A friend asked me the other day if I'll have more free time from now on without Trump around. He doesn't follow politics that closely and was unaware that Trump is very much "still around" and still insisting on being the center of attention and still causing trouble He had also never heard of the new cast of characters of right-wing villainy: Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA), Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC) and Lauren Boebert (Q-CO). I think the GOP is counting on not many people getting to know them.
As Brian Karem-- remember?... The Playboy magazine White House correspondent who successfully sued Trump to keep his press pass after Trump revoked it-- noted over the weekend at The Bulwark, The GOP Has Nothing To Offer-- Except Division And Lies. No mention of Greene, Boebert or Cawthorn, at least not by name. Though he noted that the GOP "is splitting apart as some of the Trump apologists continue to swear fealty to their grifter king and others look for some way to extricate themselves from the hell that he created," congressional Republican adhere to one of Goebbels key diktats: "If you repeat a lie enough times, you can act as if it’s true. Now that the Republicans have lost control of the Senate, the House, and the presidency, they are both emboldened and scared at the same time. Emboldened because they can revert to their natural mode of obstructionism without responsibility for governing. And scared because two of President Biden’s main themes so far-- his pleas for unity and his commitment to reality-- directly threaten their tactics of division and fantasy."
The Georgia Republican Party is losing its mind over Taylor Greene, "tearing itself apart in a civil war. It lost two Senate seats in an ill-fated January run-off election. And the once-Republican suburbs in metro Atlanta-- the most populous part of the state-- have bolted toward the Democratic side. Now, it’s contending with another budding public relations catastrophe: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the newly elected congresswoman whose extremist beliefs and promotion of bizarre conspiracy theories have rocketed her to national notoriety. The calls for censure and her removal from Congress don’t appear to have damaged her standing in her conservative north Georgia district-- and may have even strengthened the so-called QAnon Congresswoman there for now. She tweeted Friday that she raised $1.6 million off all the controversy and on Saturday told her 300,000 followers she just had a chat with a supportive Donald Trump-- the former president who has referred to her as a 'future Republican star.' This is what a nightmare scenario looks like... Republicans now worry Greene will emerge as the face of the GOP, tainting the entire ticket with a stamp of conspiracy theory and extremism in the run-up to the 2022 midterms."
Republicans who wish Pelosi would kick her out of Congress-- it would take at least 60 Republicans to agree-- are literally claiming that Pelosi won't expel her because "'They want her to be the definition of what a Republican is. They’re gonna give her every opportunity to speak and be heard and look crazy-- like what came out Wednesday, the Jewish space laser to start fires. I mean, I don't know how far down the rabbit hole you go.' Judging from old social media posts and videos that surfaced last week, that hole is fairly deep. Greene has promoted the conspiracy theory that space lasers caused California wildfires, that school shootings were hoaxes and suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be executed for treason." As Hoyer told McCarthy this morning, he would certainly have to kick her off her committees to persuade Pelosi not to force every Republican in the House to take a stand and vote on expulsion-- and McCarthy is too scared to do any such thing... "Georgia Republicans expect Greene will face a primary challenge, and some hope she could somehow be drawn into a tougher seat during redistricting. But they acknowledge she’s popular in her district."
Brian Robinson, an adviser to former Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, fretted that the criticisms of Greene will lead to just the sort of rallying effect she’s seeing in the district and in her fundraising, elevating her profile and ensuring that Republicans statewide are “constantly being put in this circular firing squad about why we’re losing elections.”
Greene, he said, has an “it” factor and a mastery of social media that ensures attention from the news media, outrage from her critics and adulation and campaign contributions from her base.
“Here’s the problem with Marjorie Taylor Greene: you can’t look away. She has great camera presence. She has great TV presence. She’s a natural, a true talent,” Robinson said. “The question is whether she’s a moron who’s a natural talent or is she just a cynical manipulator?”
House Republicans are even more panic-stricken than Georgia Republicans! Reporting for Politico this morning, Melanie Zanona wrote that the GOP’s brewing civil war will take center stage this week, when House lawmakers decide the fates of two Republicans-- Liz Cheney and Marjoie Greene-- who are on opposite sides of the fight over the direction of the post-Trump party. "Some Republicans are warning that punishing Cheney while letting Greene go untouched-- and thereby aligning the party even more closely to Trump-- could be a major black eye for the party heading into 2022... Democrats, meanwhile, are already signaling that their campaign strategy in 2022 will center heavily on trying to yoke the entire Republican Party to Greene and the fringe QAnon movement. Over the weekend, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office put out a news release listing McCarthy’s party affiliation as 'QAnon' instead of the GOP.
House Democrats will try to force a floor vote this week on a resolution to expel Greene from Congress. While expulsion is highly unlikely, since it requires two-thirds support in the House, the vote would still force every single Republican to go on the record over Greene. Democrats are also calling for censure, as well as to remove Greene from her committee assignments-- a move that has the backing of at least one House Republican.
“I’d certainly vote her off committee,” Kinzinger said. “In terms of eviction, I’m not sure because I’m kind of in the middle. I think a district has every right to put who they want there. But we have every right to take a stand and say, ‘You don’t get a committee.’ And we definitely need to do that.”
Boebert and Cawthorn are no better, just a little luckier than the media hasn't focused on them as much... yet.