The highest ranking Republican official in U.S. government, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, repeatedly refused to denounce “replacement theory” in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. That puts him in company with New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third in command among House Republicans who seems to be an adherent of the white nationalist conspiracy theory.
The slaughter of 10 Black Americans in Buffalo by a white nationalist terrorist and the reaction to that carnage clarifies a whole hell of a lot about the Republican Party of 2022 and the individual members of it. Especially McConnell, who controls half of the Senate and is the one person with the most power to turn the white supremacist GOP ship around. He won’t do it.
Asked repeatedly Tuesday about his responsibility as a party leader to condemn the theory, he refused, dancing around the question instead by calling the shooter a “deranged young man,” refusing to acknowledge the motivation behind the massacre. The most he would do is condemn generic racism. “Look—racism of any sort is abhorrent in America and ought to be stood up to by everybody, both Republicans, Democrats, all Americans,” McConnell said.