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Combating the GOP’s Nativist Narrative – Weekly Summary 4/24/23

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Week of April 24, 2023


  • Cruel, extreme and unworkable,  the House Majority anti-Immigrant bill: House majority leadership held a press conference on Thursday to announce their plan to push a political messaging document to show their base they are still committed to the cruelty and chaos approach to the border. Barely qualifying as a piece of legislation, Republicans are desperate to keep up the charade that they’re actually doing anything of substance with their majority hoping to get a floor vote on their extreme, non-solutions bill in May. The New York Times is reporting that Republicans may still not have the votes, even as the small changes are apparently enough for Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-TX) to support what he had previously described as an “un-American” and “un-Christian.” The culmination of nearly four months of work on a top priority for the majority was displayed this week, and it made it undeniably clear they are completely unserious about finding solutions to the challenges at the border.
  • Jan 6 Participant and Hate Group Member, Republicans’ “experts” on migrant child welfare: At this week’s installment of the political theater that is the House majority’s congressional hearings, Republicans continued their disturbing pattern of inviting hate into the halls of Congress. In a hearing ostensibly about the child welfare of migrants, the members of the Republican House Judiciary subcommittee invited Sheena Rodriguez who was on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.  They also invited Jessica Vaughn of CIS, who Vaughn also has a long history as an anti-immigrant zealot who was a close ally of Stephen Miller. She has echoed white nationalist conspiracy theories and worked with a notoriously anti-Semitic. Their third witness was a Project Veritas activist. Needless to say not a stellar cast or expert set of witnesses on this or any other topic relevant to a functional congress. 
  • Bigoted Symbolism as Policy Prescription, Republicans Wall Con: What began as a mnemonic device and developed into a racist chant almost eight years ago remains a core driving “policy” idea from the GOP.  Rarely a day goes by where some Republican elected official doesn’t call for an ineffectual wall to be constructed as part of a multi-billion dollar boondoggle. This week we saw the wall become a key plank of the House anti-immigrant bill and were reminded that a slogan dressed up as policy remains an opportunity to grift. This week founders of the “We Build the Wall” scam were sentenced to years in prison and ordered to pay restitution. Meanwhile, outstanding questions remain about the involvement of general counsel and Board Member of  “We Build the Wall,” currently serving as Kansas Attorney General, Kris Kobach, in the scandal.  His office declined to comment about the recent convictions. 


  • President: Republicans’ initial response to Biden’s reelect announcement this week was to paint an AI-generated apocalyptic hellscape dripping with white nationalism. And the nativist narrative continues to be at the core of their messaging priorities. In what could have been a carbon copy of the ads from the last of their several underperforming cycles, the NRCC dropped an ad attacking Biden with the “open borders” lie. The NRC used AI-generated images alongside fictionalized news reports for an ad with a voiceover that says, “border agents were overrun by a surge of 80,000 illegals this evening” as we see images of masses of people waiting in line along the Golden Gate Bridge and troops occupying a city landscape. Worse, was an ad from Donald Trump which began by echoing the white nationalist great replacement conspiracy theory, falsely claiming there is “an invasion of America.” And in an ever so slight but deeply ominous tweak to their slogan, they are making it subtly clear that America should only be great for some, writing “Make America Great For Us Again!”
  • WV Senate: Former Democrat turned Republican Governor Jim Justice announced that he will seek the nod to take on Sen. Joe Manchin in November 2004. But McConnell still might not get his man come November with Rep. Alex Mooney (WV-02) already in the race, announcing his intent to run before he was even sworn into the 118th Congress.  No stranger to an ugly primary fight, Mooney wagged a xenophobic ad war against Republican David McKinley after redistricting pitted them against one. We are sure to see Mooney and his allies dehumanize immigrants with the hopes of propelling him through the primary. 


  • Of the 400 GOP Twitter accounts we track, this week, they sent: 
    • 257 original tweets peddling anti-immigrant attacks mentioning “border”
    • 47 original tweets about “open borders,” with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweet having the most reach with 196.1K Views, 1,236 Retweets, and 5,454 Likes.
    • 22 original tweets that used “Biden Border Crisis” with Sen. Ted Cruz tweet having the most reach with 96.4K Views, 657 Retweets, and 2,679 Likes.
    • 42 original tweets that mentioned both “fentanyl” and “border” with Sen. John Kennedy tweet having the most reach with 41.5K views, 668 Retweets and 2,963 Likes.