The Upstate New York House Republican has been saying things she has had to rearrange in public and explain ….
Over the past week, Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the third-ranking House Republican, has blasted President Biden for providing infant formula to undocumented immigrants while “American mothers” suffer amid a nationwide formula shortage.
She has attacked Democrats and “pedo grifters,” borrowing language from the baseless pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory that claims there is a Satan-worshipping cabal of liberal pedophiles, which has evolved into a movement on the right.
And after the deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, where a heavily armed white man is accused of killing 10 Black people at a supermarket in a racist rampage, Ms. Stefanik is under scrutiny for campaign advertisements she has circulated that play on themes of the white supremacist “great replacement” theory. That belief, espoused by the Buffalo gunman, holds that the elite class, sometimes manipulated by Jews, wants to “replace” and disempower white Americans.
Last year, in an ad on Facebook, Ms. Stefanik accused “radical Democrats” of planning what she described as a “PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION.”….
Ms. Stefanik, a onetime moderate Republican who worked in President George W. Bush’s White House and was a protégé of former Speaker Paul D. Ryan, has long been seen as a rising star in her party, and she still is. But as she has ascended, the Republican Party has transformed, lurching to the right along with her district in upstate New York, and she has shape-shifted along with it.
Now, she proudly describes herself as an “ultra MAGA” warrior and aggressively appeals to the hard right, sounding nativist themes that animate the Republican base.
The racist massacre, which unfolded in her own state, has shone a spotlight on Ms. Stefanik. In the days since, Democrats and even some Republicans have suggested that Ms. Stefanik and her party have stoked the beliefs that led to the killings, by catering to a base that will not tolerate outright condemnation of the most fringe ideas….