OPINION — U.S. Representative Stephanie Bice will never be your moderate friend in Washington, D.C. She is proving only to be a generic Republican pawn, drooling out National Republican Congressional Committee talking points while her party attempts to dismantle democracy.
Bice surprised many progressive-leaning Oklahomans when she became the only member of the state’s congressional delegation to vote in favor of a commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by domestic terrorists.
Compared to on-the-record sedition enablers such as U.S. Representatives Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin, Kevin Hern, and Frank Lucas, Bice looked like the lone voice of reason.
OPINION by George Lang
“It is critically important that the commission’s work not interfere with ongoing criminal investigations,” Bice said in a prepared statement sent to Oklahoma City Free Press. “But there is much more we must know about the circumstances surrounding that day.”
Apparently after getting an earful from Oklahoma conservatives, Bice followed up that statement by releasing a video attacking her favorite bogeyman, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“First and foremost, I will not let this commission be a witch hunt by Nancy Pelosi,” Bice said in the video. “The purpose of the commission is not to go after former President Trump but to find out why the Capitol Police and the Sergeants at Arms were so unprepared.”
So, according to Bice, the focus should not be on whether some of Bice’s colleagues helped the attackers find certain Congressional offices within the Capitol, or whether Trump instigated the attack (which he did on camera). She wants the Capitol Police, who were attacked and sustained casualties, to be investigated.
In her November 2020 victory speech, Bice showed exactly what kind of generic Republican she would be once she took office.
“I am thrilled that once again Oklahoma is on the federal level…red,” Bice said. “But, let’s be clear, the real work begins tomorrow because I’ve gotta go to work to give Nancy Pelosi a new title and that is former speaker of the house.”
In a November 17, 2020 column, I expressed just how disappointing it was to have a lazy Steve Russell clone take back the seat for Republicans.
“That is all Stephanie Bice has planned for us?” I wrote. “To be a pain-in-the-ass backbencher in the House Minority and work as a door jam against progress?”
Bice won with 52 percent of the vote, which she did in part by convincing moderates and more than a few progressives that she would be a bipartisan voice for an increasingly purple district.
But rather than extend an olive branch to Horn voters, Bice promised to be an empty vessel for conservative groups to fill with their wish lists.
Bice was always an anti-choice, gun-nutty arch-conservative when she served in the Oklahoma State Senate. She simply marketed herself effectively as one who smiles and drinks local beer while she takes away women’s right to choose, restricts immigration and lowers the last remaining common-sense barriers to gun ownership.
Progressives frequently make the mistake of believing there is still hope for moderation among Republicans. We want to believe in the false myth of the reasonable Red Stater. Bice is a clear example of the falsity of such hopes.
Much as some media outlets chose to lionize U.S. Rep Liz Cheney for supporting the January 6 commission, only to find out she has no problem with Heritage Action’s syndicated anti-voting rights legislation, many people refuse to remember Pete Townshend’s words and are fooled again and again.
There is no moderation in the Republican Party, nor will there be in the foreseeable future. If Bice were an actual moderate, she would be condemned by party leadership.
With Bice’s victory last year, Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District got a Capitol Hill loiterer as its representative. Her Pelosi name-checking is lazy boilerplate.
And this week she is holding a telephone town hall with Oklahoma veterans, which is cheap virtue-signaling in Oklahoma. As a veteran and a progressive, I resent Bice’s use of veterans as props.
Bice is showing us her true self, and as Maya Angelou famously wrote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Last Updated May 26, 2021, 12:09 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor