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Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Robin Abcarian: The GOP loves Marjorie Taylor Greene just the way she is

By Robin Abcarian Tribune News Service

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican conspiracy theorist from Georgia, told her House colleagues Thursday that she came by her wacko views honestly: It was Google that led her astray.

It wasn’t her fault she embraced a movement that believes Donald Trump was sent to Earth to save Americans from a cabal of child-eating, Satan-worshipping pedophiles who happen to be Democrats. Why would she have suspected those things weren’t true?

It wasn’t her fault she claimed mass school shootings were staged events, or that she physically harassed a teenage survivor of the Parkland, Florida, shooting, once calling him “#littleHitler.”

It wasn’t her fault she once described American Airlines Flight 77 on 9/11 as “the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon.”

It wasn’t her fault she “liked” a social media post calling for “a bullet to the head” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in January 2019. Or that she insinuated California wildfires were ignited by a space laser controlled by Jews.

“I started looking up things on the internet asking questions, like people do every day, use Google,” Greene explained. “The problem with that, though, is that I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true.”

This from the breakout star of the party of personal responsibility.

“I heard no apology,” said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

That’s because there wasn’t one.

“If this Congress is to tolerate members that condone riots, that have hurt American people, police officers, have occupied federal property, burned businesses in cities, but yet wants to condemn me – to crucify me in the public square for things I said and I regret a few years ago, then I think we are in a real big problem,” said Greene, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she could have been describing the Trump-loving loons who stormed the Capitol last month.

She went on to condemn abortion, transgender rights and “the media, which is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us.”

Greene’s fellow House members – or at least her Democratic colleagues together with 11 members of Greene’s party – didn’t buy her attempts to cast blame elsewhere. Despite her problems being everyone else’s fault, Greene was stripped of her assignments on the education and budget committees.

Perhaps the Republican members who voted against her were persuaded by a months-old post taken from Greene’s Facebook page that Hoyer had blown up to poster size.

It showed Greene, armed with an AR-15 pointing at the faces of three of the Democrats she now serves beside: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who, with Ayanna Presley of Massachusetts, dubbed themselves “The Squad” when they were first elected to Congress in 2018. Greene’s caption: “The Squad’s Worst Nightmare.”

“Here she is, armed with a deadly assault rifle, pointing it toward three Democratic members,” thundered Hoyer. “Indisputably, these are clear threats to incite political violence. When acquiescence to the suggestion that violence of any kind is allowed to go unchecked, it is a cancer that metastasizes on the body politic of our nation, as we saw on Jan. 6.”

Watching the House debate Greene’s fate was a bit like watching the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump; Republicans railed against the process, Democrats stuck to the facts. Republicans engaged in world class what-about-ism. Democrats kept the focus on Greene’s heinous behavior.

A floundering House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who never should have put Greene on the education committee given her disgusting treatment of school shooting victims and survivors, is hard to take seriously. McCarthy, you may recall, first said Trump bore responsibility for the violence of Jan. 6, then, not only backtracked, but demonstrated his fealty to Trump with a visit to Mar-a-Lago.

On Thursday, McCarthy could only hiss and spit at Democrats. He accused them of setting “a dangerous new standard,” of committing a “partisan power grab.”

He and other colleagues alluded repeatedly to statements by Democrats such as Omar, who tweeted in 2012 that Israel had “hypnotized” the world (she later “unequivocally” apologized).

“You’ll regret this,” McCarthy threatened. “And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

Au contraire, Kevin.

In the long run, the regret will accrue to the Republicans who have unleashed this farce on the Congress and the country. They have done it by embracing Trump’s lies, by pretending Trump won, by failing to tell the American people the truth, by trying to overturn the results of a free and fair election, by trying to manipulate election officials, by engaging in the extremist rhetoric that led to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection and by supporting the antics of their unspeakably wacky new colleague.

“I’ve been freed,” an unrepentant Greene told reporters Friday. Democrats, she tweeted, are “a bunch of morons … for giving someone like me free time. Oh this is going to be fun.”

Yeah, have fun out there with your wacko conspiracy friends, Ms. Greene. Better you should hang out with them than spend one single second working on issues that affect our children and their schools.

Robin Abcarian is an opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

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