It took a while for the Associated Press to call it, likely because a voting-machine glitch led a state judge to order a two-hour delay in the poll closing time in GOP primary candidate John Cowan’s home county. But Marjorie Taylor Greene defeated Cowan handily in the Republican runoff for a safe-red House seat in northwest Georgia, and she’s very likely on her way to Congress where she will help fill the niche long held by Iowa’s Steve King, who lost his primary last month after many years of racist provocations.
To be sure, Greene isn’t the only big-time QAnon supporter in or running for Congress; Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, who knocked off an incumbent congressman in a GOP primary in June, is her Rocky Mountain doppelgänger in many respects. But Greene may be the most fervent conspiracy theorist, calling QAnon “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out.” And she’s hardly the only racist or Islamophobe, though the treasure trove of Facebook rants — whose exposure by Politico led many Republican-elected officials to come out against her — are pretty raw:
In recordings obtained by POLITICO, Greene described Islamic nations under Sharia law as places where men have sex with “little boys, little girls, multiple women” and “marry their sisters” and “their cousins.” She suggested the 2018 midterms — which ushered in the most diverse class of House freshmen — was part of “an Islamic invasion of our government” and that “anyone that is a Muslim that believes in Sharia law does not belong in our government.”
In other videos, she directly compared Black Lives Matter activists to the neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who marched at a white nationalist rally three years ago in Charlottesville, Va., denouncing them all as “idiots.” And Greene forcefully rejected the notion there are racial disparities in the U.S. or that skin color affects the “quality” of one’s life …
“The most mistreated group of people in the United States today are white males,” Greene said as she wrapped up one of the videos.
Greene’s ads have been wild, even for Georgia, and typically feature her brandishing an AR-15 and warning antifa and socialists to “stay out of northwest Georgia,” as though these fearsome figures of the rural imagination were readying an assault on the mountains and red clay hills of the 14th Congressional District.
Cowan, who was endorsed by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise who found Greene’s videos “disgusting,” tried to move to the narrow ground to his opponent’s right, swaggering around in what looked to be a Border Patrol uniform and accusing Greene of employing undocumented migrants at the construction business she co-owns with her husband (who can be seen in at least one of her ads skulking with a handgun on his hip). Scalise’s boss Kevin McCarthy remained conspicuously neutral in the primary, so it’s very likely House Republicans will make their peace with Greene and perhaps convince her to put down her shooting irons.
But don’t count on it. The near congresswoman-elect — who carried her bags of money and fever-swamp views from an earlier candidacy in the suburban Atlanta Sixth District (where former incumbent Karen Handel was running) to her newly beloved northwest Georgia when incumbent Tom Graves unexpectedly retired — has probably found the right pocket of red America where it’s hard to be too extreme. In the adjacent Ninth Congressional District, gun dealer and anti-IRS crusader Andrew Clyde defeated Ron Paul disciple and white-supremacist suspect Matt Gurtler in another runoff for another safe Republican seat. In north Georgia it’s not enough to worship Trump like a heathen idol and eschew masks and refuse to appear in public without lethal weaponry trained on one’s fellow citizens. You need to really mean the crazy. And Marjorie Greene does.