Assclown Alert: Playing Racial Prop Master with U.S. Rep. Chip Roy

The Black congressman Roy nominated to thwart Kevin McCarthy's bid 'is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He's a prop,' one critic fired back.

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Chip Roy is better known for his bomb throwing and political stunts than his concern about racial equity. - Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
Wikimedia Commons / Gage Skidmore
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy is better known for his bomb throwing and political stunts than his concern about racial equity.

Assclown Alert is a column of opinion, analysis and snark.

Few serious political observers think racial justice is on U.S. Rep. Chip Roy's radar. After all, the Texas Hill Country Republican was one of just three members of Congress to vote against a bill making lynching a federal hate crime.

Roy explained that he opposed the bill's "woke agenda," in case anyone wondered.

But amid California U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy's days-long humiliation as he tried to win enough far-right support to become House speaker, Roy positioned his opposition to the bid as a stand for racial diversity in the House.

Early in the process, Roy nominated Black U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds as a potential spoiler for McCarthy's bid, explaining that electing the Florida Republican would be a history-making move.

In his speech, Roy even threw in a quote from the late Martin Luther King Jr. to show he was truly down.

But, after squeezing more concessions out of McCarthy, Roy and enough of his cronies threw their support behind the California congressman to let him claim his prize. Meanwhile, Donalds, whom Roy called an "old friend" during the nomination, ended up shunted to the side.

In a tweet, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Missouri, made it clear she saw through Roy's bullshit: "FWIW [Byron Donalds] is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He's a prop."

In comments reported on by National Public Radio, Bush pointed out that House Republicans showed little interest in promoting Donalds until he could be weaponized against McCarthy.

"To hear Chip Roy stand up and say this is not about color ... it absolutely 100% is, because if you were nominating him on his worth and merit, I think none of us would have been surprised because we would have seen him do leadership things," she explained.

With Roy's history as a bomb thrower — from engineering U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's government shutdown when he was the Texas Republican's chief of staff to trying to adjourn the House rather than let it vote on a Ukraine aid bill — it's easy to concur that the congressman's nomination of an "old friend" is just the latest in a long line of assclown stunts.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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