Georgia About To Send First QAnon Conspiracy Nutjob To Congress
Marjorie Taylor Greene is taking her assault rifle and crackpot views to Washington! The QAnon conspiracy theorist prevailed Tuesday in her Republican primary runoff against normal, awful conservative John Cowan. She's now guaranteed to represent Georgia's deep-red 14th District in Congress.
Let's first get out of the way the fact that Greene is a bigot who's expressed racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic views on Facebook. She's compared Black Lives Matter to Neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, and not in a “Jets versus Sharks" way. She said if she were Black, she'd feel “proud" to see Confederate monuments, and her hypothetical Blackness trumps actual Black people on this issue. She also think gangs “control" young Black and Hispanic men and tell them not to go to school or move out of the projects, where all the young Black and Hispanic men live.
Greene described the 2018 midterms as the start of "an Islamic invasion of our government." She's also called Holocaust survivor George Soros a Nazi. She's ready for her closeup on Tucker Carlson's show.
We've grown accustomed to racist faces in the Republican caucus, but the QAnon stuff is next level batshit. The FBI has labeled QAnon a potential domestic terrorism threat, but Greene claims it's "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out." Yeah, QAnoners believe there's "an imagined deep-state cabal of pedophile Satanists" — my least favorite type of Satanist — and Donald Trump is fighting against them. I picture Trump more as the creepy old guy from Rosemary's Baby.
Marjorie Taylor Green - Qanon - The Vid She Wants To Forget.. Nov 26 2017 www.youtube.com
Republican leadership tried to distance itself from Greene. Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Liz Cheney all issued statements condemning her comments as “appalling, disgusting, and offensive" (in that order). But they didn't do much to prevent her from becoming their next latex salesman.
McCarthy went all Sweden on the runoff and his neutral stance hardly signaled urgency to donors or outside groups.
The lack of intervention from national Republicans — despite their public rebukes of Greene — has frustrated and baffled GOP lawmakers, strategists and donors, who worry Greene's victory would be a black eye for the party at a time when they are still grappling with a national reckoning over racial inequality.
I don't really believe Republicans sitting on their hands during this primary “frustrated and baffled" anyone. It was probably a calculated decision not to offend the crazies, who are a growing demographic within the Trump-dominated Republican Party. The New York Times noted that QAnon supporters "are slowly becoming a political force that some Republicans feel they cannot afford to alienate, even as the party struggles to distance itself from racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories."
Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia agai… https://t.co/HeClo8CD9g— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1597235369.0
The GOP obviously isn't “struggling" to distance itself from bigotry and know-nothing politics. This is the same party that has a Tom Cotton. Cowan tried to appeal to Reagan-era racism, dressed up in high-waisted jeans. He called Greene a “circus act" and trotted out the slogan "All of the conservative, none of the embarrassment." She still whooped his ass by double digits.
David Frum said in 2010 that "Republicans originally thought Fox worked for us. Then we discovered that we work for Fox." The same is true of QAnon supporters like Marjorie Taylor Greene. They're no longer simply wack jobs whose twisted views straitlaced Republicans can sort of wink at during a town hall, like they did with Birthers. They believe they should lead now, as evidenced from Greene's victory speech last night.
GREENE: The Republican establishment was against me. The DC swamp is against me. And the lying fake news media hates my guts. It's a badge of honor. It's not about me winning. This is a referendum on every single one of us, on our beliefs.
My victory tonight should be a message to every single one of them. You don't speak for us. The radical Left and their allies in the media are terrified ... because I'm going to be their worst nightmare
There was also much applause when she went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
GREENE: She's a hypocrite. She's anti-American. And we're going to kick that bitch out of Congress.
Greene would be the first full-throated QAnon supporter in Congress, and the media has already started normalizing her. She's simply representing her district.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) represents #MN05, a district that voted for Clinton 73%-18% in 2016. Marjorie Taylor Greene (… https://t.co/KLdcUutcdn— Dave Wasserman (@Dave Wasserman)1597198780.0
Dave Wasserman at the Cook Political Report was called out for “both sides-ing" Greene with Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. He insisted he was just “analyzing data," but Hillary Clinton isn't Donald Trump. Regardless of what you think of Omar's political views, they are at least tethered in reality. But the GOP is already latching on to the “Omar Defense." When asked for comment on Greene's victory, a communications director with the National Republican Congressional Committee said, "Have you asked every Democrat if they will support racist anti-Semite Ilhan Omar yet?"
So it begins.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."