Thanks to Democrats, Republicans face a decision: Will they take action against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her string of dangerous statements, or will they decide that people like her are too much of their base for her to face any consequences?
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had his promised meeting with Greene on Tuesday evening, to discuss whether he could get her to back off of enough of her various calls for violence against Democratic leaders and claims that the school shootings at Sandy Hook and Parkland were hoaxes to get Democrats to abandon their plan to have the full House vote to strip her of her committee assignments. “It must not have gone as well as McCarthy hoped,” Politico Playbook reports, deadpan. McCarthy then called an emergency meeting with the House GOP Steering Committee, which makes committee assignments.
The steering committee couldn’t bring itself to decide what to do about Greene. Keep an education committee slot for a woman who has chased the teen survivor of a school shooting down the street, harassing him because he dares support gun law reform, or no? Keep the education committee slot for a woman who in private tells the mother of a school shooting victim that she doesn’t believe Parkland and Sandy Hook were false flags, but refuses to say it in public, or no? Keep any committee slot for someone who has liked a social media comment that “a bullet to the head” would be the quickest way to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from office, or no?
“No, we are going to be working through some things,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise told reporters asking about a decision on Greene’s fate Tuesday night.
This is a difficult question for Republicans. Meanwhile, they’re going right ahead with a vote on whether to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from her role as House Republican conference chair, because she dared vote to impeach Donald Trump for his role in inciting a violent insurrection that left five people dead and the U.S. Capitol badly vandalized.
Holding one of these votes is a hard decision to House Republicans, the other is not. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, are looking at Greene as a threat to their party and their chances going forward in Senate elections and are speaking out against her where House Republicans waver. Sen. Todd Young called her “an embarrassment to our party.” But he also said that “In terms of the divisions within our party, she’s not even part of the conversation, as far as I’m concerned,” which shows he may not be entirely aware of divisions within his party.
To get a handle on how Greene likely feels about such criticism, you have only to look at her response to criticism from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully,” she tweeted. This one is not going to be apologizing. She is like a force field of smug entitlement and absolute lack of concern for anyone beyond herself.
McCarthy is reportedly going to try to strike a deal with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in which Republicans will remove Greene from the education committee while leaving her on the budget committee, if Democrats will abandon their plan to take her off of both. But even that plan would require the assent of the full Republican conference. Will they go for it, or will they shield the QAnon congresswoman?