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ICYMI: “DeSantis’s Ugly Descent into ‘Invasion’ Hysteria Can’t Go Unanswered” – Must-Read Greg Sargent Column

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Zachary Mueller: “DeSantis is just one example of the GOP bidding war to see which politicians and candidates can propose the most violent and blood-thirsty approach to immigration and the border.”


Washington, DC – A must-read column by Greg Sargent of the Washington Post  captures the dangerous extremism embedded in the Ron DeSantis immigration plan, including his reliance on white nationalist conspiracies around a so-called “invasion”– falsehoods linked to multiple deadly attacks in recent years. As the GOP moves forward on a sham impeachment of the President and DHS Secretary over immigration policy differences, Sargent highlights that Democrats are set to engage more forcefully against this type of dangerous rhetoric being mainstreamed by DeSantis and Republican candidates and elected officials alike. 

Below, we highlight key excerpts from Sargent’s column, DeSantis’s ugly descent into ‘invasion’ hysteria can’t go unanswered following a quote from Zachary Mueller, Political Director of America’s Voice:

“From ‘invasion’ to ‘deadly force’ to ‘stone cold dead’ to ‘act of war’ to ‘a duty to protect the country,’ Ron DeSantis has been relying on and mainstreaming a collection of phrases and ideas that are flat-out incitements to violence and have been linked to multiple domestic terror attacks by white nationalists. DeSantis’s talking points echo the racist screeds  of mass murderers in Pittsburgh, El Paso and Buffalo. 

DeSantis is just one example of the GOP bidding war to see which politicians and candidates can propose the most violent and blood-thirsty approach to immigration and the border. Engaging in open talk of military strikes against Mexico,, extra-judicial killings and other over-the-top incitements that used to be limited to the white nationalist fringes. Our ongoing tracking work at America’s Voice has found more than 550 examples of elected Republicans and campaigns that amplified the “invasion” and “replacement” conspiracy theory in just a little over one year since the Buffalo white nationalist shooting, as well as more than two dozen examples from House GOP congressional hearings this year. House Democrats are right to condemn and call out the dangers of continuing to mainstream these dangerous lies and violent fantasies. Democrats – and every American – should continue to forcefully make the case that condoning and amplifying white nationalist rhetoric should be disqualifying for anyone in or running for elected office.”

Find key excerpts of the Greg Sargent column DeSantis’s ugly descent into ‘invasion’ hysteria can’t go unanswered below (available in full online here).

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis released a plan for the southern border this week that uses the word “invasion” at least five times. He later took this rhetoric to hallucinogenic extremes, declaring on Fox News that anyone with drugs who “is cutting through a border wall” should end up “stone-cold dead.”

The specter of a migrant “invasion,” which carries white nationalist overtones, has been a mainstay of Donald Trump’s political vocabulary ever since he ran for president in 2016. But the fact that DeSantis and Trump — the leaders in polls for the Republican nomination — are both all in on this ugly notion shows how profoundly it is capturing the GOP.

Democrats can’t let this moment go unanswered. In coming weeks, opportunities to mount major pushback will arise, and Democrats should make the most of them.

First, DeSantis’s draconian immigration law, which is designed to make life more difficult for undocumented immigrants in numerous ways, is set to take effect on July 1. Already, it has prompted migrants to consider leaving the state. That’s causing panic among Florida businesses that rely on migrant workers. Even Republicans are lamenting the law’s expected impact … Democrats can seize on this to argue that treating immigration as an invasion, as DeSantis’s law will do, produces terrible real-world results.

… Democrats should tie this to DeSantis’s agenda for the southern border, which in some respects is more extreme than anything Trump tried to do. DeSantis loves to claim that Florida is his model for how he would run the country. If his Florida law shapes up as the disaster businesses fear, Democrats can argue that it indicates what might happen if his ethic of treating migrants as invaders shapes national policy.

Democrats will have another opening when the House GOP drive to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gains steam this summer. To lay the groundwork for this, House Republicans have transformed “invasion” language into everyday usage. 

…A Democratic aide tells me that some House Democrats have privately discussed ways of engaging the “invasion” notion in a high-profile, forceful and concerted way. “You will see House Democrats start to push back a lot more on the language,” Rep. Daniel S. Goldman (D-N.Y.), a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview, noting that it spreads “fear, division and hate.”

…Viral moments are the coin of the realm in today’s politics, and this topic delivers. Earlier this year, when Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) repeatedly (and accurately) accused Republicans of trafficking in great replacement theory, they spluttered with outrage, leading to widespread media coverage.

… As DeSantis’s efforts to out-MAGA Trump intensify, the language will get uglier. Democrats often assume they can’t win arguments on immigration. But GOP “invasion” rhetoric has grown truly dangerous, unhinged and disconnected from reality. If ever there were a time to grab the sensible middle-ground on this issue, it’s now.”