“After national press attention condemning Stefanik’s use of the white nationalist ‘replacement theory’ in her Fbook ads warning of an ‘election insurrection’ … she has doubled down and is STILL running these ads,” Mueller tweeted Monday. “In total, Stefanik paid Facebook to show these xenophobic dog-whistle ads to over a million Facebook users, all but 5% of whom lived outside New York with the majority being over the age of 55,” he wrote last week. “Stefanik is not using these ads to communicate a message to voters in her district,” he notes. “Instead, she is targeting older Americans across the country who react positively to online racialized fear-mongering.”
Daily Kos’ Dave Neiwert has written extensively on “replacement theory,” a white supremacist conspiracy theory “also has been credited with inspiring multiple acts of mass murder and terrorism,” he noted earlier this year. This white supremacist belief has more recently found a home on Fox News via Tucker Carlson. It also found a home among the House Republican caucus way before Stefanik’s disgusting ads, echoed by Pennsylvania’s Scott Perry in April.
“For many Americans,” The Washington Post reports Perry said during a hearing on Central American migration, “what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born American—native-born Americans to permanently transform the landscape of this very nation.” Like the Post noted, never mind that it was Perry, like Stefanik, who sought to “transform the landscape of this very nation” by supporting overturning the election. Facts, smacts.
Among the national press attention that slammed Stefanik’s ads came from her hometown newspaper, which “offered a scathing response” to her rhetoric, HuffPost reported. “Quite a choice of words, of course, considering that the country is still suffering the aftershocks of the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington by supporters of Mr. Trump who tried to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election,” The Times Union Editorial Board said. “The Harvard-educated Ms. Stefanik surely knows the sordid history and context of this.”
That suggests that Stefanik should know better, and indeed, Stefanik is on the record criticizing the previous president as of just a few years ago. “In fact, at times Stefanik sounded practically like a Never Trumper, as she called on Trump to recognize that Russia had attacked the 2016 election to help him, urged him to release his tax returns, and assailed him for his comments about women,” Mother Jones reported in May. Some might argue that Stefanik is a weathervane adjusting to whatever winds are necessary to hold onto power. Or maybe, just maybe, Stefanik’s now finally showing us exactly who she is.