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Will House Republicans do what is right with Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Will House Republicans do what is right with Marjorie Taylor Greene?
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The other day, a few prominent Jewish banking families and I were aiming our space lasers on California to ignite a wildfire, when we heard that the Georgia lawmaker who helped to uncover our sinister plot might lose her committee assignments in Congress. That is fine with us. We do not want Representative Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP efforts to downplay danger of Capitol riot increase The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's meeting with Trump 'soon' in Florida MORE on the House Budget Committee, where she could see slush funds for the Deep State Interagency Working Group and the Democratic Caucus of the Satanic Followers.

Congress has added its share of bigots, miscreants, and conspiracists to our history, but the not so gentlewoman from Georgia certainly deserves her own caucus. This week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy must determine with her fate. House Democrats have delivered an ultimatum that he must either remove her from her committee assignments or they will bring the matter to the floor. So let us remind House Republicans of her own destructive contributions to the national discourse.

Greene supported public calls for the execution of Democrats and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents. She doubted whether a plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. Her online posts have included absurd lines such as “Democratic Party involved with child sex, satanism, and the occult.” She claimed that the gruesome school shootings were “false flag” operations meant to advance gun control laws. She endorsed the story that a Jewish banking family used lasers to ignite a wildfire in California. She peddles in racist hate speech. She has incited violence and stated that “the only way you get your freedoms back is earned with the price of blood.”

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Now that her litany of lunacy was uncovered, Greene tries to swallow some of her bitter words. She claims she did not really say such things and the people who run her social media posted them. She wants us to believe she has chosen a different path. But she was caught in the act. McCarthy, who raced down to Florida last weekend to provide words of affirmation to Donald Trump, has been forced to rebuke her, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country.” 

Democrats have proposed a variety of actions, including an expulsion of Greene from the House. Just five House members have been expelled in history. There were three who had joined the Confederacy, one who was convicted of bribery in a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation Abscam, and one convicted of ten counts, including bribery, tax evasion, racketeering, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to defraud.

There are other actions. In 1832, Representative William Stanbery was censured by Congress for insulting the House Speaker, which appears almost picayune when compared to endorsing an assassination of one. Representative Robert Dornan was formally reprimanded for accusing President Clinton of giving “aid and comfort to the enemy” during the Vietnam War. Greene, on the other hand, actually offered that aid and comfort to the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol, built gallows, and tried to crush our democracy during the riots last month.

The focus is on removing Greene from the House Education and Labor Committee as well as the House Budget Committee. The pressure is to render her ineffectual in the fringes of Congress. But I still wonder if it would be enough. History is filled with demons who were rebuked and mocked. Their primal hatred, however, proved more difficult to contain. Their conspiracy theories found receptive audiences. Such cancer, as McConnell described it, became malignant and consuming.

In a sense, Greene is insignificant. It is not her standing in Congress that should concern us, but where her party stands on racism, antisemitism, and islamophobia. Forget whether she is welcome. There is a more vital issue. Will House Republicans become home to such haters?

Steve Israel represented New York in the House over eight terms and was chairman with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011 to 2015. He is now the director of the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. You can follow his updates @RepSteveIsrael.