Pelosi: The Dem leadership doesn't support the effort to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress

Pelosi: The Dem leadership doesn't support the effort to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress

I’m trying to come up with an explanation for why progressive Dems would still be after Greene six weeks after the House punished her once before, especially knowing that their own leadership doesn’t support the effort.

The man spearheading the expulsion attempt is California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, who wants Greene out because she wishes harm on other members. Which, I take it, is a reference to her having “liked” social-media comments suggesting that Pelosi should be executed before she entered politics.

He needs two-thirds of the House, or 290 members, to expel her. That means he’d need upwards of 70 Republicans. He’s, uh, not going to get that. And yet:

Why is he doing this now instead of in early February, when House Dems decided to strip Greene of her committee assignments? He could have offered this as an alternate resolution back then. According to Gomez’s spokesman, he’s been using the time to reach out to Republican colleagues to sound them out about joining the effort. Surprise: He found no takers.

Eric Harris, a spokesperson for Gomez, told Forbes that the resolution is only now being introduced because they had “quite a few” conversations with House Republicans about supporting it and wanted to give them time to decide.

Harris added that there was “interest” but none ultimately opted to support the resolution, with some expressing “concerns regarding threats of violence and political retribution.”

Only 11 Republicans supported the Democratic resolution stripping Greene of her assignments. That was the maximum number Gomez could realistically expect for expulsion, then, which is 60 votes short of what he’d need to make it happen. Either he was hoping to get a few GOPers onboard for symbolic reasons, to make support for expulsion officially bipartisan even if it was doomed to fail, or it was a publicity stunt of some sort. I’m guessing it’s the latter, not only raising Gomez’s profile in progressive circles by putting him out in front of the left’s Greene-haters but also giving his lefty colleagues in the caucus a way to show their own contempt for Greene and the hardcore MAGA right. You’ll find every major leftist in the House in this list of co-sponsors, including all members of “the Squad.”

By raising his own profile, Gomez is raising Greene’s profile too. Naturally she’s reveling in the attention on social media and leveraging it to raise a few bucks:

That’s the closest I can come to a strategic reason for Gomez’s stunt. He and his caucus want to make Greene the face of the GOP and they know that she’s an eager collaborator in that effort, so they attacked her in the expectation that she’d exploit their attacks to build support on the right. Even a doomed expulsion effort is worth something to them in that regard. The one catch is that Gomez’s resolution is “privileged,” which means the House could vote on it at any time. And it’s not a great thing for Dem centrists in red districts to have to go on the record about whether the House should take the momentous step of expelling a Trump-loving Republican. No matter how they vote, they’re destined to annoy some constituency.

Pelosi was finally asked about this today and disclaimed any interest in it, which surprised me inasmuch as it’s rare to see a Democrat take Greene’s side in anything. Nancy is thinking big-picture, though: She knows there’ll be reprisals against Democrats from the next GOP House majority for stripping Greene of her committee assignments and she doesn’t want to start a new round of nuclear reprisals in which the two parties begin expelling each other’s members from the chamber. It’s a bridge too far. Besides, with Gomez playing “bad cop” by sponsoring the resolution, she’s free to be the “good cop” elder statesman who opposes such dire tactics. Dems get to pull another stunt at Greene’s expense that raises her profile and Pelosi gets to keep her fingerprints off of it, the so-called adult in the room. Pretty sweet arrangement.

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