It’s time to expel the Ku Klux Karens from the United States Congress
OPINION: The GOP has become an insurgency mixed with a white domestic terror cult that worships guns, money, lunacy, and above all, Donald Trump.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) recently revealed she is moving her office for the safety of her staff after she was harassed by QAnon conspiracy theorist and Trump cult member Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). This troubling incident is yet more proof that this unofficial, yet odious caucus of the Republican Party has to go — before somebody gets killed.
On Jan. 13, Greene reportedly came from behind Bush — a Black Lives Matter activist-turned-congresswoman from St. Louis — in a tunnel separating the Cannon Office Building from the Capitol Building. Maskless, as people of her ilk usually are, Greene was ranting loudly into her phone. The incident took place only a day after various members of Congress tested positive for COVID-19 after being holed up with mask-averse Republican “colleagues” during the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
During that infamous armed insurrection, Trump supporters, including Proud Boys, QAnon cultists, off-duty cops, enlisted military, veterans and others stormed the Capitol. Their goal was to take over the government for Trump and in the name of white supremacy, to Make America White Again. And the participants in the Trump-funded, produced and incited attack were aided by members of the U.S. House and Senate who falsely claimed the election was stolen, yet took an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution.
We will learn more about the role of members of Congress and the Senate in the deadly Capitol siege, but we know already that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said the Congress has an enemy within, with members of Congress escaping Capitol metal detectors, bringing their guns to the floor of the House and threatening violence against other members.
The QAnon conspiracy theorist from Georgia, who advocated for the assassination of prominent Democrats and argued “a bullet to the head would be quicker” to remove Pelosi, has made a host of remarks that reflect her extremism, racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism. For example, she said Muslims should not serve in government, and Blacks “are held slaves to the Democratic Party” and should be proud of Confederate monuments.
Further, Greene believes 911 and the school shootings at Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut were hoaxes and claims the California wildfires were caused by Jewish people with their space lasers.
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell called Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.” And the Republican Jewish Coalition condemned her and her language as “far outside the mainstream of the Republican Party.”
While it was proper and just to repudiate this woman, Greene is most certainly in the GOP mainstream. For those who have not noticed, including folks who enabled Trump for the past four years and supported his attempt at regime change, the Republican Party is a cancer that has had decades to metastasize.
A straight line connects the anti-civil rights presidential race of Barry Goldwater and the voter intimidation campaign against Black and Latino voters by William Rehnquist in the 1960s, the race-baiting Southern Strategy of Richard Nixon, the “welfare queen” and states’ rights campaign of Ronald Reagan, and the raw white nationalist message of Trump.
Now, the GOP has become an armed insurgency in full view, mixed with a white domestic terror cult that worships guns and white Jesus, money, lunacy, and above all, Donald Trump. Employing voter suppression and violence to maintain white minority rule, this Republican Party is fighting the Civil War all over again — and Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of its most loyal Confederate soldiers.
A House resolution would strip Greene of her committee assignments in the House Education & Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee, which the House GOP awarded her for her racist lunacy. But that is not enough, and Marjorie Taylor Greene is not alone. The House and Senate should remove Greene and others of her ilk for the danger they pose to the government, functioning democracy and Black people.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Madison Cawthorn join Greene to form an Anti-Squad. Boebert — a gun-rights activist who reportedly received her GED last year and makes Sarah Palin look like a genius — deserves expulsion for leading a large tour of the Capitol complex right before the attack, and tweeting Pelosi’s location during the attack.
Cawthorn, the youngest member of Congress, visited Hitler’s vacation home because it, as he said, “has been on my bucket list for awhile” and might give people the impression he is a Nazi. During the Capitol siege, lawmakers such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley did not feel safe in the presence of some of their fellow Republican legislators.
And an organizer of the “Stop the Steal” rally-turned-insurrection said he received help from Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Paul A. Gosar of Arizona.
On the Senate side, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri face calls to resign, and an ethics complaint accusing them of inciting violence by amplifying claims of election fraud in the 2020 election. They are supposed to know better because they are “smart” and went to elite Ivy League schools, we are told, as if evil people didn’t attend college.
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), whose claim to fame is being a mediocre college coach who believes the three branches of government are “the House, the Senate and executive,” met with Trump and his advisers the night before the Capitol attack, despite Tuberville’s denials.
White supremacy always results in death, and it is on full display in America. Now, even white lawmakers have learned they are not safe from it. Democrats should reject any idea that they can get along and work with these people, because there is no compromise with those who do not stand against democracy and refuse to stand against racism.
The reality is that these Republicans won’t resign, so they must be excised from the body politic to ensure the safety of Congress and give multiracial democracy a fighting chance. If we don’t make examples of them and hold them accountable, they will undermine any Democratic Party agenda of civil rights, equity and justice, return us to authoritarianism and take down as many people as they can.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove.
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