Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t convincing anyone of anything, but she keeps shouting slurs to appeal to her extremist, conspiracy theorist base. Rep. Ruben Gallego wasn’t having it—and though the exchange got personal, it showed some basic facts about today’s Democratic Party and today’s Republican Party.
Let’s start not with Greene’s string of generic Republican talking points on steroids, but with Gallego’s response:
Greene offered a set of false claims about the political party that controls the White House, the House, and the Senate, kicking off with a weird ungrammatical slur on that party’s name that’s been embraced not just by fringe Republicans but by the party as a whole. Lies about “open borders” and “Antifa” and “riots.” And she closed with an effort to cast Democrats as an enemy to the entire United States, to the very idea of the United States.
Gallego came back with a very specific reference to an actual insurrection against the peaceful transition of power just months ago, with an associate of Greene's actively taking part in invading the Capitol, on a day that Greene described as a “1776 moment.” But he also didn’t label her entire party anything like “the enemy within”—even though Greene was far from alone as a House Republican supporting the insurrection and its goals—keeping his use of “seditious” to describe Greene specifically.
That was over the weekend. Tuesday, Greene got around to attempting a comeback:
With all of her swagger, Greene can’t even come up with more creative attacks on Gallego’s masculinity than “your little pen” and “brave Republican MEN.”
And Gallego doesn’t have to prove himself in part because there are plenty of other people to testify to who he is, and how he behaved on January 6:
During the chaos and fear as the House chamber evacuated, Gallego stripped off his jacket and was up on a chair offering that instruction and talking people through avoiding hyperventilation. When reporters evacuated from the House chamber were not allowed into the safe room with members of Congress, Gallego offered them his office as shelter.
Greene refused to wear a mask in the safe room, made excuses for the insurrectionists, and likes to posture about her CrossFit workouts, including the claim that exercise will protect her against COVID-19.
There is nothing about this comparison that flatters her. Only someone with Greene’s towering ego and fan base dedicated above all to owning the libs would think this was a good look for her. But again, she is not expressing anything unique within her party. She is simply its purest distillation, from the own-the-libs focus to the “open borders” lies to the railing against public health precautions to assailing her political opponents as enemies of the nation just months after an insurrection to which she herself had ties. And that’s why Democrats had to take action to strip her of her committee assignments—because Republicans were happy to stand for her as one of their own.