At least 50 House Democrats have called for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s expulsion from Congress for her alleged embracing of QAnon conspiracy theories. PJM’s Tyler O’Neil recently called on conservatives and Republicans “to condemn Greene’s previous statements on social media and demand an explanation for them.”
I’m not here to condone anything she has said in the past. The problem is that unless those calling for her to be removed from office apply the same standard amongst Democrats, you won’t get me to endorse any punitive action against her. Some of her allegedly violent rhetoric isn’t all that dissimilar to the rhetoric we’ve heard from Democrats about Trump. Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) accused Trump of committing “innumerable crimes against the United States,” including “treason.” Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) accused Trump of treason over the debunked Russian bounties story. Many other Democrats, including pundits, activists, and the media, have accused Trump of treason for various things. Death is, by federal law, an accepted punishment for treason.
But forget that, I could pick a Democrat in Congress at random and find something repulsive about him or her that has equal if not more justification for their removal. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s views on 9/11 and her blatant anti-Semitism, in particular, come to mind. And how many times was Ted Kennedy reelected to the U.S. Senate after killing a woman?
But I digress. Violent rhetoric from the left is a topic for another time. As for Marjorie Taylor Greene’s embrace of conspiracy theories, Democrat “outrage” aimed at her is the epitome of hypocrisy. Democrats have plenty of conspiracy theorists amongst their ranks that somehow never get called out by their own party or the media. Truth be told, the entire Democratic Party is guilty of pushing the conspiracy theory that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, but here are four Democrats who specifically deserve to be denounced for spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories.
4. Rep. Maxine Waters
Maxine Waters’s status as a kook is hardly a secret. As Larry Elder recently wrote, Waters “falsely blames President Ronald Reagan’s CIA for playing a major role in the urban crack-cocaine epidemic. Waters even wrote a foreword for a book called ‘Dark Alliance,’ that made this sensational claim.” Elder pointed out that despite being anti-Reagan publications, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post all disputed Waters’ assertion, and that “The San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper that published the CIA-crack cocaine allegation, issued a retraction of the most serious claims. The reporter resigned, and later, at age 49, committed suicide.”
But Maxine Waters has dabbled in many conspiracy theories. Back in July, she shocked MSNBC’s Joy Reid by floating the bizarre conspiracy theory that Trump’s sending federal agents to Portland to control the riots was “a trial run by [President Trump] who may be organizing to not accept what happens when we have the election if he’s not elected.”
“Is he going to pull out his military? Is he going to engage us? He has already alluded to there may be a civil war if he’s not re-elected. This is dangerous,” Waters said.
Needless to say, her conspiracy theory proved to be absolutely false.
3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Famed squad member AOC is also no stranger to absurd conspiracy theories. Last year she claimed the Republican Party’s goal was to “dismantle” our “democracy, our institutions, and our republic.” But more recently she floated the absurd conspiracy theory that Republican members of Congress gave “suspicious tours” of the Capitol the day before the riot took place. She wasn’t alone in pushing this conspiracy theory either. Thirty members of Congress submitted a letter to the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Capitol Police to request an investigation into alleged “suspicious tours” that they had no evidence of, and there still is no evidence that Republicans in Congress were involved in any fashion with the breach at the Capitol.
2. Nancy Pelosi
Reports of mail collection boxes being removed nationwide prompted a national uproar and Nancy Pelosi accused President Trump of trying to sabotage the 2020 election. “President Trump is openly working to destroy the Post Office and sabotage its ability to deliver absentee ballots in time to be counted,” Pelosi said. Many other Democrats, including Joe Biden, also bought into this conspiracy theory, but Nancy Pelosi really added fuel to the fire, suggesting that Congress should be brought back in from summer recess to protect the postal service from Trump’s alleged plot.
But photos of collection boxes in piles were not “voter suppression” like Democrats claimed at all. Even the left-wing website Vox had to admit that a viral photo of collection boxes in a pile behind a chain-link fence was “a lesson in misinformation.”
“This photo of collection boxes represents a particularly dangerous form of misinformation,” explained Vox reporter Rebecca Heilweil. “But … the collection boxes in the image aren’t in a dump. They’re on a lot operated by a company called Hartford Finishing, which regularly refurbishes mailboxes for the Postal Service.”
Some collection boxes have been removed, but as part of a longstanding effort to cut costs for the USPS, which loses money every year, even before Trump took office. USPS spokeswoman Kimberly Frum told The Hill that installation and removal of USPS collection boxes has been going on for decades. “It is a fluid process and figures can vary from day-to-day. Historically, mailboxes have been removed for lack of use and installed in growth areas,” she explained. In September 2016, the USPS inspector general noted that “Nationally, the number of collection boxes declined by more than 12,000 in the past 5 years.” This means that the USPS, during the Obama-Biden administration, removed thousands of mail collection boxes. Was this a diabolical plan by Obama and Biden to suppress the vote in 2020? Did Trump make them do it?
The facts didn’t stop the Democrats from perpetuating the conspiracy theory that Trump was dismantling the postal service to suppress the vote in 2020.
1. Adam Schiff
Adam Schiff may not come across as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, but he’s got a few under his belt that are particularly concerning, given his position as chairman of House Intelligence Committee.
Schiff’s greatest conspiracy theory crime was his repeated insistence that he had personally seen evidence of collusion between President Trump, his campaign, and Russia. No evidence actually existed. Schiff lied and used his position as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to perpetuate the conspiracy theory to undermine Trump’s presidency. Despite claiming to have personally seen the evidence, the Mueller investigation found none, and top Obama officials all testified that they never saw any empirical evidence of collusion.
At the very least, Schiff deserves to be censured. He knew collusion was a lie but claimed repeatedly that it was true, and many believed him because of his powerful position.