Are The Lunatics Now Running The Republican Party Insane Asylum?
Dustin Stockton, a Steve Bannon crony and one of the top coup organizers hasn't been arrested yet-- neither for his role in the insurrection nor for his role as VP of the scam operation "We Build the Wall"-- and is busy launching a cross-country "MAGA Sellout tour... a mission to defeat every Republican member of Congress who betrayed" Señor Trumpanzee-- so far targeting 13 Republicans. ABC News reported that "Stockton used some of the most incendiary language in the run-up to Jan. 6, at one point telling followers on a Facebook Live appearance to 'clean your guns and prepare. Things are going to get worse before they get better.' On a Facebook Live stream Wednesday night after the Capitol attack, Stockton appeared unrepentant, saying lawmakers were 'trying to certify a fraudulent election. I want to stand up against that,' he said. 'It's the whole reason I've been on this bus tour. That's the whole reason I've been organizing these events in D.C.'"
The MAGA Sellout tour, like everything Stockton touches, is primarily another way for him to squeeze money out of GOP suckers. So far he has publicly announced 5 Republican targets: Liz Cheney (R-WY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Tom Rice (R-SC), David Valadao (R-CA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). "To date we've identified 13 unlucky Republicans up for reelection in 2022 who MUST BE DEFEATED. We will be visiting each of their districts to recruit and vet primary challengers in the coming months... A well-armed and self-reliant populace, who take personal responsibility and put their faith in God, can never be oppressed and will never be ruled. It is the Tyrant's Curse. We are the Tyrant's Curse."
How do you think Trump dead-enders are going to feel about House Republicans stripping QAnon crackpot Marjorie Taylor Greene of one or both of her committee assignments? She got called into McCarthy's office last night for a two-hour tongue-lashing and he offered her three options:
denounce QAnon and publicly apologize for her whackadoodle statements (which has made her famous and brought her over a million dollars in contributions)
resign from both committees
face removal by the GOP
The meeting went badly and McCarthy called a late night meeting with the House Republican steering committee that designates committee assignments. According to Politico, they "agreed that a House vote on this issue would be catastrophic politically for their members who are already angry at being associated with Greene’s crazy statements. That must be avoided, they concurred. McCarthy told the room that he would speak with House Majoritry Leader Steny Hoyer to try to broker a deal. McCarthy would offer to remove Greene from one committee-- Education and Labor-- if Democrats back off a House floor vote to remove her from both... It's unclear whether Hoyer will go for this. The pressure on Democratic leaders to do something drastic to punish Greene is only increasing. McCarthy’s members also talked about re-appointing Greene to another committee Tuesday night, but that will never fly with Democrats."
Some participants in McCarthy's meeting with the steering committee "complained about how bad a precedent Democrats dictating GOP committee assignments sets-- and also expressed worry about Democrats making Greene a martyr with the Republican base when they just want her to go away.
She went bonkers on Twitter this morning:
Unless McCarthy acts first, the full House will vote tomorrow on a Debbie Wasserman Schultz resolution stripping her of both committee assignments. This morning, Adam Schiff, in an e-mail to his constituents, wrote that Greene is "an ardent Trump supporter, a QAnon conspiracy theorist, and… a newly elected Republican member of Congress from Georgia. It takes a lot to stand out as an extremist in Trump’s Republican Party, but Taylor Greene does just that. Not only does she repeat the same dangerous lies and conspiracy theories Trump pushed about the 2020 election, but she has a history of racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic statements, and calls for violence... [S]he has cheered for the mass execution of Democrats, including the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and has characterized the tragic mass shootings in Newtown, CT and Parkland, FL as staged or 'false flags.' This is what the Republican party has turned into, and the sad reality is we can’t ignore her and what she represents and hope it all goes away. Her heinous views have resulted in a rush of fundraising to her campaign from like-minded individuals, and Trump has called her a 'future Republican Star.' Instead of holding Greene accountable for her false and incendiary remarks, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy rewarded her with roles on the House Education & Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee. Yes, that means a person in denial of deadly mass shootings at schools will be making decisions on our children’s behalf. It’s truly astonishing and appalling. That’s why Democrats are introducing a resolution to remove Greene from her committee assignments."
But it isn't only Democrats denouncing Greene. This morning, CNN noted that Republican senators are piling on, following McConnell's "rare and strong rebuke against the controversial Georgia lawmaker, saying Monday that 'looney lies and conspiracy theories' are a 'cancer' to the GOP. [Greene responded on Twitter, calling McConnell the real cancer.]
One Republican senator went as far to say Tuesday that he'd have a "hard time" supporting Greene staying on the House Education and Labor Committee after she sided with the notion that the 2018 Parkland massacre was a "false flag" operation.
"Personally I'd have a hard time supporting, for example, her positions on the school shootings being staged and being on the Education Committee," North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer told CNN. "Real authority has moral authority."
"It's obviously concerning," added Republican Sen. John Hoeven, a Republican from North Dakota.
"I think our party has to make it very clear that she does not represent us in any way," said Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. "Our big tent is not large enough to both accommodate conservatives and kooks."
Greene responded to some of the criticism on Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.
"Too bad a few Republican Senators are obsessing over me, instead of preparing to defend President Trump from the rabid radical left," she wrote. "Focus on ending the witch hunt. Do your job!"
Florida's two Republican senators blasted Greene for agreeing on social media with a conspiracy theory that the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that killed 17 people was fake, or staged.
Anyone who argues the shooting was a false flag is "either deranged or a sadist," Sen. Marco Rubio said.
"Those were real families," he added. "Those were real children that died."
Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott called Greene's Parkland response "completely wrong and very disappointing."
"I was there right after the shooting. I met with the families and went to the funerals. ... I still stay close to those families," Scott said.
Several GOP senators raised serious concerns about the kinds of conspiracy theories Greene peddled as dangerous for the future of the GOP and the country.
"I can tell you about that general conspiracy theory stuff, over the top," Rubio said. "Some of those people, I don't know if they really believe it or just saying it to get noticed. Others might actually believe it and if they believe it or, either way, it's not good for the party. But it's also not good for the country."
How House Republican leaders end up deciding to deal with Greene will also "have an impact" on how people see the Republican party as a whole, Cramer said.
"I don't think very many Republicans at all would adhere to her philosophy, but the tent can only be so big. ... There has to be ... some sort of guardrails. I'm not in the House, I'm not a part of that leadership, but how they deal with her will have an impact on how people see the party, for sure," Cramer said when asked about ramifications for the party if the House GOP doesn't act.
Writing for the Washington Post this morning, Greg Sargent concluded that "the truth is unavoidable: Republicans have yet to offer a clear and unambiguous declaration that political violence is unacceptable and has no place in their ranks." This increasingly ugly mess around Greene, Lauren Boebert and Mad Cawthorn has even become news overseas, where people in other countries are shocked that American politics has devolved into this absurdity, even after Trump has been banished to Florida:
Adam Kinzinger, now in a full-on war with the Trumpist wing of the Republican Party says he wants Greene kicked off both her committees, telling his colleagues that they must "take a stand to disavow" her or suffer the consequences at the polls next year. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a written statement saying "We can either become a fringe party that never wins elections or rebuild the big tent party of Reagan. I urge congressional Republicans to make the right choice."
The first polling I've seen on Greene was released this week by Morning Consult. Although most people still hadn't heard of her or formed an opinion of her, her favorability is just 13%. Even among self-described conservatives her favorability only goes up to 18%.