Some of the party’s elite may be belatedly awakening to the costs of their cynical choices, but others are doubling down

That someone is ludicrous doesn’t stop them being dangerous, as Donald Trump and now Marjorie Taylor Greene have demonstrated. The new Georgia congresswoman has not only repeatedly spread racist and antisemitic statements; she has suggested a Jewish banking family might have been involved in starting wildfires with “space lasers”, repeatedly endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories and questioned whether the Pentagon was attacked on 9/11. Her views are no less poisonous and extremist for being so bizarre.

The most frightening and extraordinary thing about her, however, is that she is now welcome at the heart of the Republican party. Though Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, has described her “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as “a cancer for the Republican party”, his diagnosis comes much too late. Kevin McCarthy, his counterpart in the House, boasts of a “big tent” – so large that it now includes those who have supported the killing of political opponents. It took Democrats to strip Ms Greene of her committee positions via a House vote on Thursday, an unprecedented move that should never have been necessary. They are happy to seize the opportunity to portray the GOP as Ms Greene’s party. But they are not so wrong to do so.

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