The party’s treatment of Greene is another key example. It’s not hard to find a Republican who will say they oppose Greene’s conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook or Parkland school shootings, or her repeated expressions of interest in assassinating Democratic political leaders. But far from being marginalized over it, she is on the House Education and Labor Committee, which House Republican leadership would have had to agree to. In other words, it’s a repeat of “responsible” Republican responses when Trump would say or do something especially outrageous—they’d claim to be appalled, but go right on embracing him in every way that mattered. And Greene won her primary in Georgia with the backing of Rep. Jim Jordan and Debbie Meadows, the wife of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
At this point, as never-Trump Republican Bill Kristol put it, House Minority Leader “Kevin McCarthy has been more critical of Liz Cheney than he has been of Marjorie Taylor Greene.” Kristol claims to be astonished by that, but he shouldn’t be. This is the Republican Party right now.
The Republicans who tried to overturn the results of the election on Jan. 6, voting to reject the will of the voters in key states just hours after they fled for their lives, are fully in control in the House. McCarthy voted with them and he continues to cater to them. If he wasn’t already committed to that path of his own accord, he’s been bullied into it by now—including, presumably, by Donald Trump himself when McCarthy traveled to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring.
If you know a Republican who’s saying that all this does not represent them—that they’re not with Greene or Lauren Boebert in inciting violence and embracing QAnon, or with the Oregon Republicans on claiming the Capitol attack as a false flag, or with Arizona Republicans on saying that simply defending the results of the election is worthy of censure—that Republican needs to understand that they are way, way out of step with their party. And they need to consider what that means in a very serious way, now, before they’re faced with a Marjorie Taylor Greene imitator on the ballot in their own district. This is now a matter of conscience for all Republicans—are they right-wingers with some basic integrity welded to their desire to be punitive toward poor people and people of color, or are they all the way down the rabbit hole with their party?