It doesn’t happen often so we’d be wrong if we ignored it: A Republican in Congress calling out other members of her party for fanning the racism that leads to incidents like this weekend’s mass shooting by a white supremacist in Buffalo.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R, Wyo.), who at one point was the number-three Republican in the House, tweeted on Monday that other members of her party—wait for it—were enabling bigots and that it’s time for them to speak up.
Her tweet didn’t specifically reference Saturday’s shooting, but it was clear that’s what set her off. 18-year-old Payton Gendron drove more than 200 miles from his home in Conklin, N.Y., to Buffalo, where he entered a supermarket in a mostly-Black neighborhood and opened fire, killing 10 people. Gendron also livestreamed the attack on one of his social media accounts and wrote a manifesto that referenced so-called “replacement theory”, which posits that Jews, Black people, Hispanic immigrants and others are part of an elaborate scheme to displace whites at the top of the U.S. economic, political and social order.
It’s worth noting that Cheney herself was once a member of the House Republican leadership, where she served as conference chair, the party’s third-highest position in the chamber. But last year, her own party voted her out of the position for having the courage to stand up to Donald Trump, the ex-president who gassed his supporters up to try to violently take over the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
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In short, this is a story about where honesty gets you in the modern GOP: not very far at all.