GOP on Verge of Becoming GQP

With news that House Republicans may not expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from 2 House committees, the GOP—perhaps now the #GQP—may ring a bell it can't unring.

{Update: It now appears that, instead of taking decisive action against Greene, House Republicans will attempt to start a tit-for-tat war with House Democrats by trying to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from all her committee assignments on the basis of prior, already apologized-for statements made by her that are less than one-fiftieth as controversial as those made by Greene. This should be taken as an indication that the GOP takes no responsibility for the actions of its caucus members, and must indeed be deemed the #GQP going forward, as suggested by the article below. As of 4:30PM on February 3, the House GOP caucus is meeting to decide both what to do with Greene and whether to remove Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming—the number-three in the Republican caucus—should be removed from her leadership role in the basis of her earlier vote to impeach Donald Trump for incitement to insurrection.}

#GQP.

That might be the new social media hash-tag denoting Donald Trump’s Republican Party if it doesn’t immediately reverse course on a contentious issue receiving major national attention.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last night met one-on-one with QAnon conspiracy theorist and freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Almost a week ago, it was revealed that Greene had posted on social media, prior to her election, messages that advocated the assassination of members of Congress as well as members of law enforcement.

McCarthy did not remove Greene from her two House committee assignments (the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee) during or immediately after his meeting with her—despite the fact that the GOP leadership in the House first learned of her obscene social media posts last week.

After his meeting with Greene, McCarthy met with other House GOP leaders; neither he nor any member of the leadership team moved to remove Greene from her current two committee assignments during or immediately after that meeting.

Now a report says McCarthy is “leaning” toward removing Greene from one of her two committee assignments—which, even if it happens, may not be a sufficient response to her public statements (see below).

Politico reports that McCarthy gave Greene three options at their one-on-one meeting: (1) denounce QAnon and apologize publicly; (2) agree to leave one of her committee assignments; or (3) be removed from one such assignment by a vote of the House GOP caucus. Per the digital media outlet, it now seems clear the meeting “did not go well”, given the immediate follow-up meeting of House leaders that it necessitated. Politico writes that McCarthy will now try to negotiate with the Democrats removing Greene from just one of her committee assignments in order to avoid a full House vote to take her off both her committee assignments, which vote Democrats would undoubtedly win—yet it’s unclear whether McCarthy even has sufficient control of his caucus on the QAnon question right now to ensure he can make such a deal with the Democrats’ chief negotiator, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland (a member of the House Democratic leadership).

{Note: CNN reported live on-air, at 4PM on February 3 via Jake Tapper, that Greene told McCarthy at their one-on-one meeting that she would not apologize for any of her past statements.}

The infamy of McCarthy’s inaction is compounded by the fact that he took his time even addressing this issue at all, first announcing he would meet with Greene back on January 29 and then not doing so for several days. It’s further compounded by the fact that Greene was at first allowed to offer a one-time pay-off of $175,000 to GOP coffers to try to make things right. Only national outcry pushed the matter to one meeting—then two—at which (and then after which) McCarthy and his leadership team took no action against Greene whatsoever. Per Politico, House Republicans are currently still “punting” the decision on whether to punish Greene “despite huddling for over an hour Tuesday”; the outlet writes that they “are worried if McCarthy or Dems take action against Greene, she will grow more powerful—in her home district and nationally. And on the other hand, the GOP will be viewed as accepting her behavior if they do nothing.” Indeed, doing nothing under a claim that doing something would be worse is unlikely to relieve the GOP of what now seems increasingly likely to be its fate—attachment, in the public consciousness, to a rising national scourge: QAnon.

All of this is further complicated by the fact that Greene tweeted on January 30 that she’d spoken to the nominal leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, and had his “support.” Hours earlier, McCarthy had flown to Mar-a-Lago to kiss Trump’s ring.

All of the foregoing occurs despite the fact that House Democrats have said they will act on Thursday to expel Greene from the House Education and Labor Committee. Greene’s presence on that particular committee is justly considered obscene by the survivors, victims, and families connected to the various deadly school shootings that Greene has publicly insisted never happened (see below).

Perhaps this is why a Washington Post oped just argued that the GOP’s QAnon problem is “spinning out of control.” Even a member of Senate GOP leadership, John Thune of South Dakota, now says that Republicans must decide if “they want to be the party of limited government and fiscal responsibility, free markets, peace through strength and pro-life—or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon?”

To recap some of the things Marjorie Taylor Greene believes or claims to believe:

  • Wildfires are caused by space lasers controlled by powerful Jews;

  • the Parkland and Sandy Hook school shootings were “false flag” operations that used “crisis actors”;

  • September 11, 2001 was an inside job—as proven by the fact that no plane ever hit the Pentagon (note: a plane hit the Pentagon);

  • members of Congress and certain members of law enforcement deserve to be assassinated;

  • members of Congress are not valid members of Congress unless they’re sworn in on a Bible, and the 2018 midterms should be regarded as an “Islamic invasion”;

  • the Las Vegas mass shooting was a government-run operation aimed at curtailing Second Amendment rights;

  • Bill and Hillary Clinton are serial murders who have an active “kill list”;

  • DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered by the Democratic Party to keep him quiet;

  • Holocaust survivor George Soros is actually a secret Nazi;

  • Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the United States government;

  • Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should, per Greene, both be hung;

  • Hillary Clinton is a Satan-worshipping pedophilic cannibal;

  • Barack Obama is a secret Muslim;

  • Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg deserves to be stalked and harassed because he is a “coward” controlled by a global, Soros-run Jewish cabal;

  • She introduced Articles of Impeachment against Joe Biden on the first day of his presidency, basing her filing in part on what is now universally accepted as Russian disinformation; and

  • in 2019, Greene organized a march on the U.S. Capitol that she said would “flood the Capitol” as a means of intimidating a “tyrannical” Congress—a course of action that mirrors perfectly the events of Insurrection Day (January 6, 2021).

Vice has the full list of Greene’s obscene—and publicly expressed—viewpoints here. There is either video or social media postings of all the viewpoints in question, rendering nonsensical a recent claim by Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that he needs to talk to Greene personally to see if the comments attributed to her are “real.” Graham’s reaction—dishonest as it is—is significant because it may be taken by many House Republicans as a proxy for the position of Graham’s longtime golf buddy, Trump.

What’s become clear over the last 24 hours is that coddling insurrectionists like Trump and Michael Flynn is only one of the Republicans’ many current problems. Another is the separate and distinct one discussed here: that the party may well be just hours from becoming known in the United States as #GQP—the “safe harbor” in American politics for the most grotesque “movement” of conspiracy theorists this nation has seen since the KKK reached its heyday in the 1920s. That’s a bell that can’t be unrung.

The clock is now ticking for McCarthy and House leaders to take conclusive action—and incredibly, virtually no one in DC seems to believe they will do the right thing.