Is Marjorie Taylor Greene running for president?

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

I hope so. We deserve it.

Bloomberg reported today that Greene will attend the Iowa State Fair two weeks from now, a traditional pit stop for politicians testing the waters for a national run. Upon hearing the news, a Twitter pal said he’d bet she would get more votes in a Republican primary at this point than Nikki Haley.

Who could disagree?

Rep. Thomas Massie once remarked that the mistake libertarians like him made about the Ron Paul phenomenon in 2008 and 2012 was that they assumed right-wing activists were warming to libertarianism. When Trumpmania erupted in 2016, he realized he’d been wrong. “[W]hen they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race,” said Massie in 2017. “And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”

No matter who else runs in 2024, MarjAnon will be “best in class”:

She won’t win, but she won’t be a one-percenter either.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia known for espousing debunked conspiracy theories, plans to appear this month at the Iowa State Fair, according to people familiar with her plans. The gathering is a traditional platform for White House aspirants.

It’s not yet clear whether Greene will speak at the event on Aug. 19 or just attend it. The Des Moines Register this year isn’t planning to organize a Soap Box, which politicians in the past have used to raise their profiles for a national campaign…

Some Republicans have already discussed plans to distance themselves from Greene at the fair in Iowa, according to two of the people familiar with the conversations who spoke on condition of anonymity.

I’m guessing one of those Republicans discussing plans to steer clear of her at the fair is Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who’s been at pains this year to say that Greene “doesn’t represent the party.” She doesn’t represent the whole party, sure.

But she certainly represents part of it.

Which is a nice thing about her running for president, if she does run. We’d get to see how large the national Marjorie Taylor Greene wing of the party actually is.

She won’t run if Trump does, of course. No one will. But would she run if Trump sits out and DeSantis gets in, pressuring him from the right? What if Trump endorses DeSantis? I’ve made this point before but it’s hard to overstate what a clusterf**k the 2024 primary could become if neither Trump nor DeSantis ends up running for whatever reason. That scenario is unlikely but plausible: Trump could have health issues, DeSantis could be upset in his 2022 reelection bid for governor. The field at that point would be wide open to every Republican in the country, establishment, populist, entertainer, hardcore demagogue, or some combination thereof. We could have multiple MAGA candidates, like Mike Flynn, Greene, Matt Gaetz, etc., jockeying for populist votes. 2020 election trutherism and plans to resist an unfavorable outcome in 2024 would be bigger litmus tests in that environment than they’re shaping up to be already. So might vaccine skepticism. So might belated pardons for the imprisoned insurrectionists, whom MAGA pols like Greene have been crying over lately.

In the best-case scenario for the party, the MAGA vote splits 12 different ways and allows some viable mainstream pol like Kristi Noem to skate through. In the worst-case scenario, a best-in-class demagogue catches fire and center-righties are forced into another 2016 conundrum where they have to choose between the creep from their own party and the dismal liberal from the other. That outcome will turn on how creepy the creep is and how dismal the liberal is. Biden wasn’t too dismal, Hillary was. But even a very dismal Dem like Kamala Harris could prevail against someone from the loopy end of the GOP like Greene.

From Greene’s perspective, why not run for president? Unless she’s bigfooted out of doing so by a populist higher on the political food chain than her, like Trump, there’s no reason not to. She has no meaningful responsibilities in Congress since losing her committee assignments. Her goals as a politician are to hold rallies, sh*tpost, and promote herself on fringey media like OAN, then rake in the dough from small donors. Running for president would turbo-charge her abilities to do all of that, especially the fundraising. She’s essentially a bulletin-board commenter with very special posting privileges. Why wouldn’t she take the opportunity to make those privileges even more special?

Speaking of populist Republicans thinking of running for higher office, I’ll leave you with this. Is Murkowski vulnerable in Alaska? One recent poll says definitely. Another, more recent poll suggests otherwise.