What does House Republican Thomas Massie think he’s doing?

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This week, the House passed H. Res. 1125 “condemning rising antisemitism.” Although it passed muster with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, and other normally off-the-rails Republicans, one representative, Thomas Massie, voted against it (with eight GOP abstentions). “[G]overnment can’t legislate thought,” was the best explanation Massie could offer about this non-binding and non-controversial anti-hate resolution.

The resolution was not only introduced during Jewish American Heritage Month, but at a time when antisemitic incidents in New York increased by 24 percent last year to a decades-long high. According to a new report from the Anti-Defamation League issued in late April, New York alone experienced 416 antisemitic incidents, including 51 assaults. This is part of a disturbing nationwide trend, with 2,717 antisemitic incidents, including 88 assaults, representing a surge of 167% from the prior year.

Massie isn’t the only prominent Republican to dig his heels recently into the wrong side of antisemitism. David Hann, the chair of the Minnesota GOP, found himself apologizing this week after presenting a video at the state convention showing George Soros holding the strings of puppets whose faces resemble those of prominent Jewish Democrats. Although this imagery is a common antisemitic trope, Hann and his staff professed their total ignorance.

Also this week, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Hungary, the speaker list didn’t stop with Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson, and Mark Meadows. Zsolt Bayer, a notable racist who has called Jews “stinking excrement”, and Jack Posobiec, a blogger who embraces antisemitic symbols, also addressed the crowd of happy yet hateful U.S. Republicans.

   

Today’s Republican Party has an antisemitism problem, which is part of an even larger problem of unabashed racism and bigotry. This week, Rep. Liz Cheney slammed her party leadership for enabling antisemitism, white nationalism, and white supremacy. “History has taught us that what begins with worse ends in far worse,” she tweeted. “@GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.” The problem is, these so-called “leaders” are too busy hating to listen to such wise words from one of their own.

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