Press: GOP freak show: Who's in charge?

The law of averages prevails. Put 435 people together, anytime, anywhere in the country, and you’re bound to have a handful of misfits – even if those 435 people also happen to be elected members of Congress.

Nevertheless, what’s stunning today, among Republican members of Congress, is how many misfits there are and how much they’re allowed to get away with. In fact, looking at the House Republican caucus, it’s no exaggeration to say that inmates have taken over the asylum. Every week we see actions by certain Republicans that are more and more troubling.

Last week marked a new low when Rep. Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertGOP Reps. Greene, Clyde accrue nearly 0K in combined mask fines Rand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Top House Democrat pushes for 'isolation boxes' for maskless lawmakers MORE (R-Colo.), who repeatedly refers to the progressive “squad” as the “jihad squad,” expressed her fear that Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSenate needs to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism envoy — Now Overnight Defense & National Security — DOD watchdog to review extremism screening Omar calls for closure of Guantánamo Bay prison after 20 years of 'lawlessness and cruelty' MORE (D-Minn.), a Muslim, might be a suicide bomber. Then, she said, she realized “She doesn’t have a backpack, she wasn’t dropping it and running, so we’re good.”


Boebert, who first gained notoriety by insisting, unsuccessfully, on carrying a gun on the House floor, is also one of four Republican members of Congress – together with Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGallego on Jan. 6 rioters: 'F--- them' The Hill's Morning Report - For Biden, it goes from bad to worse Gaetz ex testified to federal grand jury in sex crimes investigation MORE (Fla.), Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarLawmakers coming under increased threats — sometimes from one another McCarthy says he'll strip Dems of committee slots if GOP wins House Should we expand the House of Representatives? The Founders thought so MORE (Ariz.), and Madison Cawthorne (N.C.) – who offered a congressional internship to Kyle Rittenhouse.

Gosar, of course, exhibited his own violent instincts by recently posting an anime video in which he killed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLouisiana Rep. Troy Carter announces positive COVID-19 test Joining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Schumer prepares for Senate floor showdown with Manchin, Sinema MORE (D-N.Y.) and attacked President BidenJoe BidenBiden says he didn't 'overpromise' Finland PM pledges 'extremely tough' sanctions should Russia invade Ukraine Russia: Nothing less than NATO expansion ban is acceptable MORE with a pair of shears – all in good humor, he insisted. After a “conversation” with Republican Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE (Calif.), Gosar took down the video – only to repost it a few days later.

Gaetz took things a step further. One day after a gunman killed nine people in San Jose, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Gaetz urged supporters to take up arms against Silicon Valley executives. Attacking what he called “the internet’s hall monitors out in Silicon Valley,” Gaetz told a rally in Dalton, Ga.: “We have a Second Amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it.”

Perhaps the nuttiest of all is Rep. 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 (R-Ga.). Still a member of Congress, despite having once endorsed violence against Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Momentum builds to prohibit lawmakers from trading stocks MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Biden nominates Jane Hartley as ambassador to UK To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill MORE, insisting an airplane never hit the Pentagon on Sept. 11 and alleging that a space laser started last year’s California wildfires to benefit a Jewish bank (?), Greene’s now engaged in a bizarre feud with fellow Republican Rep. Nancy MaceNancy MaceProtecting seniors from guardianship fraud and abuse House Democratic conference postponed due to COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Biden to make voting rights play in Atlanta MORE (S.C.), whom she called “the trash in the GOP conference.” Mace responded to Greene on Twitter with three emoji: bat, poop, and clown.

To which list of misfits, now add Kentucky’s Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieGOP Reps. Greene, Clyde accrue nearly 0K in combined mask fines Top House Democrat pushes for 'isolation boxes' for maskless lawmakers Congress restores strict health protocols during omicron-fueled surge MORE, who – just days after a Michigan teenager shot and killed four fellow students at Oxford High School – released his Christmas card showing him and six family members in front of their Christmas tree. But, instead of a family pet or wrapped presents, all seven of them, including one clearly underage daughter, are brandishing a long gun, along with the greeting: “Merry Christmas! Ps. Santa, please bring ammo.” For bad timing and bad taste, Massie wins the prize.


Such improper, even dangerous, behavior by so many House Republicans is bad enough. What makes it far worse is that the one person, who could and should exercise a little discipline, is missing in action. To this date, Leader McCarthy has neither condemned any of this outrageous behavior nor taken corrective action.

It’s not a question of politics. It’s a question of good manners. Bad behavior we would never tolerate by any teenager is not acceptable for members of Congress, either.


Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.