Marjorie Taylor Greene demands of AOC, "Why do you support terrorists?"

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

It’s ironic to read about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling for civility in Congress. She has developed a reputation for giving the back of her hand to Republicans on social media. No one is turning to her for tips on how to conduct themselves in the halls of Congress.

Nonetheless, here we are. Another bomb-thrower, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, confronted AOC yesterday and a couple of Washington Post reporters witnessed the exchange. It must have been quite a sight. Taylor Greene repeatedly calling AOC’s name to get her attention and then chasing her for a response.

Two Washington Post reporters witnessed Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) exit the House chamber late Wednesday afternoon ahead of Greene (Ga.), who shouted “Hey Alexandria” twice in an effort to get her attention. When Ocasio-Cortez did not stop walking, Greene picked up her pace and began shouting at her and asking why she supports antifa, a loosely knit group of far-left activists, and Black Lives Matter, falsely labeling them “terrorist” groups. Greene also shouted that Ocasio-Cortez was failing to defend her “radical socialist” beliefs by declining to publicly debate the freshman from Georgia.

“You don’t care about the American people,” Greene shouted. “Why do you support terrorists and antifa?”

Ocasio-Cortez did not stop to answer Greene, only turning around once and throwing her hands in the air in an exasperated motion. The two reporters were not close enough to hear what the New York congresswoman said, and her office declined to discuss her specific response.

You’ll notice that the WaPo article sugar-coats those affiliated with Antifa and BLM. Neither may officially be labeled as domestic terrorist groups but the violence that breaks out during their marches is just as terrorizing as any other event that goes from demonstration to riot behavior. Marjorie Taylor Greene is also correct in labeling AOC’s beliefs as those of a radical socialist. AOC is proud of her support for socialism and she is a protege of Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist. She will not be mistaken as a cheerleader for capitalism.

AOC and her office call for Congressional leadership and the Sargeant at Arms to provide a safe space for her and her fellow Congressional members. It isn’t unusual for elected officials to expect protection from the general population. In this case, AOC wants to be protected from other elected officials. As far as I can tell, Taylor Greene yelled AOC’s name but didn’t threaten her physically. She was trying to cause a scene for publicity. And, she did.

“Representative Greene tried to begin an argument with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and when Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tried to walk away, Congresswoman Greene began screaming and called Rep. Ocasio-Cortez a terrorist sympathizer,” Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said in a statement. “We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff — especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks.”

Greene said she wants to hold Democrats accountable for their policies, as she should, but she went about it in an unproductive way.

“She’s a chicken, she doesn’t want to debate the Green New Deal,” she said to a small group of reporters and onlookers near the entrance to the chamber. “These members are cowards. They need to defend their legislation to the people. That’s pathetic.”

What Greene really wants is for AOC to accept her challenge to a debate. AOC could question Greene about losing her committee assignments and about her support for QAnon. Greene could question AOC about her anti-semitic tweets and how she picks fights with the likes of Ted Cruz on social media. It might be entertaining to watch such a debate but it will never happen and why should it? What would AOC have to gain? She doesn’t need a debate to garner attention, she’s a pro at that.

Democrats are scared of Greene, apparently. Rep. Cori Bush was so triggered by the fact that Greene wasn’t wearing a mask outside of her office, across the hall from Bush, that Bush was reassigned to a different office. Frankly, Greene has been as big of a headache for Republican leadership as AOC has been for Democrats. They both act as radio shock jocks trying to get away with saying outrageous things.

If AOC is looking for more civility, she can start with herself, and then she might consider reading the room. She’s in the House which is raucous and wild at times. The Senate is where cooler heads prevail with a greater sense of decorum.