” Mr. O’Connell said. “But I don’t think they understand how Democrats move the goal posts in this arbitrary narrative of White supremacy. Eventually, they are going to have to confront the White supremacy allegations head-on because if you allow Democrats to go on and on the public will continue to believe it.”
Mr. Biggs insists he and his Republican colleagues are not afraid of Democrats playing the White supremacist card.
“We decided that is their mantra and they are going to call you a White supremacist no matter what. A better way to get at what they are talking about is to point out their hypocrisy,” he said.
That’s why Republicans often call out Democrats for their tepid condemnations of riots during the 2020 racial justice protests. It highlights what they say is hypocrisy for railing against right-wing extremism.
Republican angst over the racism label is not new, but the Democrats’ accusations intensified after a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat and leader of the “Squad” of far-left House members, declared on MSNBC: “There are legitimate White supremacist sympathizers that sit at the heart and at the core of the Republican Caucus in the House of Representatives.”
With the investigation continuing, it is difficult to determine how big of a role White supremacists played in the attack.
Still, that didn’t stop Democrats from accusing former President Donald Trump and his supporters of being White supremacists at a recent hearing before a House Judiciary subcommittee.
Rep. Cori Bush, Missouri Democrat, declared that the Republican Party benefited from the support of White supremacists. A Democratic witness said Mr. Trump’s speech to his supporters ahead of the riot was a racist foghorn.