Rep. Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) was last month one of 200 Republicans to support far-right extremist Rep. Jim Jordan in his failed bid for House Speaker. But rather than standing up to his party, Rep. Ciscomani then doubled-down, becoming one of 220 House Republicans that unanimously voted to make Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana the new Speaker. Johnson, Vanessa Cárdenas previously noted, “has gone farther than most of his Republican colleagues in elevating alarmist and dangerous rhetoric.”
Johnson “has repeatedly flirted with what’s known as the ‘great replacement theory,’ the idea that Democrats are scheming to supplant American voters with immigrants,” The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes. “The Louisiana Republican’s views show how fringe conspiracy theories have gone mainstream in the Republican Party at the highest levels of power.” In his analysis at CNN, Ron Brownstein writes “Johnson has been noteworthy in embracing one variation of the xenophobic and racist Great Replacement Theory. That theory, which originated in far-right White nationalist circles, argues that Democrats and liberals are deliberately importing undocumented immigrants to ‘replace’ the White majority and diminish their political power.”
Similarly, Maria Cardona writes at The Hill that Johnson “espouses so-called “white replacement theory” and uses the violent language of ‘invasion’ when talking about migrants who come to the United States fleeing violence and dictatorships.” This dangerous and racist rhetoric, Cardona continues, “has led to brutal and deadly attacks on Latino Americans.”
Rep. Ciscomani’s earlier vote for Rep. Jordan was a vote for a key amplifier of the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory and completely unworkable and cruel demands, including H.R. 2 – more accurately known as the Child Detention Act.
But after that vote failed, Rep. Ciscomani then voted for someone even more extreme, cementing conspiratorial rhetoric “at the highest levels of power,” as Sargent wrote.
Rep. Ciscomani cast his vote despite representing a district with a proud and rich immigrant history and that highly depends on an immigrant workforce. Cochise County, which is largely located in Rep. Ciscomani’s district, “is a center for fruit and tree nut production, particularly pecans, pistachios, and wine grapes,” the University of Arizona’s County Agricultural Economy Profile said. In Arizona’s Sixth District, and all across the U.S., we eat because of the essential immigrant workers that Speaker Johnson and Rep. Jordan want to deport.
Rep. Ciscomani’s votes here are just another example that he is unwilling to stand up to his party, no matter how extreme, for the good of the country and the good of his state and district.