There’s a lot of opining in the opinion pages about whether disgraceful Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is the future of the Republican Party. The conservative response to her outrageous beliefs about 9/11, the Parkland massacre, the election and more proves that she’s not the future of the party…she represents its present core.
First up, here’s Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times on the matter:
Some decent Republicans imagine they’re in a battle for their party’s soul. Representative Adam Kinzinger, who like Cheney voted to impeach Trump, recently started a PAC devoted to fighting the forces that led to Greene’s rise and the Capitol rampage. “The time has come to choose what kind of party we will be,” he said in an introductory video. The thing is, Republicans already have chosen.
Just look at the party’s state affiliates. On Jan. 4, the Arizona G.O.P. retweeted a “Stop the Steal” activist who’d pronounced himself willing to “give my life” to overturn the election. Said the party’s official account: “He is. Are you?” An Arizona lawmaker has since introduced a bill that would let the Legislature, controlled by Republicans, override the presidential vote of the state’s increasingly Democratic citizenry.
The Oregon Republican Party approved a resolution suggesting that the Capitol siege was a “false flag” attack. The Texas Republican Party has adopted the QAnon slogan “We are the storm” as its motto, though it insists there’s no connection. The chairman of Wyoming’s Republican Party, who attended Trump’s rally on Jan. 6, said he might be open to secession.
Colbert King at The Washington Post gives us a flashback to when the Republican Party stood more forcefully against such hatred and vileness:
At a Nov. 6, 1991, news conference 10 days before Louisianans went to the polls to vote for governor, GOP President George H.W. Bush urged them not to support Duke, the Republican on the ticket. Bush said:
“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. “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 of bigotry, that record simply cannot be erased by the glib rhetoric of a political campaign.
“So, I believe that David Duke is an insincere charlatan,” Bush continued. “I believe he is attempting to hoodwink the voters of Louisiana, and I believe that he should be rejected for what he is and what he stands for.”
Ed Kilgore argues that stripping Greene of her committee assignments may not be enough:
As masters of the House floor, Democrats might be able to remove Greene from the education and labor committees, respectively, to which she was just appointed. Republicans aren’t so sure that’s possible under the current rules. King was technically not “stripped” of his committee assignments, but was instead not reappointed at the beginning of the 116th Congress.
The bigger difference between King’s situation and Greene’s, however, involves the nature of their districts. When King lost his committee assignments, he lost Iowa’s one seat on the Agriculture Committee, which was a very big deal in that agri-dependent state. In addition, he had already shown himself to be vulnerable to a general election opponent when he very nearly lost to Democrat J.D. Scholten in 2018. Greene’s district is one of the most conservative and Republican in the country. Moreover, the 14th is a sprawling collection of Atlanta exurbs, Chattanooga suburbs, mountains and red clay hills. It population is very white, very blue-collar and very conservative evangelical, but is not the sort of area where elected officials are expected to bring home any particular bacon. Greene’s appeal, in any event, is based on precisely the sort of wild-ass extremism that has most Democrats wanting to punish her and many Republicans wishing she’d go away. She’ll espouse the same views whether she’s the most junior member of the minority on the Education and Labor Committee, or on some other committee — or on no committee. And without question, punitive actions will burnish the self-image Greene projects of the fighting populist being persecuted by the Fake News Media and the Radical Left.
And here’s Eugene Robinson’s take:
No one should have any doubt: The GOP bears no resemblance to the party of Abraham Lincoln. It is now the party of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who believes in the hallucinatory QAnon conspiracy theory, who has suggested that former secretary of state Hillary Clinton is a child murderer and who thinks 2018’s California wildfires may have been ignited by a giant space-based laser somehow controlled by Jews. Also, high-speed rail is involved somehow.
On a final note, and on another topic, don’t miss Paul Krugman’s piece on the unserious of the Republican counterproposal to Biden’s rescue plan:
So 10 Republican senators are proposing an economic package that is supposed to be an alternative to President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. The proposal is only a third of the size of Biden’s plan and would in important ways cut the heart out of economic relief.
Republicans, however, want Biden to give in to their wishes in the name of bipartisanship. Should he?
No, no, 1.9 trillion times, no.