It seems that with each passing day, there’s a new controversy surrounding Georgia freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. From her supportive online posts about assassinating Democratic leaders to her hounding of a survivor of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Greene has created all the wrong sorts of headlines during her very brief time in office.
And despite receiving a supportive call from ex-President Donald Trump over the weekend — he was the 45th president, you know — there’s growing evidence that even some longtime backers of the former president want the Georgia congresswoman to, well, go away.
In an op-ed in Frontpage magazine, a Trump-loving publication affiliated with longtime activist David Horowitz, editor Daniel Greenfield writes:
“People like Greene, the ‘Shaman’ who now wants to testify at the Democrat impeachment farce against President Trump, and the rest of the gang keep playing into the hands of the Left.
“Maybe that’s an accident or maybe that’s on purpose.
“It doesn’t really matter.
“We know what the threat is. It’s the Left.
“Anyone who distracts us from fighting the Left is playing into its hands.
“We don’t need antisemitic kooks in this movement. And we don’t need crazies who think the X-Files are real. What we need is to take the fight to the Left by exposing their agenda.
“And we can’t do that when guys in horned helmets and girls in tin foil hats are running amuck.
“Voters have the right to elect Marjorie Taylor Greene. Republicans don’t need to be stuck with her. The sooner she’s out of the party, the sooner she becomes a problem for the Democrats.”
Then there’s this from Tiana Lowe, a commentary writer for the conservative Washington Examiner:
“Trump’s demagoguery had celebrity charm. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist demagoguery has social media smarts. Sen. Ted Cruz’s demagoguery has, shall we call it, just enough subtlety and sophistication not to offend the senses too wildly.
“Greene has none, and if Republicans choose to embrace her, Democrats will gain a wildly powerful weapon in the war of whataboutism. Greene advances nothing but owning the libs, if you can call histrionic apoplexy over her delusions any sort of success, and she does not bring any sort of coherent policy agenda or popular appeal that can advance any part of the conservative agenda. If conservatives decide not to condemn and expunge a conspiratorial anti-Semite whose disregard for class or policy coherence is offensive to the intellect, we will regret it, and we will deserve it.”
Now, to be clear, not all conservatives or all Trump-backers are on board the get-rid-of-MTG train. And many of them won’t get on board as long as Trump is still publicly supportive of her. (Some of Trump’s favorite conservative outlets — including Fox News — have made little mention of the controversies stoked by Greene.)
But make no mistake: Trump himself is a consumer of lots and lots of conservative media. And his opinions about people are very much influenced by the sort of media coverage they receive. Remember that Trump is fundamentally transactional; he likes people who are loyal to him and help him, but if you start to become a problem for him, well, he has zero compunction about throwing you over the side.
At the moment, there’s no sign that Trump will do so. He’s likely drawn to Greene’s fierce defense of her views and willingness to lay all of these controversies at the feet of her political foes. (She announced over the weekend that she had raised $1.6 million since the “left wing Democrat mob and the Fake News media” tried to take her out.)
But the issue is coming to a head — whether Trump likes it or not. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (California) is slated to meet with Greene this week and Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Maryland) has signaled that his side plans to give McCarthy an ultimatum that either Republicans strip her of her committee assignments or the issue will be brought to the House floor.
Watch to see what the reaction among Trump-servatives is if and when McCarthy pulls committee assignments from Greene. Is there outrage? Or an acceptance that she forced his hand — and that doing what he did was for the good of the party?