After losing control of the House, the GOP is returning to its playbook of racism and sexism to try to win it back.
Republicans, seeking something — anything — that will give them a way to regain their lost majority in Congress, are once again turning to racism and misogyny.
Politico reports that the party's official campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), is sending "thousands of emails" that smear three freshmen Democrats in the House "as their new targets."
Those targets — Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — all happen to be women of color. Tlaib and Omar are both Muslim.
"It speaks to a fear-based strategy that they utilize in order to kind of create political support, instead of actually painting a positive vision," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"I think they just don’t know what to do with powerful women of color," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. "I’ve felt that before ... in this chamber and I think it’s a new level because there’s so many more of us now."
The NRCC's website "makes it appear as if these backbench members are running the House," Politico notes. "GOP lawmakers and aides privately acknowledge that the freshman trio are their main focus now."
"The fact that somebody like myself, who’s a woman of color, is now an equal to many of them — people are very fearful of that," Tlaib told the outlet.
The targeting of women of color is a continuation of the GOP's strategy that failed spectacularly in 2018, allowing Democrats to pick up 40 seats in the House. Republicans abandoned earlier plans to pitch their failed tax scam to voters in the midterms, pivoting instead to racist ads and rhetoric to try to motivate their base.
Instead, voters rejected the the GOP's embrace of bigotry, delivering the House to Democrats with a more diverse caucus than ever before.
Targeting Tlaib, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez is also evidence that the GOP's tried-and-true strategy of demonizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hit a road block.
Attacks on Democratic candidates who backed Pelosi for speaker, while highlighting those who opposed her speakership, failed. Pelosi easily won the speakership, for the second time, in January.
So now the GOP is targeting other women, attempting to portray them as radical and out of step with voters, despite the popularity of the positions they hold.
It's a tactic that hasn't worked for the GOP in the past, but, as Politico notes, "It’s a move born, in part, out of desperation" because now that they're in the minority, Republicans "badly need something else to rally around."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.