According to new reporting from Axios, House Republican leaders discussed fears that Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene would end up becoming "a flaming trainwreck for their party."
But GOP leaders agreed to "largely set aside" those fears; Greene was elected to Congress despite a breathtaking record of radicalism; and seemingly every day there are new headlines pointing to the right-wing Republican's crackpot ideas.
Media Matters put the spotlight on the latest revelation yesterday afternoon. This one, believe it or not, has to do with wildfires and space lasers.
In November 2018, California was hit with the worst wildfire in the state's history. At the time, future Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) wrote a bizarre Facebook post that echoed QAnon conspiracy theorists and falsely claimed that the real and hidden culprit behind the disaster was a laser from space triggered by some nefarious group of people.
According to Greene's online missive, the nefarious group operating the fire-causing space laser included "Rothschild Inc." As Jon Chait explained, "The Rothschild family has featured heavily in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories since at least the 19th century. Anti-Semites have generally updated the theory by replacing the Rothschilds with George Soros, a more contemporary and plausible-seeming mastermind for a global conspiracy to spread left-wing ideology. Greene's version has instead updated the theory by giving the Rothschilds possession of a secret, powerful space laser."
In theory, Greene's anti-Semitic ideas about fire-causing space lasers should be enough to cause widespread unease among her fellow congressional Republicans, but let's not forget that the new GOP lawmaker's record of radicalism runs much deeper.
Media Matters' report added, "In addition to being a QAnon supporter, Greene has pushed conspiracy theories about 9/11, the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings, the Las Vegas shooting, and the murder of Democratic staffer Seth Rich, among others. Greene also has a history of pushing anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic remarks."
This week, CNN added to Greene's record, reporting on her online interactions in 2018 and 2019 in which the Georgia Republican expressed support for violence against Democratic elected officials. This included an instance in which she liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from office.
A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told Axios on Tuesday that the GOP leader is aware of the latest revelations 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."
It's unclear if that conversation has taken place. In the meantime, no one from the House Republican leadership has expressed any interest in punishing Greene or stripping her of her committee assignments, as GOP leaders did to then-Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) two years ago at this time.
On the contrary, Republicans recently put Greene on the committee overseeing federal education policy, despite her ridiculous conspiracy theories about school shootings.
But stepping back, the larger question isn't limited to one member of Congress who appears unwell. Greene's future matters, but so too does the future of her party.
The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty explained in her new column, "Donald Trump has departed Washington, but he has left behind a new set of rules for Republicans. One of them is that words and deeds, no matter how reckless or disconnected from the truth, carry no consequences. Which is how the party wound up with Marjorie Taylor Greene, a dangerous loon whom the voters of Georgia's 14th Congressional District decided to send to the U.S. House."
The more Republicans ignore -- and in some cases, embrace -- the crackpot elements in their party, the more fringe extremists like Greene will dictate the GOP's direction.