Given recent history, I’m pretty certain that the GOP will continue to be generally silent about Marjorie Taylor Green – and in doing so will continue to shrivel the bit of spine it still has, and any sense of moral purpose.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that Mitch McConnell broke ranks from his party’s overwhelming silence and denounced her – as “somebody” — for spreading unfounded conspiracy theories and labelling her a “cancer” for the party.
But other than a blowback from Greene, who responded by chastising “weak Republicans” as the true cancer, she remains in a cloak of GOP “no comment,” the loudest type of approval, of acquiescence, there is.
In case you haven’t heard, Greene is the Georgia congresswoman who has taken on Donald Trump’s mantle of crazy, channeling his worst strategies, from denigrating the wearing of a mask to repeating his claim of a “stolen” presidential election.
Among her outrageous “greatest hits” (and just a small sampling):
• In video posted in 2017, Greene supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, calling it “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it.”
• That same year she claimed that the Charlottesville white nationalist rally, in which a counter-protestor was hit and killed by car attack, was an “inside job.”
• Greene has claimed links between Hillary Clinton and pedophilia and human sacrifice; and in 2017, she speculated that the Pizzagate conspiracy theory – an alleged connection between certain Democratic Party officials and U.S. restaurants with human trafficking and a child sex ring – was real.
• Among the other crimes she attributes to Hillary is the assassination of JFK Jr., thus eliminating him as competing presidential timber.
• In 2018 interview, Greene supported the theory that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane in the 9/11 attacks, saying it was “odd [that] there’s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon.” And at a conservative conference she claimed that 9/11 was actually a plot orchestrated by the U.S. government..
• Interviewed in 2019, she surmised that Ruth Bader Ginsburg died several years ago and was replaced in public appearances by a body double in order to hold on to her Supreme Court seat during Trump’s presidency.
• In Facebook posts Greene has claimed that both the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were “false flags,” hoaxes designed to push for gun control.
• After those accusations she was videoed harassing David Hogg, a student survivor of the Sandy Hook shootings; and just last month she threatened a TV reporter with arrest when she tried to ask Greene a question about that confrontation.
About all of this, her Republican colleagues show no interest in censuring her or doubling down on McConnell’s comments, thus seemingly accepting her behavior and her embarrassment of the party.
The party’s right wing will of course defend her nonsense as a matter of “free speech,” the most poorly applied, and most abused, catch-all term of American democracy. Apparently, the far-right interpretation of free speech is that it’s perfectly alright to express the most outrageous, anti-American lies, even though undermining the Constitution (though like hollering “fire” in a packed theater).
Greene, of course, is the female Trump, bent on spreading this conspiratorial cancer. And if Republicans don’t encourage her to go away, or at the very least shut up, their silence will hasten the party’s erosion as a meaningful political force.
Each day we are seeing the fractures developing as middle-ground, reasonable members of the party try to figure out what to do about the virus of Trump and his acolytes: continue to accept him as de facto leader of the party or run away from him as far away as possible.
It could be that there is no antidote, no vaccine to kill off the Trump virus and this loony disease, continuing to shrink the Republican party into a minority of frightened white people waging a failed war against diversity, against immigration, against science, against basic democratic values
The GOP will probably never wither away completely. It may just continue to hang around as a dilapidated vestigial arm of its past, espousing its key historical values but unable to act on them.
And if it cannot counteract the metastasizing influence of Greene and Trump, it will be like the snake that eats its own tail, cannibalizing itself so completely that it loses all bite.