White House extends invitation to GOP's Marjorie Taylor Greene

In just two weeks, Marjorie Taylor Greene has gone from an embarrassing sideshow in Republican politics to a celebrated White House guest.
Image: Marjorie Taylor Greene
Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to a GOP women's group in Rome, Ga., on March 3, 2020.John Bailey / Rome News-Tribune via AP file
By Steve Benen

When Marjorie Taylor Greene won a Republican congressional primary in Georgia earlier this month, it marked a turning point in GOP politics in 2020. Because she's certain to win in November, Greene is bringing a unique brand of right-wing extremism to Capitol Hill, seemingly leaving her party in a difficult position.

When national audiences first took note of Greene's candidacy, it was because of her comments supporting QAnon, a crackpot conspiracy theory that says Donald Trump is secretly at war with nefarious forces of evil, including Democrats, Hollywood celebrities, the "deep state," cannibals, and an underground ring of Satanic pedophiles. Since then, her rhetorical record has managed to get even worse, with researchers uncovering a number of racist comments and offensive videos.

Greene wrote strange articles as a "correspondent" for a conspiracy news website; she's suggested the Obama administration partnered with a street gang in the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer; she's referenced "the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon" as part of a discussion on the September 11 attacks; and she visited the Capitol not too long ago in the hopes of demanding Muslim members of Congress take their oaths of office on a Christian Bible.

CNN ran a new report on her record yesterday.

In the years before she ran for office, GOP congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene wrote two conspiracy-laden blog posts speculating that the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to one counter-protester's death was an "inside job" and promoting a debunked conspiracy alleging some Democratic Party leaders were running a human-trafficking and pedophilia ring -- known as "Pizzagate" -- was real.

The CNN report added that in a Facebook post, Greene wrote that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was guilty of treason and suggested she could be executed.

As notable as this is on its own, the timing was of particular interest: as the details of Marjorie Taylor Greene's extremism came into sharper focus, the Georgia Republican announced that she'd been invited to attend Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the White House on Thursday. (The Associated Press reported soon after, "A person familiar with Greene's invitation says it is legitimate.")

This comes just two weeks after the president, who has his own ugly history with ridiculous conspiracy theories, endorsed Greene and touted her as a "future Republican Star" -- either despite her record of radicalism or because of it.

It was just earlier this month when the Washington Post reported that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was under fire for failing to derail Greene's congressional candidacy. The article quoted one GOP source saying, "There are a lot of members livid at McCarthy for sitting back and doing nothing to stop this woman from being elected."

And yet, two weeks later, Marjorie Taylor Greene isn't an embarrassing sideshow in Republican politics; she's a celebrated guest of the president of the United States.

This, evidently, is the state of GOP politics in Donald Trump's party.

When Greene won her primary, GOP leaders and officials were left with a difficult decision to make. The president has made his choice, and with 10 weeks remaining before Election Day, he's siding with the radical fringe.