We’ve already look at the empty and hypocritical response to the weekend mass shootings from Trump. How about his fellow Republicans. Many of them predictably tried to blame it on everything other than hatred and the easy availability of guns, while a small number of them, including Ted Cruz, were refreshingly compelling in their responses.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick went on Fox News and blamed it on violent video games, as Trump partially did as well. He said, “What’s changed in this country? We’ve always had guns. We’ve always had evil. But what’s changed where we see this rash of shootings? And I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill…This was maybe a video game to this evil demon. A video game to him. He has no sense of humanity, no sense of life. He wanted to be a super soldier, for his Call of Duty game.” And yet this killer left behind a manifesto that advocated white supremacy and anti-immigrant violence. Amusingly, he also pointed to “the violence of bullying people on social media every day,” but without mentioning Trump, for whom that is a daily practice. And of course, he also had to mention the fact that we “won’t let our kids even pray in our schools.” That’s a lie, of course. Millions of kids pray in schools every day.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also agreed with Patrick in blaming video games. And many Republicans focused on mental illness, with no evidence at all that either shooter suffered from that at all. And it’s funny how mental illness is always the go-to excuse when white people commit acts of terrorism, but is never mentioned when, say, Muslim extremists do so. Then it’s all about ideology. But this guy was white, so his white supremacist ideology is ignored and mental illness is the go-to excuse.
But a few made surprisingly prescient statements. Ted Cruz, the son of immigrants himself, called it a “heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy” and said he was “deeply horrified by the hateful anti-Hispanic bigotry expressed in the shooter’s so-called ‘manifesto.'” Rep. Dan Crenshaw likewise said that killing someone for their ethnicity was “one of the most disgusting forms of evil that exists. It must be rooted out, white supremacy has no place in this world.” And George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush and the current Texas Land Commissioner, called it “white terrorism” that is “a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.” What distinguished those three from other Republicans? They’re all from Texas.