When it comes to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-Ga.) record of radicalism, there are basically two parallel tracks to consider. The first is the right-wing congresswoman's sillier political antics, which include having filed impeachment articles against President Joe Biden on his first day in office and claiming she was "censored" on the House floor while her remarks were broadcast to a national television audience.
The second is much less amusing.
Greene, whose association with the crackpot QAnon garbage is well documented, has also embraced other deranged conspiracy theories. Last week, Media Matters noted a newly uncovered online exchange in which Greene in 2018 agreed with a Facebook commenter who claimed that 9/11 "was done by our own gov[ernment]" and that "none of the school shootings were real or done by the ones who were supposedly arrested for them," including the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
CNN reported yesterday, meanwhile, that the Georgia Republican also "repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress."
In one post, from January 2019, Greene liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In other posts, Greene liked comments about executing FBI agents who, in her eyes, were part of the "deep state" working against Trump. In one Facebook post from April 2018, Greene wrote conspiratorially about the Iran Deal, one of former President Barack Obama's signature foreign policy achievements. A commenter asked Greene, "Now do we get to hang them ?? Meaning H [and] O ???," referring to Obama and Hillary Clinton. Greene replied, "Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off."
Two years later, Greene was elected to Congress.
A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Axios overnight that the GOP leader is aware of the comments and will discuss them with Greene. The emailed statement added, in reference to the revelations from the CNN report, "These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the congresswoman about them."
And who knows, maybe McCarthy, who embraced Greene as a member in good standing after her election in November, and who urged the political world to give her "an opportunity" to succeed, will take this matter seriously. Perhaps the House Republican leader will conclude that Greene is simply too radical for an ostensibly mainstream political party to tolerate.
Or maybe McCarthy will find some new excuse to defend the indefensible.
As we recently discussed, House Republican leaders have meaningful options. McCarthy and his team could call for Greene's expulsion from the U.S. House. They could also strip Greene of her committee assignments -- which is precisely what McCarthy did to then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) two years ago, concluding at the time that the House Republican conference would no longer "tolerate" the Iowan's record of racism.
Indeed, by taking actions to sanction King in 2019, saying his extremism was simply intolerable to the GOP, Republican leaders, whether they intended to or not, set a standard. By treating the radicals in their conference as normal members, the party's congressional leadership is effectively extending its imprimatur to extremists like Greene, making clear that King's racism may have been too much, but these radicals' dangerous conspiracy theories are in line with the party's values.
If Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team are willing to prove otherwise, now is their chance. The question isn't whether Marjorie Taylor Greene's radicalism is defensible; it's obviously not. The question is whether House Republican leaders will pass the test Greene's radicalism has created for them.