While the GOP may believe they are out of the rough due to Trump's removal from office, congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene proves that the GOP may have a long way to go before they can separate themselves from increasingly extremist viewpoints.
Greene (R-GA) has not served as a Congresswoman for long, assuming office this year. However, despite her trying to pass off as a caring wife, mother, small business owner, her conspiracy theories tend to threaten her gentler persona. Greene has been pushing dangerous theories that her party has attempted to condemn for years but to no avail. Along with Islamophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic viewpoints, the Congresswoman has shared baseless and violent conspiracy for years.
In a Facebook post, Greene blamed the California wildfires over two years ago on Jewish-controlled space lasers. She suggested that the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Parkland, and Sandy Hook were inside conspiracies attempting to take away gun rights. She has advocated for the execution of leading Democratic party members, such as Nancy Pelosi. After Greene’s assumption of office, Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO) has had to move her office after targeted harassment from Congresswoman Greene, who blamed Bush for refusing to wear a mask, and worse, targeted Bush as the leader of the “the rape, murder, and burning of the home” of the McCloskey family in St. Louis.
Greene’s violent and inexcusable behavior both online and in the House forces the GOP to acknowledge that even after the Trump era, extremists in their party are still not being held accountable. The Republican party has employed what some call selective amnesia, choosing to forget the horrific violence on the Capitol Trump incited after pushing his election conspiracy so long after Biden was called as the winner. However, that tactic is ineffective with more than one person pushing for conspiracy theories as true.
This, of course, begs the question: how far can a representative go before what they say becomes out of hand? Why would someone vote for her in the first place? According to some citizens in the 16th district, she embodies a more aggressive Trump-style of politics, which appeals to those in the Georgian countryside who might feel ignored. To another, she might be extreme, but she’s still better than another Democratic seat. And to a municipal official who wished to remain anonymous, “There’s nothing she can do to lose my vote unless she murdered a baby or something. Nothing.” While that viewpoint may be an outlier, it proves that the Republicans themselves may have to take control and decide where they want to draw the line.
Democrats have already given an ultimatum to the GOP. Either Republicans take the initiative to remove Greene’s committee assignments, or Dems bring it to the floor. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has already said he will talk to Greene, but Greene seems unwilling to relent, tweeting last week she will “never apologize.”
The Republicans’ reluctance to control Greene shouldn’t be ignored. Considering their tolerance of Trump until the Capitol attacks last month, any encouragement of violence should never be encouraged. Any Republicans who support Greene but condemned the Capitol attacks only come off as hypocritical for refusing to acknowledge the same problem right in front of them.
As for now, the Republicans will have to give considerable thought before answering the ultimatum. Until then, they should think carefully on how they want to represent the GOP. The party of law and order? Or the party of violence and conspiracy theories?