QAnon congresswoman already a dark cloud over GOP midterm campaigns

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A new Democratic ad campaign ties House Republicans in competitive districts to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the conspiracy theorists who waged the deadly Capitol insurrection.

A new Democratic ad campaign is seeking to hang embattled Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) around the necks of vulnerable House Republicans, saying those GOP lawmakers stand not with average Americans but rather with Greene and the dangerous QAnon conspiracy theory supported by many of the insurrectionists who waged the terror attack at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

The ad campaign — launched by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps elect Democrats to the House — targets eight House Republicans, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

The ad — targeted at McCarthy and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Young Kim of California, Michelle Steel of California, Mike Garcia of California, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida — features the same text, but changes the name for each member of Congress.

QAnon: A conspiracy theory born online. Took over the Republican Party; sent followers to Congress; and with Donald Trump, incited a mob that attacked the Capitol, and murdered a cop. Then Trump and Republicans in Congress sided with the violent QAnon mob. Congressman Mike Garcia should have stood with us. But he was a coward. He voted to protect Trump. Congressman Mike Garcia. He stood with Q, not you."

The ad flashes images of Greene as well as Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) — another freshman House Republican and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was a vocal figure in pushing the stolen election lie that helped incite the insurrection.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney said in a statement:

Washington Republicans have made their choice — they chose to cave to the murderous QAnon mob that has taken over their party. Washington Republicans are trying to have it both ways — refusing to hold those responsible for the attack on the Capitol accountable, offering nothing but empty words after years of hyping up lies and conspiracy theories. There is no middle ground, but their actions have made one thing clear — no American will be safe from the QAnon mob if Washington Republicans are in power.

The ad campaign comes as Republicans are being forced to deal with Greene, after past comments she made in recent years were unearthed by CNN and Media Matters for America.

CNN found social media posts in which Greene called for the execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while MMFA unearthed comments in which Greene said deadly mass shootings at schools in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, were just "false flag" operations meant to build support for gun control. MMFA also found a Facebook post in which Greene said a deadly wildfire in California was caused by a space laser owned by Jewish billionaires who are often at the heart of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Few Republicans have condemned Greene, with some — like Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel — saying they do not support Greene's ouster.

However, on Monday night, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out against her, becoming the most high-profile Republican to criticize Greene and warn of the perils she poses to the GOP.

"Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country," McConnell said in a statement Monday night. "Somebody who's suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.'s airplane is not living in reality."

McCarthy is reportedly set to meet with Greene this week, though it's unclear whether he will punish Greene at all. Greene claims to have the support of Donald Trump, which puts McCarthy in the position of siding against the man who still appears to have control over the GOP.

House Democrats, for their part, have given McCarthy an ultimatum, saying that if he does not remove Greene from her committees, Democrats will do it themselves. A vote to remove her from her committees is reportedly planned for later this week. Democrats have also introduced legislation to expel Greene from Congress.

Ultimately, this ad campaign is the first sign that Democrats are going to use Greene and other Republican conspiracy theorists in Congress as an issue in the 2022 midterms.

It ups the stakes for Republicans if Democrats put the expulsion bill up for a vote, forcing GOP lawmakers to either stand with Greene or vote against her. Whether Republicans stand with her could come up in campaign ads down the road.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.