The risk, of course, is that someone with such a long history of believing objectionable and loony things can’t stop. It’s one thing to loudly, albeit ineffectively, try to “own the libs.” Many GOP members of Congress spend much time doing this and don’t alienate swing voters. But talk of revolution, armed conflict or QAnon conspiracy theories will disturb the voters Republicans need to retake the House. If Greene continues her past behavior, Democrats will try to focus media attention on every episode to make the entire GOP appear unhinged.
Should that happen, McCarthy and House Republicans will be forced to revisit the question of whether to cast Greene from their midst. That’s ultimately what they had to do with former Iowa representative Steve King, whose continued flirtation with white supremacists and racist sentiments finally pushed the party to remove him from his committees in 2019. King subsequently lost his bid for reelection in the Republican primary, showing that there were lines that both leadership and GOP voters were unwilling to cross. Greene would be wise not to walk close to those lines as she settles into her congressional career.
She should also go the extra mile and not repay herself for loans she made to her own campaign. Greene largely financed her own campaign, giving her campaign more than $450,000 and loaning it another $950,000. Her most recent campaign financial statement shows her campaign still owes her $500,000. She has been using Democratic demands to remove her from her committee posts to raise hundreds to thousands of dollars from conservatives online, and says she has already raised more than $1.6 million. She’s legally able to use this money to repay herself, but that itself will become a story if she does. It’s one thing to have a reputation as a conservative fighter; it’s quite another to be known as the grifter in chief.