USRESIST NEWS Blog
The Republicans A new USRESIST NEWS Blog Post series intended to report on the activities of the Republican Party and Its Members in a Post Trump Era
Post # 1: Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene
By Sean Gray
February 12, 2021
Last week’s vote to remove freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee posts didn’t end the GOP’s problem with her, but underscored it. Many Republicans were no doubt hoping for a return to normalcy after four years of Donald Trump’s chaotic leadership. This was always a pipe dream and the representative from Georgia’s 14th district illustrates that Trump’s presidency may have been unprecedented, and the political movement he inspired has staying power. Greene has no experience in government. She is a half-hearted businesswoman with more bombast than sense. She gained political recognition through the creation and dissemination of absurd conspiracy theories. Sound familiar? If Donald Trump was a symptom rather than the disease, Greene is a next-gen mutation. She can’t inflict the damage Trump did from the Oval Office. But her presence in Congress is a troubling commentary on the state of American politics. And her Republicans colleagues know it.
Trump displayed combination of dishonesty and disconnection from reality whenever he found facts disagreeable. Marjorie Taylor Greene has gladly accepted the torch of fantasy. She came to prominence as the ‘’Qanon candidate on the campaign trail.” Her views somehow got more reprehensible following her election. Greene is a full throated conspiracy theorist on subjects too numerous to list comprehensively in this space. She has cast doubt on the Parkland School Shooting, the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon and that lasers from a George Soros-owned company were responsible for California’s devastating 2018 Camp Fire. Her support for such insidious doggerel extends beyond a tip-of-the-cap bit of political opportunism. Prior to her election she authored 59 articles in the now defunct American Truth Seekers. Her 2A zeal goes beyond the usual rhetoric and harassing survivors of school massacres. Greene has also advocated for the executions of political opponents. There is no hope of sane and reasonable discourse with someone like this. She is deluded, race-baiting and as committed to Trumpian bluster as the ex-president. Yet she now commands $180K to shape legislation through the prism of her badly skewed worldview.
Trump may be gone, but he still looms large in Republican political calculus. By aligning herself so closely with the MAGA crowd, Greene has put her Republican colleagues in a tight spot. Many likely believe her to be a disgraceful albatross. But she is for all intents and purposes a Trump surrogate – which makes a formal repudiation of her dangerous nonsense unpalatable. Accordingly, when Democrats took a procedural vote to remove her from two committees just 11 Republican House members crossed the aisle against her. Trump pulled the party away from reason and reality. Greene has blindly followed suit. Her colleagues refuse to acknowledge the obvious pulls the entire party further away from reason and reality.
The dilemma posed by Greene’s activity is a serious problem for the party. For the most devoted Trumpophiles, Greene’s rhetoric is a selling point. They are not numerous enough to win contested elections. Furthermore the more outrageous of her positions (for instance, advocating the execution of the Speaker of the House) are antithetical to democracy and a turn-off to a plethora of voters. Trump’s personality in conjunction with his office made his political brand work. His allies could claim he had the mandate of the voters while working to further his agenda and tactlessly avoiding uncomfortable questions about the his behavior. Greene carries his water from much further down the trough. She occupies one of 538 House seats. Unlike Trump, whose lofty perch and cult-like following enabled him to browbeat Congress like subordinates, Greene is a liability. Her practice of Trump speak makes it much more difficult for her to actually accomplish anything. It also complicates any effort on the part of the GOP to move past four unsustainably chaotic years. Trump never had the support of approval of more than 50% of the American public. Those numbers dipped to around 33% in the aftermath of the Capitol riots. A less effective imitation is not what the doctor ordered.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is a problem for the nation, and not just those who lean right. Her landslide election based on a semi-comprehensible platform speaks to the erosion of political discourse in this country. She is a thorn in the side of many Republicans. However her presence in Congress is a pernicious threat to America as a whole. Last month’s coup attempt didn’t occur in a vacuum. It was the predictable result of a disaffected and propagandized group of people incited to violence by the man at the center of the lie they were fed. Opportunities exist for repeat performances. Right-wing extremism in general saw a sharp uptick during Trump’s tenure. To some extent, a sympathetic ear in the legislative branch legitimizes those kinds of beliefs. In a nation as polarized as this one, this bodes poorly beyond political prospects. Trump routinely fanned the flames of these divisions to his own end. An unscrupulous acolyte is likely to follow suit. Marjorie Taylor Greene represents the worst in American politics. She is a thorn in the side of Republicans and a blight on the US with far-reaching consequences.