The last week has seen Greene take a front-and-center seat (literally) as McCarthy unveiled the party's latest substance-free mini-pamphlet purporting to be a policy agenda, and has seen Republicans clam up even as Greene again elevated calls for violence by feverishly telling a Trump rally crowd that "Democrats want Republicans dead, and they've already started the killings."
Greene has become a prominent fixture in Trump's recent "Save America" rallies, trading her tour with sex trafficker Matt Gaetz for one that partners her with coup orchestrator Donald Trump. That tour has been a relentless assault of Republican racism, sedition-backing, and party-backed hoaxes. Trump and Kevin McCarthy have come to apparent agreement on who should represent the party as the midterms draw near, highlighting their most extreme members to screech out the party id and rile conspiracy-addled crowds.
Greene isn't moderating her conspiracy rhetoric. A day after Republican Tommy Tuberville told a crowd of Nevada Trump-backers that Black Americans "want reparations" because "they think the people that do the crime are owed that!", Greene followed up at the next rally with longtime white nationalist conspiracies targeting immigrants.
Echoing the "great replacement" theories of neo-Nazi groups, Greene claimed that "illegal aliens are on the verge of replacing you, your jobs, and your kids in school. Coming from all over the world, they’re also replacing your culture."
There is a pattern to these Republican claims, and it is a familiar one in fascist and white supremacist circles. This is rhetoric meant to justify extermination.
Greene's earlier claims that Democrats had "already started the killings" of Republicans, Tuberville's assertions that Black Americans "do the crime," and Greene's claim that "illegal aliens" are "on the verge of replacing you" are all conspiracies aimed at rallying the listening crowd to support urgent, extreme action against the targets as supposed means of self-defense. It is a consistent way to provoke violence against the named targets, as was demonstrated by terrorists in El Paso, New Zealand, and elsewhere.
White conservatives are not merely being asked to share power with hated enemies; those enemies are engaged in a campaign to exterminate them. In the face of that danger, a democracy-ending coup is seen as not just rational but patriotic. In the face of that danger, the rule of law is taken as an intolerable restraint.
In the same speech, Greene again issued demands to impeach Joe Biden, who the Republican crowd believes is not the "legitimate" president; Merrick Garland, the attorney general who has oversight of Justice Department investigations into Trump's theft of national security documents and his provocation of violent coup; and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, presumably for not taking an extremist stance against refugees. The conspiracy hoaxes peddled by Greene, Trump, and others are intended to justify violence and lawbreaking in order to protect the right of the nationalist right to commit violence and break laws. Retaliation against those who refuse to bend the law to their whim is high on the agenda.
The days of Greene being shunned for peddling violence-provoking hoaxes and actual acts of sedition are over, if any such days existed. McCarthy has been dogged in backing anyone who will back his own political ambitions, regardless of their scandals, even as Republican allies sabotage other extremists who have not.
McCarthy may have been genuinely terrified as he called Trump to beg for help during the Jan. 6 coup attempt, but slid into the seditionists' corner the moment the immediate danger had passed. The party's leadership is now promoting both Greene and the only American president in history to attempt a genuine coup. It is a fascist party. Redemption isn't coming.
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Marjorie Taylor Greene did what Marjorie Taylor Greene often does: Put Americans at risk
Republicans lean into racism, fascism, and glorification of sedition in weekend Nevada rally
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Yes, the polls still matter! On The Downballot, The Economist's G. Elliott Morris joins us to discuss his new book on polling, Strength in Numbers, including the early history of polling in the form of 19th-century straw polls; how we can be smart consumers of polls by placing their uncertainty in context; and the surprises that have stood out in his new model forecasting the 2022 midterms.
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