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McCarthy Embraced A Marjorie Traitor Greene-Warren Hamilton Vision Of Republicanism To Win

Warren Hamilton is some guy from rural Texas who joined the Army and then became a mercenary. In 2020 he primaried long-time conservative Republican state Senator, Larry Boggs, and beat him in the runoff, the main issue being who was more anti-Choice. The ultra conservative Republicans who dominate the shockingly backward district— parts of Haskell, Hughes, Latimer, Okfuskee and Pittsburg counties— picked Hamilton. Boggs then endorsed Democrat Jerry Donathan who lost to Hamilton with just 28%. Aside from being a total gun nut and extreme anti-vaxxer (“If you call yourself a Christian and you can square injecting yourself with the remains of murdered people, I’d say you’ve got some self reflection perhaps you need to do”), Hamilton is a certifiably insane anti-Choice freak. On Thursday, he introduced a bill that will eventually be the legislation all Republicans try to get passed everywhere. Oklahoma is already one of the most anti-Choice states in America. Hamilton’s bill takes the step that Republicans have gone slow on: charging women who end their pregnancies with medication with a felony that will put them in prison. Ultimately this is the Republican Party, even if the party is trying to soft pedal the Warren Hamilton vision of Republicanism.

You already know who Traitor Greene is… although this morning, the Washington Post published an update on her political evolution by Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer: From Outside Agitator To Inside Player: The Remaking Of Marjorie Taylor Greene. Don’t worry— she’s still the same unhinged sociopath, just going about it a little differently, a strategy engineered by Ed Buckham, a former top aide to Tom DeLay, who she hired at the end of 2021 to rescue her sinking career. Late this summer she sold herself to McCarthy’s efforts to win the speakership— albeit without changing her neo-Nazi politics at all. Parker and Scherer described the change as moving from “from an incendiary irritant of her own party’s leadership to a slightly-less-incendiary Republican team player, including opposing many of her usual hard-right allies this month by backing McCarthy as House speaker… part of a deliberate effort that began during her turbulent first term in Congress, in which she alienated both Democrats and Republicans by parroting conspiracy theories and making a series of offensive comments.”

[A]mid the cycle of self-inflicted errors, public rebukes and halting apologies, Greene also embarked upon 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.
McCarthy, aiming for the speakership, was also looking to make new friends among the far right of his party, even though he had only recently condemned Greene’s comparison of the Holocaust and covid mandates and had his spokesman call other comments she had made on social media “deeply disturbing.” He decided to risk attracting backlash by working closely with her.
Thus began a series of private meetings and discussions between the two Republicans, which one person familiar described as “hours and hours and hours of time” together. For roughly the past six to eight months— in the run-up to McCarthy’s speakership bid— he and Greene met once a week, the second person added.
…Her support for McCarthy has prompted blowback, especially among the hard-line fringe she counts as part of her base. They argue that the outsider who came to Washington declaring that “the system has to be torn down” and boasted that the “D.C. swamp hates me” now has succumbed to its enticements.
Amid the speakership battle, a caller to the Infowars conspiracy show said her vote for McCarthy made her a “fraud.” Noel Fritsch, a conservative activist and publisher of National File, a far-right news website, dismissed her in similar terms: “She has to answer the question of whether the last two years have been a total fraud because she is now supporting a guy who doesn’t support impeaching Joe Biden,” Fritsch said, referring to her choice of McCarthy as speaker.
But within the broader party, the balancing act largely seems to have worked, a least for now. The Infowars host defended her, saying he didn’t think “one vote makes Marjorie Taylor Greene a fraud,” and adding that while he disagreed with her on this issue, he still thinks “she’s one of the good ones in there.”
“She’s a fighter and being a fighter in this business is a good trait and not a bad trait, but you have to know when to fight and who to fight, and you can’t just go around throwing punches with everyone you disagree with, and I think she’s learned that realization,” said Chip Lake, a Georgia-based Republican consultant. “She’s no less of a fighter today than she was when she got in there. She’s just picking her fights a little more strategically, and that’s a good thing.”
From the beginning, ignominy marked Greene’s entry into Congress. Less than two weeks after the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, Greene texted Trump’s chief of staff suggesting broad support among her colleagues for the outgoing president to deploy martial law— misspelling it as “Marshall law”— to remain in power.
Just over a week later, CNN reported that in 2018 and 2019, before running for Congress, Greene had repeatedly expressed her support for executing top Democrats, including then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. The following month, she was kicked off two committees, and declared herself “freed” because she viewed them as “a waste of my time.”
The incendiary behavior and comments continued, from chasing a Democratic colleague down a hallway while falsely accusing her of supporting “terrorists” to deeming Pelosi “mentally ill” and comparing her coronavirus vaccine and mask mandates in the House to Nazi requirements that Jewish people “wear a gold star” and be “put in trains and taken to gas chambers.”
And that November, in a podcast interview with Gaetz as she neared the end of her first year in Congress, Greene said McCarthy did not have the votes to become speaker— “There is a door open for a challenger,” she added— and dismissed Republican leadership.
“I don’t respect them at all,” she declared.
But as Greene entered her second year in Congress— marred almost immediately by her decision to attend the conference organized by Fuentes— her relationship with McCarthy and the Republican leadership team began to change.
Greene was feeling especially under siege, even from members of her own party, when McCarthy reached out and offered to help her navigate the onslaught of criticism, someone familiar with the situation said. They began meeting regularly and— though the early stages of the courtship was halting and tentative on both sides— she has since told allies that her view of him evolved, from a faux Republican to someone who was genuinely trying to welcome her and her brand of conservatism into his circle.
…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 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 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.”

So… what did McCarthy embrace to win over the base represented by extremists like Traitor Greene, Warren Hamilton and, eventually, the Gaetz-Boebert-Good-Rosendale-Biggs fringe of the party? It was more than just agreeing to expunge Trump’s impeachments or giving the members more time to read bills. It was even more than giving up on the point he said he would “never” give upon— allowing any one member the right to halt all business in the House to call for a vote on vacating [speaker’s] chair— firing him. On Friday a trio of Washington Post reporters led by Jeff Stein, wrote about “the brinkmanship newly empowered conservatives will bring to the high-stakes negotiations over averting a U.S. default.” As part of the deal McCarthy made with the fascist fringe, they created an emergency contingency plan the House is sending to the Treasury Department about what to do when the House blocks an agreement to pay the country’s bills by lifting the debt limit. What the fascist fringe is demanding is that the House hold the country hostage for cuts in programs they don’t like— from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to aid to Ukraine.

The 3 reporters noted that “For the plan to be binding on the Treasury Department, it would have to pass not only the House but also the Democratic-controlled Senate, and President Biden would have to sign it into law… Still, many Republican lawmakers have long favored exploring these kinds of measures as a way to mitigate the worst economic consequences of breaching the debt ceiling. Two of the people with knowledge of internal GOP planning said the prioritization plan would force Democrats to acknowledge that it is technically possible for the Treasury Department to continue to pay bondholders even if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit. One of these people noted that interest payments amount to roughly $500 billion per year, which can be easily met through federal revenue without additional borrowing.” Interesting that the GOP would prioritize paying bondholders— primarily rich people and the government of China— over , for example,school lunches, food safety inspections, health programs, federal law enforcement, etc.

It might fly in Haskell, Hughes, Latimer, Okfuskee and Pittsburg counties back in Oklahoma, or in Marjorie Traitor Greene’s district, but in real America? I don’t think so. And that would be the end of the tenuous and razor-thin Republican majority the GOP managed to eke out last November. And it wouldn’t just be George Santos and other congressional extremists looking for new jobs. The 2 dozen House Republicans— not counting Santos who’s dead no matter what happens— least likely to survive politically if the GOP bankrupts the country:

  • David Valadao (CA)

  • Mike Garcia (CA)

  • Brandon Williams (NY)

  • John Duarte (CA)

  • Anthony D’Esposito (NY)

  • David Schweikert (AZ)

  • Mike Lawler (NY)

  • Juan Ciscomani (AZ)

  • Don Bacon (NE)

  • Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR)

  • Young Kim (CA)

  • Michelle Steel (CA)

  • Maria Salazar (FL)

  • Mark Molinaro (NY)

  • Tom Kean (NJ)

  • Zach Nunn (IA)

  • Jen Kiggans (VA)

  • Lauren Boebert (CO)

  • John James (MI)

  • Ken Calvert (CA)

  • Nick LaLota (NY)

  • Brian Fitzpatrick (PA)

  • Kevin Kiley (CA)

  • Laurel Lee (FL)

And if a default triggers an actual blue wave, you can also likely kiss goodbye to Anna Paula Luna (FL), Bill Huizenga (MI), Scott Perry (PA), Ann Wagner (MO), Ryan Zinke (MT), Derrick Van Orden (WI), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Rob Wittman (VA), Monica De La Cruz (TX), Bryan Steil (WI), Mike Turner (OH) and Nancy Mace (SC). One caveat to these predictions: the “if” would be the Democrats nominating good, solid candidates, something they rarely do, and running competent campaigns.

"Top Of The Mountain" by Nancy Ohanian

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