The most discouraging part of the U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene debacle on Thursday wasn’t the sneering apology or dodgy defense of the catalogue of deranged and malevolent commentary she’s made during the last few years.
It was demoralizing for the entire nation that 199 elected Republican members of Congress defended Greene’s deluded cruelty. It was appalling that three of those Republicans represent Colorado in the House of Representatives: Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Lauren Boebert.
Some of the 199 Republican members of Congress were too cowardly to stand up to brutish Trump extremists trying to force the GOP into a death spiral of radicalism. Other Republican representatives supported Greene because they, too, wade through a swamp of racism, lies, propaganda, delusion and quackery.
Republicans had their opportunity to follow the lead of past Democrats and Republicans when members of congress became obscene or criminal. Both parties have forced their members off of committees and sometimes into resignation for behavior and tirades that are permitted as free speech but still accountable to norms of rationality, reality, decency and safety.
Not this time. Yesterday, after GOP House discussions on whether and how to discipline Greene for a well-documented list of unhinged and dangerous public allegations — which would get most people fired from their job — nothing happened.
Even GOP party faithful in the Senate pushed back on Greene’s odious “loony” diatribes. She mocked and stalked a school shooting survivor, dismissing two ghastly school shootings that left dozens of children dead and hundreds more traumatized for life as “false flags.” She said they were staged shows to elicit public sympathy for gun control. Her social media accounts are a litany of racist, unreal even surreal profanities. She backed dangerous and ridiculous conspiracies that a financial Jewish cabal started last year’s California wildfires with secret lasers in space so the state could build a fabulously expensive transit line.
As a candidate for Congress last fall, she publicly backed her belief in the Qanon conspiracy, expressing concerns about the “deep state,” according to reports by the Associated Press and Washington Post.
She dismissed outrage toward her public views and rants as “past words.”
The House fell silent yesterday as Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer paraded on the House floor a poster-size blow up of a post Greene made on her campaign Facebook page — in September — depicting Greene with an AR-15 in a military “Rambo” pose. Her image is juxtaposed to photos of three Democratic members of congress, who are women of color, with alarmed expressions. The caption is, “The Squad’s Worst Nightmare.”
Minority Republican leadership started this controversy in January when they appointed Greene to important House education and budget committees. Democrats, and 11 courageous Republicans, agreed yesterday that she is unfit to serve on those panels.
They agree Greene cannot hold power over national legislation because of her abhorrent commentary and behavior. Her tirades, recent and past, are considered over the top even by today’s standards, set by a Republican Party sinking in self-destructive extremism, authoritarianism and conspiracy theories.
If Republicans, including Buck, Lamborn and Boebert, don’t believe dire Greene’s behavior warrants restriction on critical committee’s, what does?
Republicans in Colorado, across the nation and now the U.S. House are ceding control of their party to increasingly violent, unstable fanatics in a misjudged attempt to preserve individual and collective political power.
History is unequivocal in showing that extremist successions, even without the added weight of lunatic conspiracy theories, are always politically fatal.
Democratic House Rules Committee Chairperson Jim McGovern pointedly summed up the quagmire engulfing Republicans.
“The party of Lincoln, the party of Eisenhower, the party of Reagan is becoming the party of Marjorie Taylor Greene and the party of violent conspiracy theories.”
After yesterday’s support of Greene, the ability of Republicans to bring their party bank from brink slipped further away.