Eight of Hearts: U.S. Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (GA), the demise of a “conspiracy theorist, batshit-crazy bigot, and antisemite”, who sought Trump pardon for trying to overturn 2020 Election

 

 

“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution . . . .”
— U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3

 

Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment disqualifies an individual from serving as a state or federal official if that person has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States.

 

2024: 

 

Greene vs conservatives: Georgia Republican on an island

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4647383-greene-conservatives-johnson-ouster-vote

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) lonely effort to boot Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from power is emblematic of a larger trend that’s followed the Georgia firebrand throughout her time on Capitol Hill: She might be the face of the MAGA movement in Congress, but she’s alienated a long list of fellow conservatives in getting there.

But if Greene’s Hail Mary effort to remove him before then has highlighted the deep divisions within the GOP, her struggles to find Republican support have revealed that those divisions are also visible within the party’s conservative wing, where even Johnson’s most vocal critics have refused to endorse Greene’s motion to vacate resolution. 

. . . Greene is increasingly finding herself on an island, an outcast even among the hard-line populists who share her goal of transforming Washington.

“She’s pretty much operating on her own, with one or two others who have expressed support for what she’s doing,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday” in an interview. “She doesn’t lead anyone.”

 

A headline on the Fox News media website today [April 17, 2024] suggested that a shift away from MAGA is at least being tested. It read: “Marjorie Taylor Greene is an idiot. She is trying to wreck the [Republican Party].”

74% of Americans believe the war in Ukraine is important to U.S. interests; 59% say it’s important to them personally. 

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has vowed to try to throw Johnson out of the speaker’s chair if he even brings Ukraine funding to the floor.

On Sunday, former representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) came out and said it: the Republican Party has a “Putin wing.” She said: “The issue of this election cycle is making sure the Putin wing of the Republican Party does not take over the West Wing of the White House.”

 

2023:

Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called for President Biden to withdraw from NATO altogether, saying bizarrely that NATO, which was formed in 1949 to stand against Soviet aggression and now stands against Russian expansion, is “entirely beholden to Russia.” Indeed, Trump recently boasted that he could end the war in 24 hours, and his former vice president Mike Pence noted that “the only way you’d solve this war in a day is if you gave Vladimir Putin what he wanted.” And even that suggestion rather neatly ignores the reality that the Ukrainians have the ultimate say about the matter.

– Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American

 

“We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government.”

– Majorie Taylor Greene

 

“She is a conspiracy theorist, batshit-crazy bigot, and antisemite, and for some reason that has made her a rock star in the Republican Party,” says Sykes, a Never Trump–style conservative. And? “She’s a believer—it’s bullshit, but she believes in it.”

– Charlie Sykes

2022:

“If Steve Bannon and I had organized [the Jan. 6 riot], we would have won.”

Greene sought a pardon from President Trump for her roll in trying to subvert the 2020 presidential election.

Greene relentlessly spread lies about the 2020 election being “stolen” and was a key figure working in Congress to overturn the results in Donald Trump’s favor, voting against certifying the 2020 election results.

She touts herself as a Christian nationalist.

Greene made appearances at the white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Putin America First Political Action Conference organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes three days earlier.

 

2021:

She embraced Tucker Carlson’s conspiracy theory that the Capitol insurrection was the work of the FBI.

The first-term Congress member endorsed false conspiracy theories that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and mass school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., were hoaxes. 

—–

 

Awww, House Mows Over MTG On Way To Passing Ukraine Aid

INSIDE: Mike Johnson … Donald Trump … AOC

https://morningmemo.talkingpointsmemo.com/p/awww-house-mows-over-mtg-on-way-to

 

Letters from an American, Heather Cox RichardsonApril 17, 2024

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

[Excerpt:]

Earlier this month, both Representative Michael R. Turner (R-OH), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned about Russian disinformation in their party. Turner told CNN’s State of the Union that it is “absolutely true” that Republican members of Congress are parroting Russian propaganda. “We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages, some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor.” When asked which Republicans had fallen to Russian propaganda, McCaul answered that it is “obvious.”

That growing popular awareness has highlighted that House Republicans under House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) have for six months refused to pass a national security supplemental bill with additional aid for Ukraine, as well as for Israel and the Indo-Pacific, and humanitarian aid to Gaza. After the Senate spent two months negotiating border security provisions House Republicans demanded, Republicans killed that bill with the provisions at Trump’s direction, and the Senate then passed a bill without those provisions in February.

Johnson has been coordinating closely with former president Trump, who has made his admiration for Russia and his disregard for Ukraine very clear since his people weakened their support for Ukraine in the 2016 Republican Party platform.Johnson is also under pressure from MAGA Republicans in the House, like Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who oppose funding Ukraine, some of them by making statements that echo Russian propaganda.

While the White House, the Pentagon, and a majority of both chambers of Congress believe that helping Ukraine defend itself is crucial to U.S. security, Johnson has refused to take the Senate measure up, even though the House would pass it if he did. But as Ukraine’s ability to defend itself has begun to weaken, pressure for additional aid has ramped up. At the same time, in the wake of Iran’s attack on Israel last weekend, Republicans have suddenly become eager to provide additional funds to Israel. It began to look as if Johnson might bring up some version of foreign aid.

But discussions of bringing forward Ukraine aid brought not only Greene but also Thomas Massie (R-KY) to threaten yesterday to challenge Johnson’s speakership, and there are too few Republicans in the House to defend him.

Today, Johnson brought forward not the Senate bill, but rather three separate bills to fund Israel, the Indo-Pacific, and Ukraine, with pieces that House Republicans have sought. A fourth bill will include other measures Republicans have demanded. And a fifth will permit an up-or-down vote on most of the measures in the extreme border bill the House passed in 2023. At the time, that measure was intended as a signaling statement because House Republicans knew that the Democratic Senate would keep it from becoming law.

Johnson said he expected to take a final vote on the measures Saturday evening. He will almost certainly need Democratic votes to pass them, and possibly to save his job. Democrats have already demanded the aid to Gaza that was in the Senate bill but is not yet in the House bills.

Reese Gorman, political reporter for The Daily Beast, reported that Johnson explained his change of heart like this: “Look, history judges us for what we do. This is a critical time right now…  I can make a selfish decision and do something that is different but I’m doing here what I believe to be the right thing.… I think providing lethal aid to Ukraine right now is critically important.… I’m willing to take personal risk for that.”

His words likely reflect a changing awareness in Republican Party leadership that the extremism of MAGA Republicans is exceedingly unpopular. Trump’s courtroom appearances—where, among other things, he keeps falling asleep—are unlikely to bolster his support, while his need for money is becoming more and more of a threat both to his image and to his fellow Republicans. Today the Trump campaign asked Republican candidates in downballot races for at least 5% of the money they raise with any fundraising appeal that uses Trump’s name or picture. They went on: “Any split that is higher than 5% will be seen favorably by the RNC and President Trump’s campaign and is routinely reported to the highest levels of leadership within both organizations.”

Nonetheless, Greene greeted Johnson’s bills with amendments requiring members of Congress to “conscript in the Ukrainian military” if they voted for aid to Ukraine.

A headline on the Fox News media website today suggested that a shift away from MAGA is at least being tested. It read: “Marjorie Taylor Greene is an idiot. She is trying to wreck the [Republican Party].” The article pointed out that 61% of registered voters disapprove of the Republican Party while only 36% approve. That approval rating has indeed fallen at least in part because of the performative antics of the extremists, among them the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that made him the first cabinet officer to be impeached in almost 150 years. Today the Senate killed that impeachment without a trial.

As soon as Johnson announced the measures, President Joe Biden threw his weight behind them. In a statement, he said: “I strongly support this package to get critical support to Israel and Ukraine, provide desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza, and bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific. Israel is facing unprecedented attacks from Iran, and Ukraine is facing continued bombardment from Russia that has intensified dramatically in the last month.

“The House must pass the package this week and the Senate should quickly follow. I will sign this into law immediately to send a message to the world: We stand with our friends, and we won’t let Iran or Russia succeed.”

[Boldface added]

 

 

Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson

March 22, 2024

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

[Excerpt]:

Midnight tonight was the deadline for the continuing resolution that was funding much of the government, and the House finally passed the necessary appropriations bills this morning, just hours before the deadline, by a vote of 286–134. Democrats put the bill over the top, adding 185 yea votes to the 101 Republicans voting in favor of the bill. In a blow to House speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), 112 Republicans joined 22 Democrats to vote against the measure.. 

As soon as the bill passed, Johnson recessed the House until April 9.

Because the deadline to prevent a government shutdown was so tight, the Senate needed to take the House measure up immediately. But Senate rules mean that such a quick turnaround needs unanimous consent, and right-wing senators refused to give it. 

Instead, Republican senators Ted Budd (NC), Mike Lee (UT), Ted Cruz (TX), and Rand Paul (KY) demanded votes on extremist amendments to try to jam Democrats into a bind before the upcoming election. If the amendments passed, the government would shut down for the purely mechanical reason that the House can’t consider any amendments until it gets back to work in April. So the Democrats would certainly vote against any amendments to keep the government open. But this would mean they were on record with unpopular votes in an election year. 

The demand for amendments was partisan posturing, but the delay was particularly nasty: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who was a key negotiator of the bill, needed to get back to Maine for her mother’s funeral. 

In the House, the passage of the appropriations bill and the recess prompted significant changes. Representative Kay Granger (R-TX) announced she is stepping down from chairing the Appropriations Committee. 

Another Republican representative, Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, announced he will leave Congress early, stepping down on April 19. Gallagher is chair of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party and has voiced frustration with the current state of his party. His absence will shave the Republican House majority to just one vote, and the timing of his departure means he will not be replaced this session. Wisconsin law leaves any vacancy after the second Tuesday in April until the general election.

Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) announced last week that he, too, was leaving Congress early, complaining that “[t]his place has just evolved into…bickering and nonsense.” Today was his last day in the House. Before he left, he became the first Republican to sign on to the discharge petitions that would bring Ukraine aid to the floor even without House speaker Johnson’s support.

Despite the frustration of their colleagues, extremist Republicans are not backing down. After the appropriations measure passed, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told reporters she has filed a motion to vacate the chair to punish Johnson for permitting the bill to pass without more extremist demands. Her threat will hang over the two-week break, but it is not clear what the House will do with her motion; they might simply bottle it up in committee. 

Greene might not push a vote on the speaker right now in part because of pressure from her colleagues to cut it out. They understand that the extraordinary dysfunction of the House under Republicans’ control is hurting them before the 2024 election, and another speaker fight would only add to the chaos. There is also the reality that with such a small majority, Johnson would have to rely on Democrats to save his speakership if it were challenged, and a number of them have suggested they would vote to keep him in the chair if he would agree to bring a vote on aid for Ukraine to the floor. 

Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told CNN that he would “make common cause with anybody who will stand up for the people of Ukraine, anybody who will get desperately needed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and anybody who will work for a two state solution. I’m up for conversations with anybody.” 

The cost of Johnson’s withholding of assistance for Ukraine is mounting. Last night, Russia launched the largest barrages of missiles and drones since its war began at Ukraine’s power grid, leaving more than a million people without power and degrading Ukraine’s energy sector. The Institute for the Study of War assessed today that “continued delays in Western security assistance…are reportedly expected to significantly constrain Ukraine‘s air defense umbrella,” leaving Ukrainian forces unable to defend against missile attacks. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky once again begged for aid, saying: “Russian missiles do not suffer delays in the way aid packages to our country do. Shahed drones are not affected by indecision like some politicians are.”

Ukraine has been using drones to attack Russia’s oil refineries, but Russia had a new problem today as a deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall claimed at least 60 lives. The Islamic State’s Afghan branch, known as ISIS-K, which advocates for civilian mass-casualty events to weaken governments, claimed responsibility for the attack. 

 

Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson

February  20, 2024

MAGA Republicans are refusing that aid although it is popular both in Congress and among Americans at large. A Pew study released Friday, before news of Navalny’s murder broke, showed that 74% of Americans believe the war in Ukraine is important to U.S. interests; 59% say it’s important to them personally

House speaker Johnson condemned Putin as “a vicious dictator” over the weekend and said he was “likely directly responsible” for Navalny’s death. But on Monday he posted to Twitter a photograph of him standing alongside Trump, apparently at Trump’s West Palm Beach golf club, flashing a smile and a thumbs-up sign.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has vowed to try to throw Johnson out of the speaker’s chair if he even brings Ukraine funding to the floor. Trump himself referred to Navalny’s murder on Sunday simply by calling it a “sudden death” before launching into an attack on the United States. 

On Sunday, former representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) came out and said it: the Republican Party has a “Putin wing.” She said: “The issue of this election cycle is making sure the Putin wing of the Republican Party does not take over the West Wing of the White House.” Conservative pundit Bill Kristol agreed, in italics: “The likely nominee of one of our two major political parties is pro–Vladimir Putin. This is an astonishing fact. It is an appalling fact. It has to be a central fact of the 2024 campaign.”

[Boldface added]

With Trump moving closer to renomination, rewriting Jan. 6 attack gains urgency

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/11/27/jan6-donald-trump-truth-lies/

There is no mystery about the Capitol riot. There is nothing intangible, no unseen engine for what occurred. There is no uncertainty about what happened and why.

But because everything about what unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021, implicates the cultural leader of the Republican Party — and because pretending that a mystery exists benefits him — we approach the third anniversary of that day with renewed efforts to rewrite its history. [Boldfacve added]

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Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election and very obviously refused to accept it. Any questions about the legitimacy of the vote — stoked by Trump for years — evaporated within weeks, if not days. Many of his allies shifted to vague arguments about how the system was working against him. But Trump didn’t. He argued that there was fraud covered up by Trump haters and, with increasing desperation, demanded that his supporters in Washington and elsewhere rise to his defense.

A few hours after a heated Oval Office argument in which his team tried to figure out how to retain power, he shared a post on social media calling for supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6. The day’s protest, he promised, would “be wild.” This message itself comes up repeatedly when looking at the triggers for participants to be at the Capitol on that day.

Thousands came. Trump, still trying to figure out how to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election, gave a speech to the crowd making more false claims about fraud, including debunked ones, and encouraged people to march to the Capitol. They did. There was a riot. People died. Scores of police officers were assaulted. A few hours later, Trump’s loss was formalized.

In short, the day’s violence was carried out by Trump supporters and supporters of Trump’s politics. They were there not only because Trump specified that day and place as the location of a “protest” but because he’d relentlessly argued that a protest was needed. The intent was explicitly to challenge the results of the 2020 election. That Trump used the word “peacefully” once in his speech is no more exculpatory than the fact that thousands of Trump supporters weren’t violent and didn’t enter the Capitol. There was violence and there were violent actors; they were there because Trump refused to accept that voters had rejected him.

There was a point at which this might have understandably seemed like the coda to Trump’s tenure in politics. Trump lost the election and then stoked a violent response to the transfer of power. History books, if not Hollywood, suggest an epilogue in which he spends his remaining years exiled to the wilderness.

But he was never exiled. Less than two weeks after Trump’s departure from Washington, the leader of the House Republican conference, seeking to solidify his own power, paid the former president a sycophantic visit. Since 2015, Republicans had figured out that even valid criticisms of Trump could be pivoted to his and their advantage, and the riot was no different. So they did and, 1,000 days after the riot, Trump found himself the clear front-runner for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination.

This adds new urgency to efforts by Trump’s allies to neutralize his response to the 2020 election as a political issue. Trump’s opponents, including President Biden, have focused on Trump’s rejection of the election results — on his efforts to sideline democracy — as a central reason to oppose him in 2024. There’s evidence that many voters view 2024 through this lens. While many of the right’s defenses of Trump center on the short-term rewards of allying with his rhetoric, some of them are obviously more tactical.

These defenses take a number of forms.

The most deluded centers on the idea that the riot was not actually a function of Trump supporters or a desire to see Trump retain power. Two alternative culprits are generally proposed: federal agents or left-wing actors.

The latter idea was voiced immediately after the riot and was quickly debunked. But it lingers: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who’s selling a book, told Donald Trump Jr. on a recent podcast that “nobody could tell me that those were Trump supporters” and that she believes “they were antifa — [Black Lives Matter] rioters.”

There’s no evidence of this at all. In fact, it defies any logic. For Greene, though, this is a long-held argument. During the riot itself, she texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to tell him that she and others “think they are Antifa … [d]ressed like Trump supporters.” Of course, that was about 90 minutes after she’d texted Meadows to exhort him to “[p]lease tell the President to calm people[.] This isn’t the way to solve anything.”

Greene’s response to Jan. 6 has been nearly as fungible and opportunistic as Trump’s. The rioters were antifa — except that those being held for committing acts of violence are also political prisoners being targeted for their Trump support by a nefarious Joe Biden.

This argument depends on a useful glossing over of what detainees actually did. Many of those who are in prison agreed to plea deals — which is to say they admitted guilt. Others were convicted of assaults on police officers. Others still were members of groups such as the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers who actively planned to disrupt the transition of power or to aid Trump in doing so. Lumping them all together as victims of a punitive state makes it much easier to ignore what they actually did.

It also makes it easier to cast Trump himself as the target of Deep State hostility. This has been his line for years, of course, butit gained new heft after the multiple indictments obtained against him this year. Many Trump supporters think he’s being unfairly targeted by leftist prosecutors; it’s hardly a stretch to suggest that this extends back to the weeks before Jan. 6, 2021. There’s no more evidence (much less logical reason) to support the idea that federal agents triggered the riot than there is to believe antifa did it. But every time someone is incorrectlyidentified as a federal agent or just asks questions about it, new space is introduced for Trump to argue that this is all meant to impede his power.

Elevation of doubt is at the heart of so much of this. You don’t need to know precisely what federal agent provocateur made Jan. 6 happen, but if you’re open to the idea that perhaps one did, you’re probably less compelled by arguments that Trump posed or poses a threat to democracy. If you are convinced that the House select committee investigating the riot was trying to take down Trump, it becomes easier to wave away the evidence presented that showed Trump’s culpability. And then, by extension, shrug at the similar or overlapping evidence from special counsel Jack Smith.

Elevation of doubt, in fact, offers its own political rewards. Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) recently announced that he would make available thousands of hours of security footage from the Capitol on that day — footage that has already been used to suggest both that nefarious, non-Trump actors were involved and that the day’s violence was overstated, given that much of the footage shows nothing but empty corridors. Cameras in the aft section of the Titanic would have shown tranquil scenes, too, until they were submerged.

Republican voices in opposition to reframing the aftermath of the 2020 election are becoming more scarce.

[Boldface added]

“Everyone who makes the argument that January 6 was an unguided tour of the Capitol is lying to America,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “Everyone who says that the prisoners who are being prosecuted right now for their involvement in January 6, that they are somehow political prisoners or that they didn’t commit crimes, those folks are lying to America.”

Buck may feel more free to say these true things because he announced that he would not seek reelection. Former Wyoming representative Liz Cheney (R) was free to challenge Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) misinformation about Capitol security footage because she no longer needs to appeal to Republican voters. Lee does.

No one is happier to elevate doubt about the Capitol riot than Trump, of course. He’s floated pardoning those involved in the violence, reinforcing the idea that they — like him, of course! — are being unfairly targeted. He’s argued that the day’s events were not his fault and attacked critics who suggest otherwise.

Put another way: What Trump is doing now, 340-odd days before the 2024 general election, is amplifying self-serving falsehoods and finding a hungry audience for them. This is also precisely what he was doing in the weeks before the Capitol riot.

 

House Democrat moves to force vote on censuring Marjorie Taylor Greene

10/26/23

House Democrat moves to force vote on censuring Marjorie Taylor Greene

Trump as Jesus? Why he casts himself as a martyr, and why fans go along.

The former president has been saying for decades that he’s a victim and portrayed himself as a martyr. But Trump’s messianic rhetoric is mainly about feeling sorry for himself, analysts say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/10/11/trump-jesus-why-he-casts-himself-martyr-why-fans-go-along/

[Excerpts:]

“To protect his incredibly fragile ego, he needs to create this victimization,” said Cohen. “The problem can’t be him, so who else can it be? That’s where the martyrdom comes in: He has to shift the blame on someone else, and then he can say, ‘The only one standing in between them and you is me.’”

With each new charge, Trump sent out fundraising letters in which he presented himself as a perpetual victim of the authorities’ attacks. “[N]o matter what our sick and deranged political establishment throws at me, no matter what they do to me, I will endure their torment and oppression, and I will do it willingly,” he said in a fundraising appeal last fall. “Our cruel and vindictive political class is not just coming after me — they are coming after YOU.”

When Trump was arraigned in New York in April, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a Trump acolyte, said he was “joining some of the most incredible people in history” who “have been arrested and persecuted by radical corrupt governments …, including Nelson Mandela and Jesus.”

[Boldface added]

 

[GOP] Lawmakers quickly react to latest Trump indictment

 

As Spending Fights Loom, Freedom Caucus Is at a Crossroads

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

By Annie KarniRobert Draper and Luke Broadwater

July 25, 2023

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/25/us/politics/majorie-taylor-green-freedom-caucus

[Excerpts:]

The expulsion of Ms. Greene, perhaps the most famous hard-right rabble-rouser in Congress, from the group that has long styled itself as the rebellious voice of the extreme right in the House reflects something of an identity crisis within the Freedom Caucus even as a slim G.O.P. majority has given the group more power than ever.

As the Republican Party has moved further to the right, the fringe has become the mainstream, swelling the ranks of the Freedom Caucus but making it difficult for the group to stay aligned on policy and strategy. The rise of another hard-right faction in the House calling itself “the Twenty” — including some members of the caucus and some who have long refused to join — has raised questions in recent months about where the real power lies on the far right.

Still, Ms. Greene in some ways personifies the forces buffeting the group, which was founded in 2015 by a band of rebel conservatives who wanted to push Republican leaders to the right on fiscal and social issues.

These days, the group is larger and harder to organize, in part because its members are, by nature, not rule followers. Some complain that when the group takes an official position, they do so on a messaging app, Telegram, and don’t take votes in person. Mr. Perry has at times vented privately that he has little control over his own caucus. And Republicans aligned with the group have grumbled behind closed doors that the quality of the members has diminished over time.

At the same time, some of the most vocal hard-right voices in the House who have sought to thwart Mr. McCarthy’s rise and his agenda, like Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, have never been members.

Mr. Gaetz, however, has emerged as a charter member of the Twenty, a group of 20 populist members that has in recent months become the more disruptive threat to Mr. McCarthy’s control of the House. The smaller group views itself as a more efficient fighting force. It does not take votes to establish official positions; its members just go out and disrupt, as they did in June when they staged a blockade on the House floor to protest Mr. McCarthy’s debt limit deal with President Biden.

How Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Trying to Become Trump’s VP

BONUS PODCAST

Daily Beast reporter Zach Petrizzo talks Marjorie Taylor Greene’s VP moves, her drama with fellow Rep. Lauren Boebert, and why Team Trump is anti-Kari Lake.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-marjorie-taylor-greene-is-trying-to-become-trumps-vp

 

Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson 

In West Palm Beach, Florida, last weekend, at the Turning Points Action Conference, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) compared President Biden’s Build Back Better plan to President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society programs, which invested in “education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and welfare, the Office of Economic Opportunity, and big labor and labor unions.” She noted that under Biden, the U.S. has made “the largest public investment in social infrastructure and environmental programs, that is actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on, and Joe Biden is attempting to complete.” 

Well, yeah.

Greene incorrectly called this program “socialism,” which in fact means government ownership of production, as opposed to the government’s provision of benefits people cannot provide individually, a concept first put into practice in the United States by Abraham Lincoln and later expanded by leadership in both parties.

The administration has stood firmly behind the idea—shared by LBJ and FDR, and also by Republicans Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, among others—that investing in programs that enable working people to prosper is the best way to strengthen the economy. 

Certainly, Greene’s speech didn’t seem to be the “gotcha” that she apparently hoped. A March 2023 poll by independent health policy pollster KFF, for example, found that 80% of Americans like Social Security, 81% like Medicare, and 76% like Medicaid, a large majority of members of all political parties.  

The White House Twitter account retweeted a clip of Greene’s speech, writing: “Caught us. President Biden is working to make life easier for hardworking families.”

 

House GOP flirts with Jan. 6 extremism

By JORDAIN CARNEY and KYLE CHENEY

Updated: 06/18/2023 

https://www.politico.com/news/2023/06/18/house-gop-jan-6-extremism-00101259

Far-right conservatives have entertained false conspiracy theories about the Capitol attack — but so have some House GOP leaders and key committee chiefs, without outright embracing them.

House Republicans don’t want to talk about Jan. 6. They also can’t stop talking about it.

At times, GOP lawmakers insist they’re uninterested in relitigating an attack that is political poison for the party outside of deep-red areas. But at other times, some Republicans have stoked narratives that falsely pin blame for the attack on police, Democrats or far-left agitators — or downplay the violence at the Capitol. The latter approach has seen a noticeable uptick of late.

And it’s not just far-right conservatives who fall in that group — some House GOP leaders and key committee chiefs have shown they’re willing to flirt with the fringe without an outright embrace. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has shared security video of that day with far-right media figures who have minimized or fed inaccurate portrayals of the attack.

Yet they’re also batting down some of those same false conspiracy theories and preparing to focus on at least one area of bipartisan concern: Capitol security vulnerabilities, many of which remain unresolved since the attack. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), who faced scrutiny from the Jan. 6 select committee for a Capitol complex tour he gave on Jan. 5, 2021, is warning allies against automatically accepting certain claims.

“You wouldn’t believe how many experts there are out there on Jan. 6, who know exactly what happened because they read it on the internet,” said Loudermilk, who is leading the GOP’s look back at the attack and at the Democratic-led Jan. 6 panel.

Loudermilk’s comments underscore House Republicans’ reality. While most admit privately, if not publicly, that Jan. 6 was the work of a violent mob, they have a political calculus to consider: A not-insignificant faction of their party is hellbent on rewriting the history of the day.

Hanging over it all is former President Donald Trump’s vociferous defense of the rioters and continued false claims that he won the 2020 election. Federal and Georgia prosecutors are investigating his efforts to subvert the election and could bring charges later this year.

Trump is uninterested in making the balance any easier on Republicans: His pledge to pardon a large number of Jan. 6 defendants is a feature of his commentary on the campaign trail, where he remains the frontrunner for the party’s 2024 nomination.

Still, House Republicans aren’t fully playing to Trump. For now, they’re giving Jan. 6 a side hug more than a bear hug.

McCarthy encapsulates the half-hearted embrace. He angered some allies on the right this year by defending a Capitol Police officer’s decision to shoot a Jan. 6 rioter who was attempting to breach a room adjacent to the House chamber. But he’s also provided exclusive access to thousands of hours of security footage to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who’s used the film to demean and distort police officers’ actions.

“Speaker McCarthy promised that House Republicans would investigate the security failures of that day and provide transparency to the American people. Former Speaker Pelosi and her Select Committee set one bad precedent after another — including releasing select clips for partisan purposes,” a McCarthy spokesperson said in a statement that did not address conference dynamics around Jan. 6.

“For two years, we heard no concerns when footage was used by Democrats, the media, and Pelosi’s daughter for her HBO documentary,” the McCarthy spokesperson added, declining to be identified by name and referring to Nancy Pelosi’s daughter filming her mother and other party leaders on Jan. 6.

Some of McCarthy’s most trusted committee chairs have taken a similar approach to the California Republican, eschewing the most extreme efforts demanded by the far-right flank but still winking at some of their concerns.

For example, no committees have pursued baseless claims that Ray Epps, who rioted on Jan. 6, was acting as an undercover government agent. And GOP leaders have sidestepped a far-right fervor to subpoena and probe Jan. 6 select panel members, to scrutinize distorted allegations about Pelosi’s handling of Capitol security or to dig into judges’ treatment of the 1,000-plus criminal cases stemming from the attack.

Notably, no committee chairs or party leaders participated in the biggest platform House Republicans have given Jan. 6 defendants so far: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), joined by a handful of others from the conference’s right flank, hosted an event last week with former Trump acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey Clark, people charged in relation to Jan. 6, defendants’ family members and allies.

The event featured a veritable kitchen sink of conspiracy theories as well as rehashed false claims, including that the 2020 election was “stolen” and that the Jan. 6 committee “doctored” video.

But Jan. 6 defendants, their advocates and some GOP lawmakers have called for Republicans to push further.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said that probing the Justice Department’s handling of Jan. 6 prosecutions should be one of the “top priorities” for a Judiciary sub-panel tasked with investigating GOP claims of bias against conservatives within the federal government.

She introduced impeachment articles against the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who has taken the lead on prosecuting members of the mob. Meanwhile, Gaetz introduced a resolution to censure Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who led the now-closed riot select committee. Both efforts have a single-digit number of cosponsors at the moment.

Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) did recently release a wider report that accused the FBI of artificially conflating the number of Jan. 6-related investigations. The report and a subsequent hearing also included testimony from whistleblowers who lost their security clearances due to improper actions related to Jan. 6.

One of the whistleblowers, Steve Friend, and several Freedom Caucus members were invited to speak at a retreat hosted by the conservative Center for Renewing America, where Friend is a senior fellow, shortly before the hearing, according to research by the progressive group Accountable.US that was provided exclusively to POLITICO and confirmed via House disclosure forms.

Jordan also fired off new Jan. 6-related letters, one asking for more information on the FBI’s investigation into pipe bombs found near the Capitol the day of the attack and another expanding a probe into record-sharing with federal investigators.

But those efforts make up a small slice of his collective, sweeping investigations.

The Oversight Committee organized a tour of the D.C. jail to investigate two-year-old claims of “disparate treatment” of the approximately two dozen Jan. 6-related detainees — nearly all of whom were incarcerated or detained for violence against police. But Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) didn’t attend the tour, which was led by panel member Greene.

Democrats who attended said that GOP lawmakers and the detained rioters treated each other as allies and friends.

Some members of the Oversight panel recently raised Jan. 6 during a hearing with testimony from Graves and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser — but the session was billed as about broader crime and governance issues.

There’s a reason behind the conference’s actions to sidestep those issues: A broad swath of House Republicans see spotlighting Jan. 6-related investigations as a terrible political strategy.

Loudermilk has largely conducted the GOP’s most focused dive into Jan. 6 so far. He received a copy of the Capitol Police’s radio transmissions from the day and met privately with former law enforcement officials to discuss security failures. Loudermilk’s sub-panel, according to the McCarthy spokesperson, will also soon be rolling out “additional access” to view Capitol security footage.

Still, Loudermilk set off alarm bells among Democrats when he pushed the D.C. police to disclose how many undercover officers were in the crowd during the attack. The letter dovetails with, but did not specifically mention, claims by some Jan. 6 defendants that plainclothes agents or the government itself might have fomented the riot.

But Loudermilk says he won’t lend his subcommittee’s imprimatur to some of the most egregious false claims.

“We want to just follow the facts, not hyperbole or some kind of conspiracy theory, so our interest is just: What is the truth?” he said.

[Boldface added]

 

 

Far Right Turns on Marjorie Taylor Greene—and MTG Hits Back in Text to Matt Gaetz

https://www.thedailybeast.com/far-right-turns-on-marjorie-taylor-greeneand-mtg-hits-back-in-text-to-matt-gaetz

[Excerpts:]

Even before Marjorie Taylor Greene was sworn into Congress, she was a darling of the far right.

A MAGA soldier from a deep-red district, Greene spent her first few years in office as a thorn in the side of House GOP leadership. Her attention-seekingBiden-bashingpro-Trump antics endeared her to the conservative base as much as they alienated her with GOP leaders. And she owned the persona unapologetically.

But lately, a different Marjorie Taylor Greene has emerged—one who’s found favor with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and scorn from the conservative allies who once adored her. And according to a text message Greene sent to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Friday, Greene may be even more done with certain MAGA influencers than they are with her.

The subtle transformations have left Greene’s newfound foes calling for retribution in the traditional conservative way: a primary challenge.

In the past week, former Trump administration official-turned-podcaster Steve Bannon led the charge, calling for Greene to be primaried by a more right-wing candidate who is “REAL MAGA.”

A fringe set of far-right allies soon followed.

Gaetz was one of the leading voices and last holdouts against McCarthy becoming speaker—a standoff that Greene was on the other side of, as she worked to help McCarthy secure the votes. Greene, Gaetz, and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) used to be a sort of outcast triumvirate in Congress, but that too has crumbled as Greene has taken a new approach.

Recently, Greene has been at odds with some members of the House Freedom Caucus. The congresswoman last week had a number of tiffs with conservatives who were against the debt limit deal, including a Twitter back-and-forth with Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). But even before the flame war with Roy, as The Daily Beast reported this past January, Greene had a spat with Boebert in the Speaker’s Lobby bathroom over opposing McCarthy’s speakership bid.

Elsewhere in the text message, Greene ripped into Bannon over his involvement in the “We Build the Wall” scheme, which prosecutors are once again going after him for.

“I donated to We Build The Wall campaign. I remember how it said 100% of the donations went to building the wall,” she wrote. “I was one of the many naive people that believed in people and movements because I hoped so badly good things could happen.”

As Greene sees it, partnering with Bannon is a thing of the past.

“Steve and I aren’t getting back together,” she wrote to Gaetz. “And if he keeps it up I’ll take the house and kids. I hope you send it to Steve. Because I’m done.”

(Gaetz’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment about the text, as well as a question about whether he had in fact forwarded the message to Bannon. Neither Greene nor Bannon responded either.)

Marjorie Taylor Greene silenced by committee after calling DHS Secretary Mayorkas ‘a liar

Marina Pitofsky

USA TODAY
April 19. 2023
The Republican-led House Committee on Homeland Security on Wednesday struck comments from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and ended her time to speak after she called Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas a liar.

The committee first declined to strike comments from Greene, who spoke after Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., at a hearing on budget requests from the Department of Homeland Security. Greene started her comments by accusing Swalwell of having an affair “with a Chinese spy.”  

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., earlier this year said he would not seat Swalwell on the House Intelligence Committee over his previous ties to a suspected Chinese spy, a move Democrats called political revenge.  

Democrats on Wednesday failed in a push to strike the allegation against Swalwell, arguing it violated House rules.  

But as Greene continued with her comments, she criticized Mayorkas for the spread of fentanyl in the United States  

“I want to know from you, how many more people do we have to watch die every single day in America? How many more young people do we have to see die? How many more teenagers?” the Georgia Republican asked.  

Mayorkas tried to respond to the lawmaker, saying, “let me assure you that we’re not letting it go on,” before Greene said she was reclaiming her time in the committee and called Mayorkas “a liar.”  

‘Unacceptable’

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., sought to have Greene’s words taken down, saying “We have a history of being a bipartisan committee that works on solutions. Now we can disagree, but we’ve gotten to the point of the language that we’re using is not the kind of language that historically we as members of this committee have used.”  

 

Graham calls Marjorie Taylor Greene’s praise of US intelligence leaker ‘irresponsible’

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3953302-graham-calls-marjorie-taylor-greenes-praise-of-us-intelligence-leaker-irresponsible/
[How can Greene responsibly serve on the Homeland Security Committee?]

 

Letters from an America, Heather Cox Richardson

February 26, 2023

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

We are becoming accustomed to certain Republican lawmakers saying ridiculous things. Just two days ago, in a now-deleted tweet, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) claimed that “6 billion” people have illegally crossed the border since President Biden took office. (There are slightly fewer than 8 billion people on earth.)

MTG Celebrated Lincoln’s Birthday With A Full-Throated Call For Secession

TPM Morning Memo

Feb. 21, 2023

Greene: “We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government.”

[Excerpt:]

We’ve spent the last two years nonchalantly kicking around whether the 14th Amendment’s Insurrection Clause really means what it says and should be applied to the House Republicans who sanctioned, ratified, supported, and enabled Trump’s insurrection attempt. And now we have a sitting member of Congress using the occasion of Lincoln’s birthday to call for secession.

This is not a drill. This is not civics cosplay. This is where we are.

 

McCarthy gives Tucker Carlson exclusive access to Jan. 6 riot video

Tom Jackman contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/02/21/tucker-carlson-kevin-mccarthy-jan-6-insurrection/

[Excerpts:]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has provided exclusive access to a trove of U.S. Capitol surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has played down the deadly violence that occurred that day and claimed it was a “false flag” operation.

Carlson, the network’s most-watched prime-time host, has repeatedly cast doubt on official accounts of what happened on Jan. 6 shared last year by the House select committee. Instead, he has repeated baseless theories that the federal government instigated the attack and blasted the committee, even giving airtime to former Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon hours after he had been convicted of contempt. Carlson produced a three-part documentary, “Patriot Purge,” advancing a false claim that FBI operatives were behind the assault and arguing that the Jan. 6 rioters were innocent.

Shortly after the Axios report, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a McCarthy ally who has called those facing charges for the Jan. 6 attack “political prisoners,” hailed the decision to provide the footage solely to Carlson while taking credit for her backing of McCarthy. [Boldface added]

Trump has tried to blame Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former speaker, for the Capitol breach, falsely suggesting that the absence of enough security to turn back the mob was her responsibility, not that of the commander in chief. He has also falsely claimed Pelosi rejected his order for 10,000 National Guard troops — something that never happened.

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), who was a member of the Jan. 6 committee, told The Washington Post’s Early 202 newsletter that the videos could be used by Carlson to prop up his misleading allegations.

“Undoubtedly he’ll be searching for any kind of shot that could support this deranged theory of what happened on January 6th,” Raskin said. “If you want to make tens of thousands of hours publicly available, then it should be available for all media, not for just one propaganda mouthpiece.”

 

Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/

February 20, 2023

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) explicitly called for dividing the nation. She tweeted: “We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government. Everyone I talk to says this.” For once I will spare you my usual lecture on how elite southern enslavers in the 1850s made this same argument because they resented the majority rule that threatened their ability to impose their will on their Black neighbors.

(I will note, though, that former representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) helpfully reviewed “some of the governing principles of America” for Greene, tweeting: “Our country is governed by the Constitution. You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Secession is unconstitutional. No member of Congress should advocate secession, Marjorie.”)

What Greene had to say next is of more interest in this moment. The Munich Security Conference, the world’s largest gathering for international security discussions, has just reported that the Russian war on Ukraine is a war of authoritarianism on a rules-based international order. At that conference, Vice President Kamala Harris said the U.S. had determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity and noted that the bipartisan U.S. delegation to the conference was the largest we have ever sent. The U.S. president has just entered a war zone to declare U.S. support for democracy and is now in Poland, where he will speak with the leaders of the nine countries that make up NATO’s eastern flank and will deliver a speech that Blinken has described as “very significant.”

In contrast, Greene echoed authoritarian leaders Viktor Orbán of Hungary and Putin himself when she called for splitting the nation over “the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats” and “the Democrat’s [sic] traitorous America Last policies.” Authoritarian leaders insist that the equality that underpins liberal democracy threatens traditional society because it means that LGBTQ people, women, and minorities should have the same rights as white men. Greene appears to be taking the same position.

 

Morning Shots with Charlie Sykes

January 18, 2023

https://morningshots.thebulwark.com/p/mlk-deserved-better-hes-not-alone

[Excerpt:]

As recently as 2019, Republicans were able to draw lines. After Iowa’s notorious Steve King publicly embraced white supremacy, the GOP hesitated only momentarily before kicking him off committees and, ultimately, consigning him to political oblivion.

What a difference a few years makes. Via NBC:
The GOP Steering Committee, which doles out committee gavels and seats, voted to give Greene and Gosar spots on the Oversight and Accountability Committee, which plans to launch numerous investigations into President Joe Biden and his administration
Greene also won a seat on the Homeland Security Committee, which Republicans will use to focus on border security and to investigate Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The folks at the Defend Democracy Project remind us who we’re talking about here:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Is A Far Right Conspiracy Theorist Who Was Part Of The January 6 Plot And Now Serves On The Homeland Security And Oversight Committees... In addition to her other conspiracies, racist remarks, and wild accusations, Greene relentlessly spread lies about the 2020 election being “stolen” and was a key figure working in Congress to overturn the results in Donald Trump’s favor….

Rep. Paul Gosar Plotted With Trump To Overturn The 2020 Election.  Rep. Paul Gosar was a ringleader in the plot to overturn the election far beyond his vote not to certify electors on January 6….

Gosar has a long history of collaborating with white nationalists and far right extremists, and several of his own estranged siblings have referred to him as a “traitor to his country” and called for his removal from the House.

From outside agitator to inside player: The remaking of Marjorie Taylor Greene

Even as she has sidled up to GOP leadership, however, Greene has continued making offensive and outlandish comments.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2023/01/14/marjorie-taylor-greene-mccarthy-republicans/

[Excerpts:]

But amid the cycle of self-inflicted errors, public rebukes and halting apologies, Greene also embarkedupon what one person called a “methodical” reinvention starting early last year, according to some people familiar with her thinking, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal details.

Greene calculated that McCarthy was likely to be the next House speaker — and that her best opportunity at political relevancy was aligning herself with him, one of these people said. She also made the strategic decision to position herself as conduit between the populist base and her party’s leaders, reasoning that she could lobby for more of her conservative priorities if she had strong relationships between both camps, said a second person, who recently spoke with Greene.

But Greene’s progression from outside firebrand to inside player is hardly a total makeover.

Last week, she sent a tweet seeming to imply, with no evidence, that coronavirus vaccines were responsible for stroke and heart attack deaths around the world, calling for “an immediate investigation.”

Referring to the GOP’s disappointing midterm results, Greene told Stephen K. Bannon, a former top adviser in the Trump White House, on his hard-right “War Room” podcast in November that she was willing to “lean into” a “civil war in the GOP.”

And then, in December, Greene made what her office later dismissed as a “sarcastic joke” about claims that she and Bannon had been responsible for the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“I want to tell you something: If Stephen K. Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won,” Greene said, pausing for laughter and applause. “Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”

 

Mark Meadows Exchanged Texts With 34 Members Of Congress About Plans To Overturn The 2020 Election

The Messages Included Battle Cries, Crackpot Legal Theories, And ‘Invoking Marshall Law!!’
[Excerpts:]

Based on TPM’s analysis, Meadows received at least 364 messages from Republican members of Congress who discussed attempts to reverse the election results with him. He sent at least 95 messages of his own. The committee did not respond to requests for comment. Some of Meadows’ texts — notably with Fox News personalities and a couple members of Congress — have already been made public by the committee, media outlets, and in the book “The Breach.” However, the full scope of his engagement with congressional Republicans as they worked to overturn the election has not previously been revealed. 

Meadows’ text log shows what the scheme to reverse the election results looked like behind the scenes, revealing new details about which members of Congress helped spearhead the efforts and the strategies they deployed.

The following day, Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller wrote Meadows that Trump himself was pressing Georgia’s senators to “to get on board with the Cruz effort.” A spokesperson for Cruz declined to comment. 

Brooks wrote Meadows on Dec. 21, 2020, about plans to have a “White House meeting regarding formulation of our January 6 strategies.” Later that day, Meadows sent a message to Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade later that day indicating the meeting took place. 

“The President and I met with about 15 members of Congress to discuss the evidence of voter fraud in various states as well as discuss the strategy for making the case to the American people,” Meadows wrote to the cable news host. (Eleven of those members — including Babin, Biggs, Gaetz, Gosar, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Hice, Jordan, Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Rep.-elect Marjore Taylor Greene (R-GA)were later identified by the Jan. 6 Committee, citing White House visitor logs. Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) also attended the meeting.) 

[Boldface added]

 

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Racists, and a Newsweek Editor Walk Into a Ballroom

There was violent rhetoric and disreputable company at a Young Republicans event in New York City. Sadly, this is the absolute state of the new right.

They aren’t putting their best face forward. After a disappointing 2022 midterm, Republicans have learned zero lessons, as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is poised to be the face of the GOP in the New Year—if she isn’t already.

The die was cast last month, when Greene broke with the right and endorsed Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House, and said that opposing him is a “bad strategy.” You don’t have to be Rasputin to see that Greene is trying to play kingmaker. If McCarthy becomes the Speaker (which seems more likely than not), she’ll be the one pulling the strings.

Meanwhile, Greene continues to provide an endless stream of controversy and demagoguery that is guaranteed to generate buzz and boost her stature. The most recent example came at the New York Young Republican gala on Saturday night, when she said “If Steve Bannon and I had organized [the Jan. 6 riot], we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”(The insurrectionists should have been armed? )

It would be wrong to write off MTG’s violent rhetoric as an anomaly. In many ways, she has earned her status as queen bee of a Republican Party that reflects her values. Look no further than the aforementioned Young Republican event Greene addressed this weekend for proof.

According to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the event also included a speech by the group’s president, Gavin Wax, who declared: “We want to cross the Rubicon. We want total war. We must be prepared to do battle in every arena. In the media. In the courtroom. At the ballot box. And in the streets.”

In the streets?

Call me crazy, but it sounds like he’s calling for actual war. The rhetoric isn’t cute or harmless: it is all very literal—especially when put in the context of Greene’s comments about Jan. 6 and armed insurrectionists.

What do people think the end game is going to be? Based on past performance, we shouldn’t dismiss this as mere hyperbole.

The SPLC’s report also highlighted some interesting event attendees, such as Peter BrimelowJack Posobiec, and Josh Hammer.

In case you’re not familiar, Brimelow runs the white nationalist site VDARE. Posobiec is best known for pushing the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Hammer is the opinion editor of Newsweek, once considered a premier news magazine, and an advocate of “national conservatism” (which raises the question of whether it’s going too far for me to connect the dots between national conservatism and white nationalism).

It’s hard to imagine the opinion editor of Newsweek, in say, 2015, cavorting with such extremists (according to the report, Hammer “shared jokes” with Posobiec and said he wanted to say “hi” to Brimelow). To be sure, spending time with all sorts of unseemly people is a job requirement (if not fringe benefit) for any curious opinion journalist. But in this situation, the line between observer and collaborator seems to have been crossed.

As I write this, I wonder if I am eliciting yawns from readers who have had their outrage receptors burned out since 2016 and may think this is all no big deal.

Let’s face the facts: We have lost the ability to be shocked anymore.

Once upon a time, talk of fighting in the streets was off limits. Once upon a time, a mainstream Republican event that prominently welcomed white nationalists who mingled with members of Congress and journalists would have been met with disbelief—and outrage.

Today, it’s all been normalized. The important thing to realize is that, by definition, this was not a fringe right-wing conclave, it was a mainstream Republican gala that took place in Manhattan—not the Michigan militia trading posts on 4chan. This was also the Young Republicans, once the anodyne home of Alex P. Keaton-esque conservatives (I know because I was a YR).

Along with Greene and the aforementioned names, former White House advisor Steve Bannon was at the gala. “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani was at the gala. Son of the former POTUS, Donald Trump, Jr., was at the gala. We’re not talking about the fringe anymore. We’re talking about prominent names in the world of politics and journalism.

Aside from being dangerous, this also seems politically stupid.

A month after “candidate quality” issues doomed the Republican “red wave,” as candidates like Blake Masters, Kari Lake, and Herschel Walker all underperformed, Republicans seem destined to repeat history, while Democrats are committed to helping them do just that, partly by making sure Greene becomes the new face of the GOP.

By embracing Marjorie Taylor Greene and the cavalcade of weirdos, cranks, racists, and right-wing extremists she cavorts with, Republicans are preparing for another face-plant.

 

WHY IS MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE LIKE THIS?

On the ground in the Georgia congresswoman’s alternate universe

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2023/01/marjorie-taylor-greene-congress-georgia-election-background/672229/

[Excerpts:]

 

What Marjorie Taylor Greene has accomplished is this: She has harnessed the paranoia inherent in conspiratorial thinking and reassured a significant swath of voters that it is okay—no, righteous—to indulge their suspicions about the left, the Republican establishment, the media. “I’m not going to mince words with you all,” she declared at a Michigan rally this fall. “Democrats want Republicans dead, and they’ve already started the killings.” Greene did not create this sensibility, but she channels it better than any of her colleagues.

In her speech at the Cobb County GOP breakfast, Greene bemoaned “the major media organizations” for creating a caricature of her “that’s not real” without ever, she said, giving her the chance to speak for herself. Afterward, I introduced myself, noted what she had just said, and asked if she was willing to sit down for an interview. “Oh,” she said, “you’re the one that’s going around trying to talk to [all my friends]. This is the first time you’ve actually tried to talk to me.” I explained that I had tried but had been repeatedly turned away by her staff. “Yeah, because I’m not interested,” she snapped. “You’re a Democrat activist.” Some of her supporters looked on, nodding with vigor.

Whether Greene actually believes the things she says is by now almost beside the point. She has no choice but to be the person her followers think she is, because her power is contingent on theirs. The mechanics of actual leadership—diplomacy, compromise, patience—not only don’t interest her but represent everything her followers disdain. To soften, or engage in better faith, is to admit defeat.

 

MCCARTHY’S MATH

Politico

Oct. 7, 2022

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2022/10/06/misunderstanding-kevin-mccarthy

[Excerpt:]

Yet even beyond that portrait of McCarthy as an intellectual lightweight, critics say he’s failed in his own efforts to clear his conference of conservative gadflies who could prove ungovernable in a future majority. A recent Bulwark column made a compelling case that McCarthy’s been ineffective at evicting “the looniest of the loonies in the party” from his ranks.

But like it or not — and his critics don’t have to — McCarthy’s never styled himself as an arbiter of responsible conservatism, out to smooth out the Trumpiest elements of the GOP. And he’s rarely hinted that he finds the more bumptious members on his right flank to be real problems, aside from ousted Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.).

So when McCarthy goes about picking horses in GOP primaries, he’s not trying to dislodge all problematic conservatives from his conference at all — he’s trying to lock in the majority he needs on the floor next year to claim the House’s top gavel.

And on that score, he’s doing pretty well. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), perhaps the most divisive member of his conference, lauded McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” agenda before it even came out.

[Boldface added]
The new Republican fringe is done with the separation of church and state. William “Dutch” Sheets has been trying to tear down that wall for decades

DUTCH SHEETS STOOD behind Marjorie Taylor Greene, the palms of his hands held up to God.

Revered by followers as a modern Christian apostle, Sheets told a packed crowd at Gas South Arena, outside Atlanta, to pray with him for the GOP congresswoman, who touts herself as a Christian nationalist, and appeared onstage in a bright-red dress.

“We say she is covered by the blood of Jesus,” Sheets said. “She will not be taken out by evil forces,” he insisted, adding: “We take authority over that in Jesus’ name. And we cover her now with a shield of prayer and faith and say, ‘Be strong! Be blessed! You are highly favored! You will not fail,’ in Jesus’ name.”

Sheets, 68, is one of America’s most influential Christian voices demanding an end to the separation of church and state. He’s been at the forefront of that movement for 20 years, but now the Republican part has come to him, with a growing contingent that’s embracing his end-times vision of America as Christian theocracy. At this July 1 worship event, Sheets told the crowd, “We must marry these two arenas — the civil and the sacred. They are not separate in Scripture,” he added, then insisted, “God never intended for it to be separate.”

Christian nationalism has long been an undercurrent of GOP politics. But with the rise of the MAGA movement and the Republican party’s lurch toward authoritarianism, its proponents have burst into the foreground. Representatives like Greene and Lauren “the church is supposed to direct the government” Boebert have embraced Christian nationalism in Washington, while far-right-media figures like Andrew Torba — the CEO of the platform Gab.com — embrace it as the answer to conservative setbacks in the culture wars, insisting: “We are going to take power in this country, for the glory of God.”  

The reckless rage of the lawless

The Justice Department’s decision to execute a search warrant of former president Donald Trump‘s Florida home was unprecedented in our nation’s history.

Prominent Republicans reacted with predictable fury and heated threats of retaliation against the attorney general — unprecedented acts of vitriol based on the belief that the FBI’s conduct was politically motivated rather than legally necessary.

In doing so, they recklessly and knowingly undermined respect for a “law and order” institution and the men and women who risk their lives to protect us.

We are confident that Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, both honest and honorable men, gave careful consideration before authorizing a search of Trump’s residence, knowing the historical significance and potential for political backlash.

The controversy, while significant in its legal implications, should not be allowed to overshadow the far larger issues surrounding the conduct of the former president.

The House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6, 2021, has produced compelling evidence that Trump and his supporters engaged in an orchestrated six-step plan to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, culminating with the assault on our Capitol.

We share disgust and deep disappointment that the Republican Party’s decency and respect for the rule of law has been defined down to a cultish devotion to a demonstrably unprincipled man of greed and blind ambition.

Sadly, the task of rescuing the banner of conservatism has been left to Republican Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Peter Meijer (Mich.) and others who have been willing to fulfill their Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and Constitution. They have been noble exceptions to those who clutch their titles and sacrifice their honor; these heroes will likely be replaced with sycophants rather than serious legislators.

While the House committee’s focus is necessarily directed to recommending legislative measures to help preserve our democratic republic, we should not ignore what is at stake for America’s role in international affairs.

In November 2021, nearly 100 former national security officials, both civilians and military officers of both parties signed a letter decrying the threats that the Trump presidency created for the United States internationally. “The insurrection on January 6th,” the letter stated, “has left other countries to wonder if the American Experiment is failing and if American democracy is the best path forward.”

Our allies are rightly worried about the possibility of a resurgence of Trump and his hyper-nationalist methods of governance. Foreign adversaries who believe that we are in a state of moral and social decline see the deepening racial, ethnic and cultural divisions in our society as target-rich opportunities for exploitation in an age of cyber and social media propaganda. They recognize Abraham Lincoln’s insight that “a house divided against itself cannot stand” and are working to turn those sage words into our reality.

In her book, “How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them,” political scientist Barbara F. Walter raises valid concerns about the United States slipping into a place where civil war is possible. She writes about a netherworld of anocracy — between democracy and autocracy — a breeding ground for political violence, where the grievances and resentments of a large White underclass have greatly increased the potential for civil war.

These predictions once sounded like the fever dreams of far-right lunatics who would welcome such a bloody conflict; today, such predictions are coming from responsible voices such as Walter and others who have carefully studied this phenomenon around the world.

Not long ago, we thought that with the collapse of the Soviet empire, the march of freedom and democracy was in unstoppable ascendancy. Today, the tide is moving in the opposite direction. Autocracies are surfacing even among members of NATO, such as Hungary and Turkey. Similar anti-democratic forces are gaining strength in France and Italy. Without America’s sustainable pro-democratic leadership, this trend is bound to accelerate.

Garland’s actions upholding the principle that no one is above the law reaches well beyond our borders. Surely, he is not eager to be the first person to initiate criminal proceedings against a former president. To do so will establish a woeful, even if justified precedent, and possibly will set off a level of civil strife we have not witnessed in more than 150 years.

But our nation’s senior law enforcer, a man who has an impeccable record of fairness and impartiality as a distinguished jurist, cannot tailor his judgment to accommodate the rage of the lawless.

 

On the lighter side:
Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Status as Most Ignorant Person in Congress Is at Stake in Alaska Election

“Ignorance is Margie’s brand,” one of Greene’s aides said.

Andy Borowitz

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/marjorie-taylor-greenes-status-as-most-ignorant-person-in-congress-is-at-stake-in-alaska-election

 

 

Sasse claims ‘the right wants a strongman daddy figure’

Sasse was also not shy about taking some swipes at both Democrats and members of his own party.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene and AOC, it’s choose your own dictatorial adventure,” he said, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by her initials.

“Matt Gaetz and Madison Cawthorn, they might as well be from the far left because, like all prophets of doom, they love ranting to the American people that we’re just victims.”

 

Greene court victory delivers latest blow to insurrection disqualification effort

Greene celebrated the decision by repeating the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

“Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election by abusing and breaking our laws. Thankfully this attempt to rig another election was stopped in its tracks,” she said in a statement Friday.

[Boldface added]

 

From: Brennan Center for Justice <insider@brennancenter.org>

Date: May 5, 2022

Just three days before President Biden’s inauguration, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) texted the White House chief of staff that some fellow GOP House members wanted President Trump to declare martial law.
The term “martial law” has no established definition, but it is generally understood as a power allowing the military to take over the role of civilian government in an emergency. Although there is no provision for martial law in U.S. law, there is the Insurrection Act, which allows the president to deploy the military for civilian law enforcement, permitting the military to assist civilian authorities.
The law, which dates to 1792, is dangerously vague and ripe for abuse. So when can the president invoke the Insurrection Act? And what exactly does it allow the president and military to do? A new Brennan Center explainer has answers on this antiquated law and why it needs a major overhaul.

New details show extent of GOP effort to unwind Trump’s loss

Documents and texts stemming from the House investigation into Jan. 6, 2021, offer new details about the extent House Republicans, particularly members of the Freedom Caucus, were involved in plans to unwind the 2020 election — even as lawyers at the White House warned them their proposals could be illegal.

The content — released in the committee’s court battle against Mark Meadows and in a trove of texts to the former chief of staff obtained by CNN — outlines a lengthy list of Republicans involved in conversations with the White House about planning for the rallies on Jan. 6 and efforts to oppose the certification of votes that day.

Taken together, the messages show how early the White House reached out to lawmakers in its effort to keep former President Trump in office.

They also show a consistent effort by various members to strategize over how to keep Trump in office after his election loss.

That effort ranged from selecting alternate slates of electors from swing states ahead of the Electoral College vote to directing the crowd to the Capitol after the Jan. 6 rallies to discussing the possibility that Trump declare martial law days before he was set to leave office. 

Testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to the president and Meadows, relays that Meadows, a former Freedom Caucus chairman, was the one to make “outreach” to members of the conservative caucus, including then-Rep-elects. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Hutchinson identified those four as being involved in the earliest stages of efforts to unwind the election.

Texts to Meadows as early as three days after Election Day 2020 show lawmakers rallying around the idea of alternate electors.

“I’m sure you have heard of this proposal,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) texted to Meadows on Nov. 6. “Is anybody on the team researching and considering lobbying for that?”

As early as the first or second week of December, the White House’s own counsel was pushing back against the idea.

“Hey, this isn’t legally sound, we have fleshed this out internally, it’s fine that you think this but we’re not going to entertain this in an official White House capacity on behalf of the President, we’re putting a stop to this,” Hutchinson characterized the White House Counsel’s Office as saying.

That message was relayed to at least Perry, Jordan, and Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), according to Hutchinson.

By Dec. 21, a larger group was meeting at the White House with Trump campaign attorney Rudy Giuliani, where the focus had shifted to the ways former Vice President Mike Pence could buck his ceremonial duty to certify the election results.

That group attending that meeting included Jordan, Brooks, Biggs, Gaetz, Greene, Gohmert, Perry, and Reps. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.), Hutchinson said.

“They felt that he had the authority to — pardon me if my phrasing isn’t correct on this, but — send votes back to the States or the electors back to the States, more along the lines of the Eastman theory,” Hutchinson said, referring to John Eastman, who crafted two memos for the Trump campaign outlining how to challenge the election.

“I don’t recall anybody speaking out and definitively expressing disagreement with that theory,” she said of the lawmakers, adding that “the vice president’s team appeared slightly skeptical.” 

Later that day, Brooks suggested to Meadows they try to frame the meeting as being both positive and productive after being contacted by reporters.

“Media is contacting my office about this afternoon’s White House meeting regarding formulation of our January 6 strategies,” Brooks wrote to Meadows. “Does the White House want me to reply or be mum? Also, it is one thing to discuss (in general terms) our meeting beforehand. It is another to discuss afterwards.

“If you believe discussion is a positive, I suggest message should be: 1. Progress is being made. 2. More are joining our fight. 3. We can’t allow voter fraud & election theft occur if we are going to be a republic. Your choice. Let me know,” he concluded.

About a week after the meeting, Greene complained to Meadows they didn’t get enough time to chat with Giuliani about the strategy.

“We have to get organized for the 6th. I would like to meet with Rudy Giuliani again. We didn’t get to speak with him long. Also anyone who can help. We are getting a lot of members on board. And we need to lay out the best case for each state,” she texted Meadows on New Year’s Eve.

While lawmakers were coordinating with the legal team through the White House, Perry was involved with Trump’s pressure campaign at the Department of Justice (DOJ), texting Meadows on both Dec. 26 and Dec. 28 to encourage him to make contact with Jeffrey Clark. Trump would later weigh installing Clark, a mid-level DOJ official who primarily worked on environmental issues, as acting attorney general in order to forward investigations into his baseless election fraud claims.

But new testimony released by the committee shows DOJ staff pushed back as Clark tried to get a memo directly to Pence to encourage him to not certify the election results on Jan. 6.

“Mr. Clark suggested that OLC provide a legal opinion to the Vice President with respect to his authority when it comes to opening the votes as the President of the Senate on Jan. 6,” Steven Engel, who served as assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel at DOJ under Trump, told the committee.

“And I shot down that idea, but I said — I said: That’s an absurd idea. The — you know, the Vice President is acting as the President of the Senate. It is not the role of the Department of Justice to provide legislative officials with legal advice on the scope of their duties. And — you know, and — not to mention it was 3 days from the date. OLC doesn’t tend to provide the legal opinions, you know, in those cases, you know, in that short timeframe,” he added.

As Jan. 6 neared, lawmakers were once again coordinating with the White House about preparations for the day, including a discussion over whether to actively encourage rallygoers to march to the Capitol.

“I remember Mr. Perry had said that he had been starting to put tweets that night, Congressman Perry, that he was going to start putting out tweets that night, and he was a primary participant in the call,” Hutchinson said.

“I don’t think there’s a participant on the call that had necessarily discouraged the idea,” she added. “I don’t recall every single participant on the call that night, but I do recall it was a Freedom Caucus call.”

Gaetz would also go on to advertise on Jan. 5 during an appearance on Fox News that there could be “tens of thousands of people potentially marching in the streets in Washington, D.C., tomorrow.”

The same two troves show many GOP lawmakers would text Meadows as the chaos was unfolding at the Capitol, with some pleading for the chief of staff to get Trump to take action.

And other prior reporting shows that some Republicans who were initially involved eventually backed away from White House efforts amid their own doubts.

Still, another text from Greene just days before President Biden’s inauguration shows Greene — and evidently other members — were hopeful Trump might still try to resist any effort to swear in a new president and provide lawmakers tools to go after the new president.

 “In our private chat with only Members, several are saying the only way to save our Republic is for Trump to call for Marshall law. I don’t know on those things. I just wanted you to tell him,” she texted Meadows on Jan. 17.

“They stole this election. We all know. They will destroy our country next. Please tell him to declassify as much as possible so we can go after Biden and anyone else!” she added.

[Boldface added]

Greene says she can’t remember if she urged Trump to impose martial law

The congresswoman appeared in court as part of a lawsuit seeking to block her reelection bid

 

Letters from an AmericanHeather Cox Richardson,

March 16, 2022

[Excerpt:]

Meanwhile, a deepfake video of Zelensky calling for Ukrainians to surrender to Russia made the rounds on social media today. The false video used artificial intelligence to graft words onto Zelensky’s image.

Tonight, Russia specialist Julia Ioffe told MSNBC: “Every time I’m asked by Americans do Russians really believe this stuff… as if we don’t have the same thing happening here. You have 40% of the American population that was convinced in just one year that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election….”

And, indeed, Trump loyalists like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Fox News personality Tucker Carlson continue to echo Russian talking points to undercut Ukraine’s war effort. Media scholar Eric Boehlert noted that “the anti-democratic, authoritarian bonds are becoming tighter as the Trump movement now turns to the Kremlin for its messaging cues. The overlap is undeniable, and the implications are grave.”

Even more striking was white nationalist Nick Fuentes’s encouragement for people to pray for what he called the brave Russian soldiers fighting to “liberate Ukraine from the Great Satan and from the evil empire in the world, which is the United States.” Fuentes is an extremist but not an isolated one; both Greene and Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) spoke at a recent conference he organized (Greene in person; Gosar virtually), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) took no action to disavow their participation.

After Zelensky spoke today, Biden announced another $800 million in military equipment for Ukraine, including 800 anti-aircraft systems. “What’s at stake here are the principles that the United States and the united nations across the world stand for,” he said. “It’s about freedom. It’s about the right of people to determine their own future.”

 

Letters from an AmericanHeather Cox Richardson,

March 14, 2022

[Excerpt:]

Trump’s pressure to shift U.S. foreign policy away from our traditional democratic allies and toward Russia was almost certainly a reflection of the financial benefits of dealing with oligarchs and illicit money, but others undoubtedly were willing to follow because they believed they were defending “traditional values” and children, especially as stories of pedophilia rings flooded the internet. 

But now, Putin’s vicious attack on Ukraine has stripped away the unspoken link between “traditional values” and authoritarianism. 

Some right-wing leaders nonetheless cannot quit him: Fox News personality Tucker Carlson’s monologues are so supportive of Putin they are being replayed on Russian state television, Representative Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) has called Zelensky a thug and says democratic Ukraine is “incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies,” and Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were part of a conference in which white nationalists cheered on Putin’s attack on Ukraine and chanted his name.  [Boldface added]

From: Charlie Sykes – The Bulwark <morningshots@substack.com>
Date: March 2, 2022

The Deplorable Sisters, Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, heckled President Biden throughout the speech.

But the moment that stood out most was when Boebert shouted “13 of them” — referring to the 13 U.S. service members who died in an attack in Afghanistan during the U.S. withdrawal last year — when Biden discussed battlefield conditions that may contribute to veterans’ developing cancers “that would put them in a flag-draped coffin.”

Boebert’s remark came just before Biden mentioned that one such veteran was his son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq and died of brain cancer in 2015.

Jake Tapper tweeted:

 

From: Charlie Sykes – The Bulwark <morningshots@substack.com>
Date: February 27, 2022 

MTG Goes Full White Nationalist

Spoiler alert: Nothing will happen. Via CNN:

Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming called out two members of her conference who spoke at an event organized by White nationalist Nick Fuentes.

“As Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep Paul Gosar speak at this white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Putin event, silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling,”

 

GOP leader won’t condemn Greene, Gosar with cameras rolling

BY CRISTINA MARCOS AND MIKE LILLIS 

 03/01/22 

[Excerpts:]

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/596419-gop-leader-wont-condemn-greene-gosar-with-cameras-rolling?rnd=1646178030?userid=747077

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday refused an on-camera chance to condemn a pair of far-right lawmakers for their weekend participation in a white nationalist conference in Florida, where Russian President Vladimir Putin was a celebrated figure.

A day earlier, in the private halls of the Capitol, the Republican leader told a pair of reporters it was “unacceptable” that Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) made appearances at the America First Political Action Conference organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes three days earlier.

But with the cameras rolling at a House GOP leadership press conference Tuesday, McCarthy refused to engage in discussion about rebuking Greene and Gosar any further.

McCarthy’s reticence blunted his condemnations of a day earlier, suggesting there’s little appetite among GOP leaders to take on the far-right wing of the party, even those who dabble in race-based extremism.

Yet McCarthy still faced pressure to speak out publicly to rein in the more controversial elements of his conference, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel distanced themselves in recent days. 

McCarthy told the two reporters in the Capitol on Monday evening that he planned to speak with Greene and Gosar about their participation in the conference.

“There’s no place in our party for any of this,” he said.

Yet Greene and Gosar remain, without any formal sanction from GOP leaders. 

By contrast, the Arizona state Senate voted Tuesday to censure Republican state Sen. Wendy Rogers for participating in Fuentes’s event. Eleven Republicans approved of the historic reprimand. 

House Democrats — and a handful of Republicans — already voted to strip Greene and Gosar of their committee assignments last year for promoting the notion of violence against their political opponents. 

 

The war against democracy finds allies in America First

By Philip Bump

National correspondent

February 27, 2022

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/27/war-against-democracy-finds-allies-america-first/

[Excerpts:]

What does “America first” mean?

This tagline generally associated with former president Donald Trump seems self-obvious, which is the heart of its utility. “America first” means putting America first, which … sure. But how? In what context?

Over the weekend, a group using the name America First held a conference in Florida. Led by a notorious white nationalist named Nick Fuentes, the group explored the explicitly racist and toxic applications of the phrase. No one did so with more eagerness than Fuentes.

“Tonight I say: We are going to rule this country,” he told the cheering audience, largely made up of young White men. After pronouncing that “the United States government has become the evil empire in the world,” he pledged that he and they would “build and raise up a parallel economy” to avoid the constraints otherwise placed on overt racists.

Last year, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) was one of a small group of right-wing legislators who floated the idea of a political action committee adopting “America First” as its name. Included in its proposed platform were specific articulations of the need to defend the country’s “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.” It argued for infrastructure that “reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”

In short order, those considering signing on were pressured to step away. While Greene had been identified as a participant by multiple colleagues, her team insisted she hadn’t “approved or agreed to” the document that circulated.

On Friday, Greene undercut the idea that she stood apart from the rhetoric included in the platform: She was the surprise guest speaker at Fuentes’s conference. Condemnation came quickly, including from her own party, and she later claimed to have been unfamiliar with Fuentes’s past comments and his organization. But, of course, she has her own demonstrated track record of amplifying conspiracy theories and far-right rhetoric.

During his speech at CPAC, Trump praised Greene. Fuentes responded on Telegram.

“After a day of vicious attacks against Marjorie Taylor Greene for speaking at AFPAC last night, Donald Trump gives her a shoutout and endorsement from the main stage at CPAC,” he wrote. He speculated that perhaps Trump would attend his group’s America First conference next year or the year after.

Given where the group stands in the struggle between pluralistic democracy and autocracy, it’s not hard to see that happening.

 

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s blunder sums it up

By Richard Galant / February 13, 2022

CNN Opinion <cnnopinionfeedback@newsletters.cnn.com>

“I know nothing.” That was the response members of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner were supposed to give when asked about their secret society, which was founded in 1849.

The fiercely anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic group evolved into the American Party, but it will be forever remembered by another name. The “Know Nothings” became a powerful political force, commanding the allegiance of more than 100 members of Congress in the 1850s, as Lorraine Boissoneault wrote in Smithsonian Magazine.

Last week, a Republican member of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, falsely accusing her of having “gazpacho police spying on members of Congress,” apparently mistaking a cold vegetable soup from Spain for the Gestapo, the Nazi regime’s secret police. The botched reference was widely mocked on social media, and Greene later made fun of herself, tweeting: “No soup for those who illegally spy on Members of Congress, but they will be thrown in the goulash.”

It wasn’t the first time Greene had reached for wildly inappropriate Nazi comparisons. Even if she had gotten the term Gestapo right, there would have been no excuse for comparing the Capitol Police with the murderous agents of Hitler’s Germany.

Greene’s blunder came at a head-spinning moment, when hyper partisan politics and the long-running pandemic have combined to produce a cavalcade of misinformation, disinformation, ignorance, conspiracy theories and self-defeating protests — as if knowing nothing has become a feature, not a bug of 2022.

 

Rep. Greene introduces bill to award Congress’s highest honor to Kyle Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men

Greene was one of 21 Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to all the police officers who responded to the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6.

By Mariana Alfaro

November 24, 2021

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/greene-rittenhouse-congressional-gold-medal/2021/11/24/c09980d2-4d49-11ec-a1b9-9f12bd39487a_story.html

{Excerpt:]

Rittenhouse’s acquittal was celebrated by many Republicans in Congress, who rushed to Twitter upon hearing the news to congratulate him and describe his actions as a stand for Second Amendment rights. Some House members, including Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), have said they would hire Rittenhouse as an intern in their congressional offices.

Greene was among those who reached out to Rittenhouse upon his acquittal, tweeting that the teenager is “one of [the] good ones.”

Asked about Greene’s bill, Joel Valdez, a spokesman for Gaetz, said Wednesday, “We are concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office.”

 

“EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff”

From the explosive Rolling Stone story:

The two sources, both of whom have been granted anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of that day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as his election loss to President Joe Biden was being certified. 

“I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer says. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”

For the sake of clarity, we will refer to one of the sources as a rally organizer and the other as a planner. Rolling Stone has confirmed that both sources were involved in organizing the main event aimed at objecting to the electoral certification, which took place at the White House Ellipse on Jan. 6. Trump spoke at that rally and encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol. Some members of the audience at the Ellipse began walking the mile and a half to the Capitol as Trump gave his speech. The barricades were stormed minutes before the former president concluded his remarks.

These two sources also helped plan a series of demonstrations that took place in multiple states around the country in the weeks between the election and the storming of the Capitol. According to these sources, multiple people associated with the March for Trump and Stop the Steal events that took place during this period communicated with members of Congress throughout this process. 

Along with Greene, the conspiratorial pro-Trump Republican from Georgia who took office earlier this year, the pair both say the members who participated in these conversations or had top staffers join in included Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Rep. Mo Brooks(R-Ala.), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

“We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” says the organizer.

 

The Matt Gaetz-Marjorie Taylor Greene Fundraising Tour Is Actually a Cash Fire

Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene have teamed up and formed a joint fundraising committee. Unfortunately for them, they’re losing money. 

By Roger Sollenberger

Updated Jul. 23, 2021 

 https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-matt-gaetz-marjorie-taylor-greene-fundraising-tour-is-actually-a-cash-fire?ref=author

[Excerpts:]

At the height of the controversy surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the revelations that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bet big on a nationwide joint fundraising tour with her embattled colleague. But new campaign filings show that not only did the gamble not pay off, but that the much-maligned Republicans actually spent four times as much as they raised. 

At the height of the controversy surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the revelations that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bet big on a nationwide joint fundraising tour with her embattled colleague. But new campaign filings show that not only did the gamble not pay off, but that the much-maligned Republicans actually spent four times as much as they raised.

 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to expel  Greene (GA) from two committees over incendiary remarks she made before being elected. Eleven Republicans joined the Democrats to pass the motion

She embraced Tucker Carlson’s conspiracy theory that the Capitol insurrection was the work of the FBI.

https://apnews.com/article/michael-pence-donald-trump-capitol-siege-government-and-politics-4798a8617bacf27bbb576a4b805b85d9 May 29, 2021

Adrift from the legislative duties and oath of her office, Greene’s message is sensationalism, pure and simple, a siren’s call to shipwreck. 

 

Four of the most polarizing Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives called on a top Justice Department official to allow Arizona’s audit of Maricopa County ballots to continue unimpeded. 

Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia signed onto a letter Monday with Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona that suggests Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela Karlan was bowing to liberal interests in expressing concerns over the nationally watched audit.

It came on the same day Maricopa County officials from both parties slammed the audit as a sham that is harming the state’s reputation.

The letter falsely asserts a “deliberate deletion of the election management system” well ahead of turning the 2.1 million ballots over to the state Senate, which has ordered the review by the private company Cyber Ninjas.

https://eu.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2021/05/17/reps-gaetz-greene-team-biggs-gosar-defend-audit/5139021001/ May 17, 2021

Greene and Gaetz are among the most polarizing House members, with strong opposition from colleagues within and outside the Republican Party. The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel along with him. Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and agreed Friday to cooperate with the government’s investigations.

https://eu.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2021/05/14/reps-gaetz-taylor-greene-hold-america-first-rally-mesa/5096898001/ May 14, 2021

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) condemned Greene’s comments questioning the veracity of school shootings, encouraging political violence and promulgating anti-Semitic falsehoods. 

washingtonpost.com, Feb. 3, 2021

 

In a bid to out Trump all mini-Trumps, Greene’s political discourse is a murderous rant, engendering nothing but fear and loathing, loathing and fear. 

“The Problem of Majorie Taylor Greene”, Robert Draper, October 23, 2022, The New York Times Magazine. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/17/magazine/marjorie-taylor-greene.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare

The first-term Congress member endorsed false conspiracy theories that the 9/11 terrorist attacks and mass school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., were hoaxes.  

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said the party should move away from Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene  (R-Ga.) as House GOP leaders discuss how to handle her. 

thehill.com, Feb. 2, 2021

 

 

 

As the vilest writer has his readers, so the greatest liar has his believers: and it often happens, that if a lie be believed only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it….”

— Jonathan Swift