Who is Marjorie Taylor Greene? She’s among the most right wing, authoritarian, and conspiratorial members of Congress. She’s publicly stated that she doesn’t believe a plane actually hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that most mass shootings — including Newtown, Parkland, and Las Vegas — were faked or were false flag attacks staged by the government, and that the Clinton family assassinated John F. Kennedy Jr., the son of President Kennedy. She has also called for the execution of top Democrats over claims of “treason.” This, obviously, has led to Democrats calling for her removal from Congress and most of the public hating her, while Republicans have thus far tried to shield her from criticism. This a somewhat surprising shift from their quick decision to remove former Rep. Steve King from all committee assignments over his arguably less violent and inciting comments about White supremacy. Greene is one of the most disgusting human beings on this planet, but the decision of most Republicans to stand with her so far shouldn’t surprise anyone, and it only emphasizes the importance of voting these types of people out of Congress.
Now, to make it clear, Greene most likely won’t be expelled from Congress. Doing so requires a supermajority vote, and even if Republican leadership in the House did change their minds on punishing her, it seems unlikely that enough of them would backtrack to get the votes needed. What is far more likely is her being removed from all committees, similar to former Rep. Steve King, but there is still a strong possibility that won’t happen either. In the most recent update to her status as a Congressperson as of the writing of this, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gave Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a 72-hour ultimatum on punishing Greene before Democrats act independently. A resolution to do this has already been introduced to the House, and two of the Democrats leading it are Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, representing Parkland, and Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, representing Newtown. While, historically, committee removals have been handled by party leadership, a house floor vote to do so is permitted within House rules.
Some notable Republicans have called for Greene’s punishment, however, including Liz Cheney (though this caused significant backlash from House Republicans) and, as of Feb. 2, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. This comes with a major asterisk, though, as McConnell’s statement has been interpreted as a re-assortment of power over Congressional Republicans and fellow party leader Kevin McCarthy, and most calls for her removal from within her party have come across as a ploy to retain popularity and electability from voters, not as genuine condemnations. This should be expected by everyone who knows the Republican party because they’ve cultivated people like this for decades. It’s too much of a part of their voter base and ideology to ignore now. This is a sentiment similarly expressed by New York Times writers, as well as political commentator and leftist thought leader Hasan Piker, who, in a recent streaming of his show online, gave a quote that I thought summed up the situation surrounding Greene completely: “You can’t just [say there’s] ‘a few bad apples’ the republican party… when they do this in unison… in lock step.”
These beliefs are deep-seated within the American conservative ideology, and they’re now reaping what they began to sew decades ago. Even the famous Regean quote — “The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” — is less of an honest and genuine critique of the government and more of a conspiratorial implication that the government is secretly out to hurt you and your family. While the government does have a long history of hurting its citizens — arguably most famously with the Tuskegee Syphilis Study; the U.S. testing of mustard gas on minority soldiers during WWII; and the proposed Operation Northwoods false flag attack to justify invading Cuba that JFK shot down after being supported by the Department of Defense — not every single thing is a scary, lying boogeyman. The solution to these problems is reform and cleaning the house of the government, not shutting it down altogether.
I’ll be honest, part of this story really hit home for me. I grew up less than half an hour away from Newtown, Conn., and I went to school with people who lost family members and were affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Though I am not a complete liberal on gun control, saying this tragedy and others like it were faked or government plots is more than disrespectful; it is downright horrific. The fact that the Republican Party cannot even say this is grotesque, and the fact that Greene bragged about conversations and a co-sign from Trump on her politics (from an aptly-titled CNN segment: GOP chooses to side with Taylor Greene’s toxic nonsense), is telling. I personally have no respect for anyone who is okay with this behavior from the GOP, and not taking immediate action to punish her trashes the memory of not only mass shooting victims, but the victims of 9/11 as well.
What I most found hypocritical was her call for the death penalty for Democrats like Nancy Pelosi over “treason.” While people like Pelosi absolutely do not care about the American public, it is ridiculous to call them treasonous and deserving of execution. If she is so pro-death penalty over treason (reminder: this is one of the only crimes punishable by death), she seems to be forgetting that she helped stage a government coup on Jan. 6 — a literal act of treason, and one that the government has, thus far, been pretty light on punishing. I personally think advocating for the execution of those who commit treason when you, yourself, have committed treason is a weird hill to die on — but, go off, I guess. I’m sure that stance, alongside her other conspiracies, will surely serve her well in her political career.
Featured Image: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus