“Pundits Warn Removing Marjorie Taylor Greene From Committee Assignments Could Leave Her With Free Time,” the Onion joked yesterday after Democrats ousted her from her committees. But in modern American politics, no joke stays a joke for very long. Here’s what she tweeted early this morning:
I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time.
In this Democrat tyrannical government, Conservative Republicans have no say on committees anyway.
Oh this is going to be fun!
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 5, 2021
Greene’s performance today on Twitter and at her press conference feels to me like the ne plus ultra of Trumpism in how she’s displayed three defining traits of the man himself. One is her plain preference for sh*tposting over governing. Like Trump, Greene views politics chiefly as a performance in which the supreme goal is to own the libs, not to pass bills. Kicking her off committees just gives her more time to play the martyr and hyperventilate on social media about “tyrannical government.” “This is why I voted yes,” tweeted Adam Kinzinger in response to the tweet above. “There is no remorse here for her past comments. Just a huge desire to be famous.”
You’ll get a sense of her priorities from this soundbite from her presser too. Being in Congress was attractive to her because she knew it would raise her public profile, not because it would give her an opportunity move policy by contributing on committees:
"Going forward, I've been freed," @RepMTG says. "If I was on a committee I'd be wasting my time because my conservative values wouldn't be heard and neither would my district's."
— Rebecca Kaplan (@RebeccaRKaplan) February 5, 2021
Imagine being a member of Congress and thinking that committee work *isn’t* your best chance to advance your conservative values. For Greene, I think, the drudgery of being a legislator is just what you do during downtime while you’re mulling your next social media post about AOC. But the emphasis on being inadvertently “freed” by the Democrats points to another Trumpy trait — namely, the imperative to spite one’s enemies at every turn. If the libs own you somehow by, say, ousting you from your committees, you can’t admit that you’re disappointed or demoralized or what have you. To admit that is to admit having been owned. The only proper response is to claim that you’re the one who’s now in a position to own them by using your new free time to post dank memes on Facebook about Ilhan Omar or whatever. Unapologetic pugnaciousness in the face of criticism, especially when it’s valid, is arguably the Trumpiest of all political characteristics. It accounts for 95 percent of the perception that Trump is a “fighter,” which he isn’t really.
The third Trumpy trait is a belief in absolute obedience to Trump himself, and she’s got that in spades:
— The Hill (@thehill) February 5, 2021
She’s not wrong. A new poll from HarrisX finds that 64 percent of Republicans would prefer to join a new party led by Trump if he founded one versus just 36 percent who wanted to stick with a Trump-less GOP. Tim Miller did some back-of-the-envelope math yesterday based on recent Republican votes like impeachment, Liz Cheney, and objecting to the certification of Biden’s victory and guesstimated that there are only 18 or so members of the House caucus who are truly independent from Trump to a meaningful degree. Another 60 or so are true-blue hardcore MAGA, and the great bulk of the group — 130 or thereabouts — make up the “fear caucus.” They’re the people who don’t like him and would prefer not to support him but nonetheless recognize the truth of what Greene said this morning. It’s his party, and if they value their jobs they’ll need to be highly selective about when they cross him.
Actually, there’s one more thing Trump and Greene have in common. They’re both catnip to the media, and that’s A-OK by Democrats:
You could be introducing the best bill in the world and not get a press turnout like this.
Self-perpetuating cycle. https://t.co/1nbq8pEM6r
— Greg Brooks (@GregBrooksOH) February 5, 2021
The entire benefit to Dems in booting her off her committees was raising her profile so that she’d get coverage like this. That’s a dangerous game inasmuch as it’s apt to make the GOP “Greene-ier” short-term, just as Trump has made it so much Trumpier, but Democrats are calculating that she’ll end up earning them more votes in the midterms than she will the GOP. They beat Trump twice in the popular vote and then beat him again in the 2018 midterms. Now they’re going to try to turn the 2022 midterms into a referendum on Greene. I’m skeptical that it’ll work but it’s all going according to plan so far.
I’ll leave you with this guy, who’s not going to let anything like basic decency stand in the way of celebrating a politician whose success is objectively bad for his country.
Matt Gaetz on Marjorie Taylor Greene's press conference: "That was so good I almost had to smoke a cigarette afterwards." pic.twitter.com/btVwLFf4eJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 5, 2021