In general, congressional Republicans have had the luxury of ignoring fringe adherents of the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory. As we discussed last week, that's quickly becoming less of an option.
In Georgia's 14th congressional district, Marjorie Taylor Greene, an apparent enthusiast of the crackpot conspiracy theory, appears well positioned to get elected to Congress. She still has to compete in an August runoff, but given her strong showing in the first primary round, Greene appears to be the favorite to win the GOP nomination -- and given the leanings of this district in northwestern Georgia, if she wins the Republican nod, her victory in November is effectively a given.
All of which leaves GOP leaders in an awkward spot. Will the National Republican Congressional Committee have any reservations about supporting a QAnon adherent after the FBI labeled QAnon as a possible domestic-terror threat?
As it turns out, the answer started coming into focus this week. Politico reported:
The House's highest-ranking Republicans are racing to distance themselves from a leading GOP congressional candidate in Georgia after POLITICO uncovered hours of Facebook videos in which she expresses racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views. The candidate, Marjorie Taylor Greene, suggested that Muslims do not belong in government; thinks black people "are held slaves to the Democratic Party"; called George Soros, a Jewish Democratic megadonor, a Nazi; and said she would feel "proud" to see a Confederate monument if she were black because it symbolizes progress made since the Civil War.
Republicans apparently don't feel the need to denounce Greene's support for the QAnon nonsense because she's offered them plenty of other offensive comments to denounce.
There are, however, some lingering loose threads. For example, Donald Trump has personally offered some encouragement to Greene, despite (or perhaps because of?) her radical views. Will the president back off now that his party's leaders are denouncing her?
What's more, it's not at all clear what would happen if Greene wins her race despite the intra-party pushback. Are House Republican leaders prepared to give her the Steve King treatment?
Watch this space.
Update: Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, also pulled his support from Greene this week.