As you may have heard, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) verbally harassed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in the Capitol on Wednesday. According to Post reporters who witnessed the event, Greene chased after Ocasio-Cortez and accused her of sympathizing with “terrorists and antifa.”

It is impossible to divorce this episode from its larger context, which is that people like Greene represent a form of ongoing right-wing radicalization that is inextricably bound up with a profoundly deranged and hallucinatory depiction of the left.

The episode prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to suggest that it might warrant an Ethics Committee investigation. Pelosi denounced Greene’s “abuse” of Ocasio-Cortez and called on House GOP leaders to impose a “respectable behavior standard” on Republicans.

But some Democrats think more needs to be done. Rep. David N. Cicilline (R.I.) plans to ask the House sergeant-at-arms to take a more active role, possibly by speaking to Greene and telling her such conduct is unacceptable.

“Once again, Marjorie Taylor Greene has crossed the line,” Cicilline told me. “It’s completely unacceptable. There’s a pattern of behavior. I’m concerned that if we don’t do something, it will continue to escalate.”

“I’m going to ask the sergeant-at-arms to directly speak with Marjorie Taylor Greene and make it clear she can’t confront other members of Congress,” Cicilline continued, though he noted it’s unclear precisely what the sergeant-at-arms’ role is supposed to be in this unusual situation.

“I’m going to discuss what additional steps we can take to ensure that all members can come to work and feel safe,” Cicilline told me, vowing to pursue this until he has "confidence that everyone can come to work safely.”

The episode began when Greene shouted, “Hey, Alexandria!” twice at Ocasio-Cortez. According to the report, this is what happened next:

When Ocasio-Cortez did not stop walking, Greene picked up her pace and began shouting at her and asking why she supports antifa, a loosely knit group of far-left activists, and Black Lives Matter, falsely labeling them “terrorist” groups. Greene also shouted that Ocasio-Cortez was failing to defend her “radical socialist” beliefs by declining to publicly debate the freshman from Georgia.
“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene shouted. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”

I do not claim any special insights into Greene’s mental condition. But it’s important to note that Greene regularly traffics in a strain of wildly insane anti-leftist hyperbole that has appeal far outside her mental precincts. It has great seductive reach on the right, which is no small part of what makes Greene a right-wing superstar.

Much of that derangement, of course, is focused on Ocasio-Cortez herself.

Indeed, don’t forget that last September, then-candidate Greene posted on Facebook an image of herself with a gun alongside imagery of Ocasio-Cortez and other members of “the Squad.”

"We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart,” Greene said in that post, which Facebook subsequently removed.

This sort of depiction of a ferociously destructive and monolithic socialist leftist enemy who wants to level the country is regular fodder for Greene. She has typically gotten attention for ravings about staged mass shootings and space lasers. But the violently hyperbolic depictions of the leftist threat are even worse.

That’s because they carry with them the vague hint that anything is justified in response to that leftist enemy. Greene promoted the “Stop the Steal” rally (which culminated in the insurrection) as potentially being the GOP’s “1776 moment.” She endorsed the killing of prominent Democrats. And just before the 2020 election, she suggested that a Democratic win would destroy “freedom,” which can only be won back “with the price of blood.”

Greene is easy to dismiss as crazy, but such talk is par for the course among Republicans and their media allies. Just after meeting with President Biden this week, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — who is the House Minority Leader, last we checked — blasted out a fundraising email about “Corrupt Joe Biden” imposing his “radical Socialist agenda” on America.

Images of antifa burning down cities juxtaposed with Ocasio-Cortez and “the Squad” appear in standard-issue GOP ads. As president, Donald Trump had his top national security and law enforcement officials use their official stature to largely manufacture an organized and violent leftist terrorist threat for him to run against.

Tucker Carlson, the most popular TV host on the right, says Democrats are engineering the mass importation of immigrants to replace virtuous native-born Americans, and agreed with a guest that leftists just might push conservatives into fascism. And so on.

It’s hard to see this ending anytime soon. One can only hope it doesn’t get any worse than Greene shouting deranged crackpottery at Democrats as they politely hurry away.

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