Midterm elections are frequently good for the party out of power, and while Republicans are hoping to make gains in the 2022 election, there’s an underlying fear running through the party that some of the more extreme members of their caucus could wind up costing them an opportunity to retake control of either house of Congress.

According to Politico, a three-day GOP retreat in Orlando, Florida, will provide Republicans with an opportunity to begin planning for an election that remains a year and a half off:

“Republicans are, to put it mildly, feeling good about their chances of retaking the chamber next year, following a better-than-expected showing in November’s House races that ushered in a freshman class led by GOP women and minorities. In 2022, the party only needs to flip a handful of seats, with both history and forthcoming redistricting on their side. And President Joe Biden has, through a series of ambitious early moves, helped his opponents coalesce around a midterm messaging strategy that hits Democrats on immigration, taxes and policing.”

That’s where the specter of Republicans such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) starts to rear its head and could derail any chance the GOP might have of taking back power in the House or Senate:

“Republicans also know the next 18 months are littered with political tripwires, from internal divisions over the former president trying to influence them from Mar-a-Lago to the fringe elements in their ranks that threaten to swamp their agenda. Democrats are trying to fan those flames across the aisle by yoking the entire GOP to QAnon and, at every turn, elevating some of the conference’s most divisive personalities, such as freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).”

Just imagine the attack ads Democrats will run in 2022: Clips of Greene suggesting that 9/11 didn’t actually happen and that no plane struck the Pentagon:

“We had witnessed 9/11, the terrorist attack in New York and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the so-called plane that crashed into the Pentagon. It’s odd there’s never any evidence shown for a plane in the Pentagon.”

Oh, and there’s also the wacko QAnon conspiracy theory that Greene and others in the GOP love to spout, telling people that a Satanic cabal of pedophiles is in control of governments around the world (including the United States) and must be stopped ASAP before they begin eating the brains of children to increase their power and influence.

Almost on cue, just a day before the Republican retreat was scheduled to being, Greene did indeed pop off, suggesting that the 2020 election had been stolen and hinting that the results would soon be overturned and Trump reinstalled as president:

“No matter how upset you are about the presidential election and no matter what you’re seeing in the news, it’s not over.”

Who won’t be at the retreat? Donald Trump. He wasn’t even invited and could wind up being a major drag on the GOP as the 2022 midterms draw closer. If he gets involved in the midterms, he could drive away independent voters. If he doesn’t, many of his supporters may refuse to cast a ballot.

Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Greene prepares to launch her next batty attack and become the twisted visage of the modern Republican Party.

Featured Image via NBC News