Juan Williams: GOP cowers from QAnon

On “Fox News Sunday” recently, Chris Wallace asked me if seeing the Republican Party in “disarray” was “catnip” for me.

No, it is not. America needs two strong political parties.

{mosads}In fact, it pains me to see the cancerous gang of grifters, white supremacists and conspiracy-theory mad hatters who are killing the party of conservative principles.

Healing the GOP can only begin when someone begins confronting the radical fraud, I told Wallace.

The fraud inside the party begins with the 72 percent of Republicans, according to a Monmouth poll last week, who buy the big lie that Donald Trump won the election and Democrats stole it by fraud.

But that’s not all.

A YouGov poll taken earlier this month found that 30 percent of self-described Republicans have a favorable view of QAnon — the conspiracy theory that the world is secretly controlled by a cabal of satanic pedophiles.

QAnon’s adherents believe Trump was working to expose the satanists.

That thinking belongs in an insane asylum, not a major political party.

The YouGov poll was conducted after the Jan. 6 riot where QAnon supporters joined in an invasion of the U.S. Capitol.

Once relegated to the fringes of politics, QAnon now has two supporters in Congress, Reps. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

Both women were endorsed by Trump.

Separately, Trump has described QAnon followers as “people who love our country.”

To understand the poison in Trump’s words, take a look at Greene’s social media comments.

She liked a Facebook post that stated “a bullet to the head” would be the quickest way to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from office.

In a photo she posted for her campaign on Facebook, Green could be seen holding a gun next to images of three Democrats — Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

The threatening words and images prompted Pelosi to say last week the House needs added security for its members because “the enemy is within the House of Representatives. … We have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress.”

Greene was also seen on tape harassing David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting. At one point she tells him that she carries “a gun for protection.”

Incredibly, Greene has supported the conspiracy theory that the shooting at Hogg’s school, which resulted in 17 deaths, was staged.

She similarly argues that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 children and 6 adults were killed, was staged.

“What I’m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, who are willing to overlook, ignore those statements, assigning her to the Education Committee when she has mocked the killing of little children,” Pelosi said of Greene.

“What could they be thinking?” the Speaker added. “It is absolutely appalling.”

There are Republicans standing up to the madness.

After the violent attack on the Capitol by QAnon supporters and other extremists, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) wrote an essay for The Atlantic headlined, “QAnon is destroying the GOP from within.”

The radical violence against Congress was “the blossoming of a rotten seed that took root in the Republican Party some time ago and has been nourished by treachery, poor political judgment, and cowardice,” Sasse wrote.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel, a staunch defender of Trump, last week condemned QAnon as “dangerous” and “beyond fringe.”

QAnon has been a danger for some time.

In May 2019, the FBI labeled QAnon and other conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorist threat and warned:

“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve … occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts.”

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about domestic extremists “motivated by a range of issues,” including Biden’s win.

Boebert and Greene are among the 147 congressional Republicans — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States, citing bogus conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud.

The deranged thinking has infected Republicans beyond Capitol Hill.

Oregon’s Republican Party issued a statement calling the deadly violence at the Capitol earlier this month a “false flag operation”  something staged, just as Greene has said about the school shootings.

McCarthy, through a spokesperson, has said he plans to “talk” with Greene about her conspiracy theories.

{mossecondads}That’s not good enough.

I can’t help but wonder what is driving the deafening silence from GOP leadership.

It could well be fear of reprisals — political or physical violence from the QAnon crowd, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, all known to have had a role in the siege at the Capitol.

And it could be politics. There are no tests for sanity at the voting booth. Greene easily won her seat. Republican strategists might fear losing her supporters and the whole QAnon crowd in the 2022 elections.

But the party will be dead by then if the Republicans of sound mind don’t stand up right now.

The healing begins by expelling Greene from Congress.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ben Sasse Chris Wallace Conspiracy theories Donald Trump extreme right Ilhan Omar Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi QAnon Rashida Tlaib Republican Party

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