The GOP can’t hide from extremism

By | December 2, 2022

Ronald Brownstein writes:

The role of extremist white nationalists in the GOP may be approaching an inflection point.

The backlash against former President Donald Trump’s meeting with Nick Fuentes, an avowed racist, anti-Semite, and Christian nationalist, has compelled more Republican officeholders than at any point since the Charlottesville riot in 2017 to publicly condemn those extremist views.

Yet few GOP officials have criticized the former president personally—much less declared that Trump’s meeting with Fuentes and Ye, the rapper (formerly known as Kanye West) who has become a geyser of anti-Semitic bile, renders him unfit to serve as president again.

Even this distancing from Fuentes (if not Trump) comes as House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, the putative next speaker, is poised to restore prominent committee assignments for Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, two House Republicans who have publicly associated with Fuentes. It also comes as Republican officials, including McCarthy and Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, are locking arms in support of Elon Musk’s push to allow extremist voices more access to Twitter.

Although it took days to develop, some believe the widespread Republican criticism of Trump’s meeting could signal a new determination to restore the barriers between mainstream conservatism and far-right Christian and white nationalism that eroded during the Trump era. [Continue reading…]

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