Establishment Republicans seeking desperately to get back to the good old days of kitchen-table racism and plutocracy probably thought they were well rid of Donald Trump with his decisive loss in the 2020 election, but it’s clear that his hold on the party remains as strong as ever, thanks to his acolytes in Congress.
“How do you solve a problem like Marjorie?” is the question on everyone’s mind as videos of the newly elected Georgia Congresswoman endorsing bigoted and wildly delusional conspiracy theories continue to emerge with each passing day.
Wednesday’s Rep. Taylor-Greene dump showed her sharing an anti-Semitic video on social media that portrayed Jews trying to destroy Europe through Muslim immigration — a variant on the “great replacement” white supremacist conspiracy theory that was linked to the horrific massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Defiant and unbowed from the barrage of outrage and calls for expulsion from Democrats, Taylor-Greene has called upon Trump himself to defend her, positioning herself as his champion in Congress and thus turning any criticism of her into criticism of him. This has put establishment Republicans (they are all entirely unworthy of the term “moderate”) in a very tricky situation, which has been eloquently summed up in this graphic from Twitter user @dank_left.
REPUBLICANS IN DISARRAY pic.twitter.com/wmbWluFTZU
— Dank Left (@dank_left) February 3, 2021
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) now must navigate the difficult maze of Doing Something to punish MTG and appease the huffing and puffing from the Very Serious News Media and the rest of polite society while simultaneously not infuriating the hooting and baying Trump fanatics that make us his party’s political base.
POLITICO‘s Playbook reports that McCarthy and his conference agreed that a floor vote forcing them to publicly go on the record against Marjorie Taylor-Greene would be disastrous for them, so McCarthy headed to Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office to try to make a deal.
His offer? Removing her from the Education Committee but leaving her on the Budget Committee…because we can’t let a racist lunatic be in charge of education but it’s perfectly acceptable to have her in charge of the nation’s finances.
BIG BIG News in @playbookplus today:
GOP leader McCarthy told Steering members he'd speak w/ HOYER to try to broker a deal: He would offer to remove Greene from one panel — Education and Labor — if Dems back off a House floor vote to remove her from both.
TBD if Hoyer bites. pic.twitter.com/8kjmPxdjga
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) February 3, 2021
Predictably, Steny Hoyer told McCarthy to shove it and demanded a floor vote, intent on hanging the albatross of Marjorie Taylor-Greene and the rest of her QAnon disciples permanently around the neck of the Republican Party.
I spoke to Leader McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments. The Rules Committee will meet this afternoon, and the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow.
— Steny (Wear a Mask) Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) February 3, 2021
By all means, make the GOP caucus pick between siding with an anti-Semitic psychopath and alienating themselves from their base! Split the Republican Party in two forever!
It’s the least they deserve for the decades of suffering they have heaped upon the American people.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.