The Slatest

Mitch McConnell Declares “Loony Lies and Conspiracy Theories” a “Cancer” on GOP

McConnell, wearing a mask, walks in a hallway
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As the Republican Party buckles under the weight of the reality-defying, logic-bending conspiracy theories being pushed by members of the party, Sen. Mitch McConnell at last weighed in Monday night to state the obvious: This is a problem. The biggest problem not named Trump, so far, is the past and present behavior of newly elected Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. There appears to be quite literally nothing so absurd that the Republican won’t believe it—and share “it” on social media. On Monday, McConnell declared the “loony lies and conspiracy theories,” which have come to define a new era of Republican politician in the Trump age, are a “cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”

Advertisement

The Senate minority leader did not mention Greene by name in his statement condemning the fabulist thinking of a growing number of Republicans, but it was clearly directed at the Greene wing of the party. “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,” McConnell said. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

If those wild conspiracies mentioned by the leader of the Republican Party sound familiar, that’s because they resemble the delusions pushed by Greene. Mass execution of Democrats? Check. “Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient,” Greene wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. “This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off.” Greene, like many far-right conspiracists, thinks everything is a “false flag”—in other words, some sort of covert operation to make everyone respond or think the opposite of what is truly at play. Mass school shootings? Staged, false flag. Just the left trying to take away freedom and restrict gun ownership. She has even harassed a teenage victim of the Parkland shooting, David Hogg. In Greene’s head, nothing is as it seems and everyone is guilty of all-caps TREASON. And then there are the space lasers.

Advertisement

Life is certainly more exciting in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s head, but she isn’t your kooky neighbor—she’s a member of Congress. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has tiptoed around the problem, which isn’t confined to Greene, mostly because it’s still Trump’s party and Donald “Supposing You Brought the Light Inside the Body” Trump absolutely eats this stuff up. There have been calls from the more sane end of the GOP pool that Greene be stripped of her committee assignments. “The comments that are being put forward by Marjorie Taylor Greene are atrocious,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel told the New York Times. “They need to be condemned. They are violent, they are inaccurate—they are very, very dangerous.”

Greene, always thinking, offered her own zing-response to McConnell on Twitter. “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully,” she tweeted. “This is why we are losing our country.”

You’re losing what now?

Advertisement