The newly elected Qanon congresswoman isn't an aberration, according to MSNBC's John Heilemann -- she represents the direction the Republican Party is headed after Donald Trump.
"Morning Joe" spent Friday morning on what the party will do with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), whose past statements and social media posts show belief in bizarre conspiracy theories, violent threats against elected Democrats and stalking a teenage survivor of the Parkland school massacre.
"You used a phrase just now that is the most important phrase: bug or feature?" Heilemann said. "You're asking me, in some ways, the wrong question. Kevin McCarthy -- we're focused on Marjorie Taylor Greene -- she's obviously a monster, but she is just the most extreme symptom of what it is that animates the Republican Party now. Kevin McCarthy is not -- there's not a wakeup call. Kevin McCarthy is not just not acting, he's not just tolerating her. He is, by not acting and tolerating her, he is embracing her. This is the spirit, the energy of the Republican base that Kevin McCarthy and other leaders of the Republican Party, that is the heart and soul, they believe, of the Republican Party."
GOP leadership embraces right-wing conspiracists because that's who makes up the base of the party after Donald Trump's presidency.
"The political calculus now is that the party needs that energy," Heilemann said. "They would be repudiating too much of the party. It's not like something is going to happen -- Jan. 6 happened. Kevin McCarthy got up on the floor and said Donald Trump was responsible for this, Donald Trump needs to take responsibility of this. Now we are three weeks later, and he's down at Mar-A-Lago saying, embrace Donald Trump. It's the same thing. This isn't like there's a wakeup call that is going to come. The wakeup call has come, it's been walked past."
"That moment has passed," he added. "The moment for possible change has not only passed without some reformation or some wakeup call, [saying] we all have to change, we have to figure out a way to get to grips and reform the party. The water is out of control, it's dangerous. There are conspiracy theorists among us, armed insurrectionists among us. They have seen the chasm of hell and said, we're going in, we're not going to try to avoid it."
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