For those of you who don’t know, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a first-term member of the GOP House caucus who represents Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, which happens to cover the northwest corner of the Peach State bordering on Alabama and Tennessee. It’s a very conservative district, with local and national Republicans always getting about 75% of the vote.
The district is bounded to the East by the Chattahoochee National Forest, which used to be a fairly primitive area and was the setting for movies like Deliverance, which was released in 1972 and featured four city guys who were terrorized by some denizens from the backwoods. When I drove through the Chattahoochee in 2005, the first town I came through had both a yoga studio and a gourmet bakery and coffee shop.
Yesterday, Marjorie Taylor Greene, or MTG as she prefers to be known, was blasted all over the internet for what has become almost a daily event, namely, she opens her mouth and something either totally crazy or totally stupid or totally both comes out. Her Twitter fusillade yesterday included a reference to Joe as ‘Commander and Chief.’
Not quite as good as the time she confused ‘gazpacho’ with ‘Gestapo’ in referring to attempts to shut her down online, but close. In fact, her personal Twitter account was shut down in January because of repeated mis-information about Covid-19, which was entirely consistent with her support of QAnon.
Greene is facing a primary challenge this year from another woman, Jennifer Strahan, who says she will represent the district rather than just shooting off her mouth and promoting her name. An early poll shows Greene with a lead, but if things tighten up at all, Strahan will start collecting all kinds of money and Greene may find herself in a tough race.
It should be noted that last Summer, MTG got together with Matt Gaetz to do a national ‘America First’ tour, with fundraising stops in various alt-right states. The tour flopped and was cancelled after just a couple of events. Their joint PAC ended up flat broke.
How did MTG react to this state of affairs? She has become more extreme, more vocal, and more willing to say anything that will get her denounced by just about all her political colleagues in D.C.
She’s also now making nice with the most extreme and crazy groups on the alt-right. If they weren’t all under indictment for January 6th, I’m sure she’d be heading a committee for the Proud Boys, but she’s come close by appearing at a white-nationalist rally in Orlando before showing up at the annual CPAC event.
Do you believe that all this verbal behavior and public appearances by MTG shows how stupid she is? Do you think that when she claims that the California wildfires were started by a prominent Jewish banking family using a laser from outer space that she’s lost her mind?
With all due respect, I happen to think she’s smart as hell, knows exactly what she’s doing, and will continue to say things that will become even more, not less extreme.
Why do I say that? For two reasons.
Reason Number One: A first-term member of Congress from a rural district in a Southern state has become one of the most well-known politicians in the United States and it hasn’t cost her a dime. I have a friend who once got elected to a seat in the New York State Assembly on the GOP side. The election cost him five grand out of his own pocket.
He and I once figured out that to make it all the way up the electoral ladder to represent New York State in the U.S. Senate would probably require him to spend more than a hundred grand of his own dough, never mind how much he could raise from friends.
Reason Number Two: She is one of a small and getting smaller group of GOP officeholders who isn’t trying to figure out some way to move just slightly to the Left of Trump. Which means that if one of these more ‘respectable’ candidates winds up at the top of the GOP national ticket in 2024, he’ll need someone from the alt-right to balance things out. Get it?
In the olden days, the pre-internet days, the pre-social media days, the pre-MeWe days, a first-term member of Congress was lucky if they held a press conference, and anyone showed up. Now you have a staffer point his video lens at you, say something really crazy for 30 seconds or so and send it up to Parler, Gettr and Rumnble and you’re all set.
These three social media packages claim a total viewing audience of somewhere north of 50 million every day. Granted there are plenty of dupes, but when was the last time your local shopper with its circulation of five thousand let you run an advertisement about yourself for free?