According to the Washington Post's Dana Millbank, the leadership of the Republican Party would like to see Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) go away so they won't have to answer for his almost daily antics including repeatedly being stopped for speeding while driving on an expired license to trying to take guns on planes to blurting out stories about drug-fueled conservative orgies in Washington D.C.
As the longtime political observer notes, even if voters in Cawthorn's district oust him -- there will be more Cawthorn's coming down the pike in the upcoming midterm election and elections beyond November.
With Cawthorn vying for media attention with fellow freshman House members Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, Millbank suggested that North Carolina Republican's extracurricular activities are proving to be more than mainstream lawmakers are willing to put up with.
However, those same lawmakers are the same ones who not only made a "monster" like Cawthorn possible in the first place but eased the path to him winning in 2020.
"Ousting Cawthorn in his May primary won’t cure this Republican illness; the North Carolina congressman is just a symptom," the Washington Post columnist wrote. "More than 50 QAnon believers have run for Congress as Republicans in 2022, the liberal watchdog Media Matters reports. Several who participated in the events of Jan. 6, 2021, have run for Congress. If Republicans succeed in taking the House in November, the new majority could make the current Congress — with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert and the rest — look like Periclean Athens."
The reason for the rise of what a "Morning Joe" panel on Friday called the "lunatic fringe" taking over the party, is a culmination of years of increasingly incendiary rhetoric along with changes at the state level where gerrymandering has created unassailable GOP districts, Millbank said.
"Cawthorn and the many rising oddballs and extremists are the inevitable result of Republican leaders’ choices: drawing increasingly uncompetitive districts, blessing unlimited dark money, exercising timid leadership, embracing disinformation, flirting with white nationalism, stoking conspiracies and undermining elections," he wrote.
The columnist claims the North Carolina Republican understood the prevailing winds and took advantage of it as far back as 2015 when he told a newspaper, "I absolutely will run for Congress," with Millbank pointedly adding, "And so he did, on the basis of audacious lies and winks at white nationalists."
Listing off a varied selection of controversies Cawthorn has enmeshed himself in -- including accusations of sexual improprieties -- the Washington Post columnist claimed Republicans still haven't learned their lesson with some GOP leaders backing his re-election because he received the nod from former president Donald Trump.
As he put it: "Now that their young gun is going off half-cocked, Republicans have only themselves to blame."