Axios has a small squib about “The Mischief Makers,” a handful of idiosyncratic congressional backbenchers who make trouble for their respective party leadership. The leading Democratic mischief-maker is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who advocates some left-wing views I consider simplistic and impractical and, in some cases, poll badly. The top example of a conservative mischief-maker, presented in perfect symmetry, is Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Greene’s views are just a bit more controversial. They include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
• The QAnon conspiracy theory, which holds that Donald Trump is secretly fighting a worldwide child-sex-slavery ring that was supposed to culminate in the mass arrest of his political opposition, is “worth listening to.”
• Muslims don’t belong in government.
• 9/11 was an inside job.
• Shootings at Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Las Vegas were staged.
• “Zionist supremacists” are secretly masterminding Muslim immigration to Europe in a scheme to outbreed white people.
• Leading Democratic officials should be executed.
The most recent Greene view to be unearthed comes via Eric Hananoki. Just over two years ago, Greene suggested in a Facebook post that wildfires in California were not natural. Forests don’t just catch fire, you know. Rather, the blazes had been started by PG&E, in conjunction with the Rothschilds, using a space laser, in order to clear room for a high-speed rail project. Here is Greene’s entire post, via Media Matters:
The Rothschild family has featured heavily in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories since at least the 19th century. Anti-Semites have generally updated the theory by replacing the Rothschilds with George Soros, a more contemporary and plausible-seeming mastermind for a global conspiracy to spread left-wing ideology. Greene’s version has instead updated the theory by giving the Rothschilds possession of a secret, powerful space laser.
Now, you might wonder why, if an international cabal of Jewish bankers wanted to finance a rail project, they would go about it by using their space lasers to set a catastrophic blaze. Aren’t there easier ways to get your rail stations approved by the state legislature? If you can pull off a massive conspiracy like that and keep it quiet, and you have a space laser you can use to immolate basically any target on Earth, there have to be more direct profit-making opportunities than burning down trees in order to arbitrage the land value for a public-transit contract.
You’re probably not going to get Greene’s answer, though, because the last news crew that showed up at one of her events was threatened with arrest by the local sheriff.
Anyway, it is true that Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez play equivalent roles within their respective parties. MTG holds down her party’s right flank, and AOC holds down her party’s left flank. You can somewhat deduce the corresponding beliefs of the two parties’ mainstream contingents by moving somewhat to the center of each. Most Democrats are skeptical of defunding the police and question the feasibility of transitioning to a state-run health-care system. Most Republicans are probably quite skeptical that the California wildfires were intentionally set by a Jewish space laser.
The thing is, you can be much more moderate than MTG, and still be extremely crazy.