This was predictable. Any chance Democrats have to raise Marjorie Taylor Greene’s profile, they seize it with both hands. That’s why they stripped her of her committee assignments despite knowing that the GOP will retaliate once it has a House majority again. With Trump momentarily keeping a lower profile, they need a righty populist whom they can hold up to suburban voters and say, “You don’t really want to support a party that protects this crazy person, do you?”
So they’ll make as much as hay out of Greene’s latest insanity as they can, even if it means the GOP spending the next few weeks replying, “What about Ilhan Omar?”
Even better for Dems, they know that House Republicans are terrified of being primaried by populists for failing whatever the latest MAGA litmus test is. That means any new vote on censuring Greene is destined to result in a lopsided number of GOPers voting no, another bit of evidence Dems can offer to college-educated voters that the Republican Party truly is the party of Trump and Greene more so than it is Mitch McConnell or Mitt Romney.
Brad Schneider of Illinois is drafting the resolution:
“Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene continues to debase not only the memory of 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis, but all those who fought and died defending Democracy against Hitler and his evil,” Schneider said in a statement…
“It is shameful that the Republican Conference continues to let her define their party, and dangerous that they refuse to expel her. There should be no room for such unapologetic hate and antisemitism in our politics or our government. Therefore, I am drafting a resolution to censure Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. I hope that if [House Minority Leader] McCarthy truly believes that what Rep. Greene said was ‘appalling,’ he will join our effort to censure her,” Schneider said.
There’s another reason why Democrats want to talk about Greene. The more Americans are thinking about her, the less they’re thinking about the “climate of hate” against Jews fostered by progressives with inflammatory false attacks on Israel as an “apartheid state” or practitioner of “genocide.” Says Guy Benson of Schneider’s resolution, remembering the wrist slap Omar got for her comments about AIPAC a few years ago, “Shouldn’t House Dems just re-up the bullsh*t ‘all bigotry matters’ resolution they farted out instead of condemning one of their own member’s flagrant anti-semitism a few years back?”
Pelosi’s staying away from all this for the time being, letting Republicans fight amongst themselves:
Pelosi says Greene’s comments are “so beyond reprehensible” and have “no place in our country,” but, asked if Greene should be censured or expelled, says “she should stop talking.”
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 25, 2021
Ed flagged Kevin McCarthy’s statement earlier slamming Greene for her remarks, a rare rebuke to a Trump-favored populist. McCarthy must be irate that Greene Leeroy-Jenkins-ed her way into a news cycle in which righties were on offense against the left for what their “apartheid state” slanders have wrought. The rest of the caucus is handling the matter in different ways. Greene herself briefly amplified this tweet calling McCarthy a “feckless c**t”(!!!) before quickly deleting it:
Marjorie Taylor Greene praises a tweet calling Kevin McCarthy a “moron” and a “feckless c**t” pic.twitter.com/BCzEQXLYn4
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) May 25, 2021
Adam Kinzinger, one of the party’s most outspoken strident anti-Trumpers, called for kicking her out of the caucus:
“You can’t stop somebody from calling themselves a Republican,” the Illinois lawmaker said Tuesday in a POLITICO Live event, referring to his colleague from Georgia. “What we can do as a party is take a stand and say you don’t belong in our conference. That’s what I think we should do. I think we should kick her out of the conference, prevent her from coming to conference meetings, benefiting from conference materials.”
He added that he wouldn’t support McCarthy for Speaker right now, joining Liz Cheney in that group. Between the Never Trumpers in the caucus who dislike McCarthy for being pushed around by the populists and the Always Trumpers who disdain him for not being pushed around enough, I wonder if McCarthy could win a Speaker vote if it was held today.
The most interesting reaction came from fellow Republican freshman Nancy Mace, who’s tangled with Greene before. This jab from Mace’s office was funny…
— Nancy Mace (@NancyMace) May 25, 2021
…but when asked if Greene should suffer any consequences, Mace seemed to say no:
When asked whether MTG should be censored/removed, Rep. Mace said she believes “everyone has the right to their free speech, no matter how horrible many of us may find what they say.”
“Voters decide who goes to Congress – not other members or the media."https://t.co/gk8O5ws5sQ
— Maayan Schechter (@MaayanSchechter) May 25, 2021
Mace spent the weeks before she was seated in January chattering to the media about her worries that Republican voters were sliding into conspiracy theorizing, citing QAnon and the persistent belief that the election was rigged. She refused to object to the House’s certification of Biden’s victory on January 6, which felt like a “statement” vote at the time. She was going to stand up to the cranks in her caucus. But she got caught off-guard by the insurrection and subsequent impeachment of Trump, I think, and quickly gleaned that being on the wrong side of the base on those issues as a freshman would be political suicide. She contrived a reason to vote no on impeachment (the House moved too quickly, she claimed) and since then has been careful to vote the MAGA way on everything, opposing the motion to strip Greene of her committee assignments, supporting Liz Cheney’s ouster as conference chair, and opposing the January 6 commission. Now she’s going to oppose censuring Greene too, it seems. It’s a good strategy for getting reelected — she’s under pressure from the right, as her primary opponent is the sort of nut who’s holding mask-burning ceremonies and accusing Mace of “communism” for having worn a mask — but few reps have gone from idealist to careerist more quickly than Mace did. She’s representative of most of the caucus in that regard. I’ll be surprised if there are more than 20 Republican votes to censure Greene in the House.
Exit question: What’s McCarthy going to do when Trump eventually puts out a whataboutist complaint wondering why McCarthy is busy criticizing Greene instead of Ilhan Omar? We all know it’s coming.