The GOP Dilemma with Marjorie Taylor Greene


Chloe Wong, Staff Writer

Lies or honesty? Facts or fiction? Division or unity? In the past year, critics set the Republican Party underneath a scrutinizing lens and posed its supporters a question: what exactly do you stand for? For the past few years, the Republican Party defined itself through its leader, President Donald Trump, and for the past few years, demagoguery, hate, and conspiracy pervaded the GOP. Some rank-and-file statesmen have excused themselves from the political body. Still, others seek recovery for Reagan’s party. But one unmistakable obstacle stands in the way of Republican rehabilitation: Georgia’s freshman Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. 

Greene is not a typical congresswoman, nor does she have the background that one might expect from an elected official. To allow for a basic understanding of her politics, in 2017, Greene expressed doubt over the legitimacy of the Las Vegas shooting below the Mandalay Bay Hotel, a bloody catastrophe that resulted in the deaths of 58 people. 

“How do you get avid gun owners and people that support the Second Amendment to give up their guns and go along with anti-gun legislation?” Greene asked in an online video.

“You make them scared, you make them victims and you change their mindset, and then possibly you can pass anti-gun legislation. Is that what happened in Las Vegas? I don’t believe [Paddock] pulled this off all by himself, and I know most of you don’t either,” Greene said.

Despite its outrageousness, her implication that gun control advocates orchestrated the tragedy is anything but an isolated incident. 

A known—though reportedly former—supporter of QAnon (a conspiracy group that believes Donald Trump is fighting a war against corrupt Democrat elites), Greene endorsed several outlandish theories as recently as 2019. She has mocked a survivor of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, insinuated that the Pentagon attack on 9/11 and the 2012 Sandy Hook massacres were hoaxes, and campaigned on violence against opposing Democrats, often utilizing racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic rhetoric to her benefit. She posted that a Jewish company used deadly lasers to start a California wildfire, claimed that President Obama is a Muslim, and went on to attest that “Valerie Jarrett is too.” She spread the idea that the Capitol riot was the Republicans’ “1776” moment, shared the views of Holocaust deniers, and entertained anti-Semitic notions of Jewish powers pulling strings in dark places. In February 2019, Greene even appeared in a video at the U.S. Capitol, arguing that Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib weren’t “really official” representatives since they had not sworn their oath of office on a Bible.

“I really want to go talk to these ladies and ask them what they are thinking, and why they are serving in our American government,” Greene said. “They really should go back to the Middle East.”

Tlaib was born in Detroit and has been a U.S. citizen since birth. Omar, though originally from Somalia, immigrated to America at the age of 12. Omar and Tlaib are not the only Democrats Greene has rallied against: she has liked posts pushing for the assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said that Pelosi is guilty of treason—a crime, Greene firmly asserted, that is punishable by death. 

Cheering on right-wing extremists, making a mockery of gun violence, spreading bogus lies, saying that immigrants do not belong: these hardly mark the beliefs of a competent politician; they are the threats and ramblings of yet another conspiracy theorist. And while Greene was recently removed from two congressional committees, her party has yet to condemn her, despite steadily mounting pressure from outraged Democrats. Greene’s removal from the Education and Budget Committees strips her of legislative and oversight influence, yet as the ring closes in, Republicans rally closer. Of the 230 to 199 majority, only 11 GOP members (four of whom are Latino) voted to banish her from various committees—a resistance that is characteristic of Republicans’ inability to condemn the legacy of Donald Trump. 

“Unbelievable,” the former president called Greene in October 2019, while also saying that the QAnon-espousing, conspiracy theory-trafficking, self-proclaimed patriot was “doing great” in her campaign for a House seat. Trump, who was also reluctant to disavow QAnon, named Greene as a “future Republican star.” Now, Republicans are hesitant to take action against a politician that the very core of their party supports. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican in the House, argued that while Greene’s comments were inappropriate for a member of the House, she did not deserve to be punished or penalized for her actions. Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma bemoaned the precedent that dismissing Greene from multiple committees would set. 

“If we are now going to start judging what other members have said before they are members of Congress, I think it will be a hard time for the Democrats to place anybody on [a] committee,” McCarthy said. 

Except the Republican Party has very easily judged the actions of its own—albeit, in a different time, under a different president, and when the moral compass of the party pointed a very different way. In 1991, the GOP was forced to contend with another unhinged member in its ranks, when neo-Nazi and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke decided to campaign for a place in the U.S. Senate. It was not an impossibility that he’d take office, and 10 days before the election, President George H.W. Bush encouraged Louisiana citizens to vote for someone with class, character, and a record without so many obtrusive stains. He advised that Duke be firmly refused a place in office and that November, Duke lost to Democrat Edwin Edwards, who gained 61% of the vote. He was repudiated once again in 2016 by the Republican National Committee, which claimed that it would never support a candidacy fueled solely by bigotry and hatred. 

Such is how Republicans used to deal with the likes of David Duke, which makes their reluctant hand-wringing over Greene that much more unbelievable. Instead, Republicans have thrown their influence behind the attempted censuring of Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach President Donald Trump for incitement of insurrection. The faintheartedness we see today bears little resemblance to traditional Republican actions, where GOP politicians were at least able to condemn the most delusional and belligerent among them. The party of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Abraham Lincoln is unrecognizable now, shameless in its insistence to keep a united front, even though they are uniting around a person who degrades the moral standard of America. 

“When someone asserts that the Holocaust never took place, then I don’t believe that person ever deserves one iota of public trust,” Bush said during his denunciation of Duke. “And when someone has so recently endorsed Nazism, it is inconceivable that such a person can legitimately aspire to leadership—in a leadership role in a free society. And when someone has a long record, an ugly record, of racism and bigotry, that record simply cannot be erased by the glib rhetoric of a political campaign.”


Photo courtesy of CNN.COM