There’s no great mystery as to when Rep. Rodney Davis fell out of favor with the far-right. The House took up a bipartisan bill to create an independent Jan. 6 commission, and the Illinois Republican was one of several GOP lawmakers to support it.
When redistricting in the state pushed Davis into a primary against fellow Rep. Mary Miller, Donald Trump backed the congresswoman, whom he saw as a more reliable ally. Indeed, the former president even held a rally in Illinois on Saturday, and Miller was invited to introduce Trump at the event.
And that's when the trouble started. NBC News reported:
U.S. Rep. Mary Miller immediately drew fierce backlash on social media and elsewhere at a Saturday night rally with former President Donald Trump when she credited him for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade calling it a “victory for white life.”
Ordinarily, at Trump rallies, it’s the former president who makes outrageous and offensive comments. This time, Miller’s rhetoric eclipsed anything he said at the gathering.
As a video from the event showed, the Illinois congresswoman said, with Trump right behind her, “I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday.” She then raised her arms to applaud, soliciting cheers from attendees, which soon followed.
It wasn’t long before a spokesperson for Miller insisted that she simply misspoke while reading from a prepared text. She meant to reference a “victory for right to life,” and instead pointed to a “victory for white life.”
I’m not unsympathetic to those who stumble while speaking in public. It’s happened to me, so I know it can be both embarrassing and frustrating.
But there is a larger context to keep in mind.
Miller’s track record doesn’t exactly make it easy to give her the benefit of the doubt. Early last year, on literally her second day as a member of Congress, the Illinois Republican spoke at a conservative “Save the Republic” rally.
“Each generation has the responsibility to teach and train the next generation,” Miller said. “You know, if we win a few elections, we’re still going to be losing, unless we win the hearts and minds of our children. This is the battle. Hitler was right on one thing: He said, ‘Whoever has the youth, has the future.’ Our children are being propagandized.”
Initially, her office defended the comments, but when that proved unpersuasive, the GOP lawmaker apologized for approvingly quoting Hitler.
It was against this backdrop that the same Republican appeared at a Trump rally and accidentally thanked the former president for delivering a “victory for white life.”
But let’s also not brush past the fact that the Trump fans in the crowd heard Miller’s comments and cheered. Miller’s office has said that she misspoke after misreading from a prepared text, and that may very well be true.
Those in attendance for the rally nevertheless heard what the congresswoman actually said, and they found it worthy of applause.