Marjorie Taylor Greene to Nancy Mace: I'm telling dad on you

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

To my surprise, this feud is more entertaining and feels more bitter than the one that inspired it, Lauren Boebert taking potshots at Ilhan Omar.

But that stands to reason. The archenemy of the MAGA caucus isn’t the left or the Democrats, it’s non-MAGA Republicans. It’s why Trump seems to spend more time complaining about Mitch McConnell and Liz Cheney than he does Joe Biden. And it’s why Greene is spoiling to see the 13 Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill penalized by the caucus somehow. The obsession with loyalty and the political incentives within the party to run ever further to the right mean populists are forever on a RINO hunt. I believe to my core that if you told Trump and Greene that primarying their Republican enemies would lead to every seat held by those enemies turning blue, they’d happily take that deal.

Although, in fairness, Never Trumpers would take the same deal if it meant keeping the likes of Trump, Greene, and Boebert out of government. There are two parties within the GOP and each hates the other. It’s just that the larger one is about 10 times the size of the smaller one.

Which is a problem for Nancy Mace, who’s not closely identified with either of those parties but especially not the larger one. As I explained in this morning’s post, she was MAGA-skeptical when she got to Congress, then turned MAGA-quiescent for most of the year, and lately has seemed willing to piss off MAGA again. I have no sense of what her game is strategically, which makes me think that she’s given up trying to navigate the insanity of the Trump-era GOP and will just do what she likes from now on, letting the electoral chips fall where they may.

This morning Greene attacked Mace as “trash” and Mace swung back repeatedly, even calling Greene out for minimizing the trauma she endured when she was raped in high school. Greene, the consummate populist fighter, responded by … running to daddy:

That single tweet explains why Kevin McCarthy was so eager to talk to Greene last week when she started musing that the MAGA caucus wouldn’t support him for Speaker. She’s on a power trip, except that it’s Trump’s power that she’s leveraging to get her way. Trump has taken a shine to her because he’s a vulgar narcissist who responds only to flattery and no one is willing to flatter him as noisomely as Greene is. If McCarthy gets on her bad side, she’ll have one of her little phone calls with Trump about whether he deserves to be Speaker and he knows it. Because Mace is already on her bad side, Greene wants to intimidate her by suggesting that she’s going to sic her cult leader on Mace in a primary.

Mace would look cowardly if she let that implied threat hush her up, so she kept swinging:

Greene kept swinging too:

Trump issued a statement this afternoon — wait, scratch that. He issued two statements. One, naturally, involved him mumbling about the election and the treachery of Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, proving my point again about the perpetual RINO hunt. But he also put out this one, an implicit warning to Mace and others that they had better choose a side in the Boebert vs. Omar spat:

I’ll give Greene credit for two things. She’s not wrong about Mace’s mutable political identity:

Mace thought the party was moving past Trump after he lost the election, cynically recalibrated when she realized that it wasn’t, and lately has veered away from the MAGA caucus again, most brazenly in her jawing with Greene today. I’m glad she’s not kissing the ring but Greene’s right that Mace’s posture towards Trump and his populist base has shifted more than once.

She’s right about this too. Well, the part about who represents the Republican base, at least:

“The most popular Republican in history” lost the popular vote twice, never had an average job approval of even 50 percent, and managed to lose last year to a guy whom half the country seems convinced is senile. Republicans just flipped a Biden +10 state in Virginia by running a Mitt-Romney-type whose staff did everything they could to keep Trump from visiting. Ann Coulter said recently to New York magazine of Trump, “I predicted he would fade like Palin — gone in three years. Now I think he’s gone even faster. How did we win in Virginia? How did we almost win in New Jersey? By keeping him out of it.” More:

Unlike some people who come to this bar, she accepts the results of the 2020 election. “Oh, the ‘fraud,’” she laughs, using air quotes. “He’s a big fat loser.”

Greene sneering at the concept of trying to win “swing voters” is fringiness to its essence, the radical’s belief that if only their ideological gospel is preached by the right messenger(s) they’ll win landslide majorities. The bitter truth for Greene is that if you wanted to flip a swing district and had to choose between her and Mace as your nominee, only someone with a head injury would nominate Greene.

But. Her point about who does and doesn’t represent the base is undeniably true. And I’m sure human weathervane Kevin McCarthy knows it, which is why he’s defended the MAGAs whenever Democrats have come after them. It’s not just a matter of staying on Trump’s good side (although it’s mainly a matter of that). It’s a matter of staying on the good side of the great majority of Republican voters. Given a choice between him and Greene in a primary, is there any doubt which way a GOP electorate would go?

I’ll leave you with this interesting clip, proof that Boebert’s digs at Omar about being a suicide bomber are nothing new. I bet she’ll tell this story again in the future despite her recent “apology.”