You and I know that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is about as bad as Republicans can get. There might be dumber (Reps. Paul Gosar and Lauren Boebert are strong contenders), but few can garner the kind of coverage “MTG” gets with her outlandish and patently absurd takes.
But in this MAGA-infused modern Republican Party, even she isn’t pure enough for the true believers.
Greene has generally been a reliable conservative vote, but in recent months, for some unknown reason, she has also become a key ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, giving him cover from his caucus’ extreme right flank. Indeed, unlike other Freedom Caucus nihilists, Greene supported McCarthy on all 15 speaker election ballots. She has also backed McCarthy’s decision to withhold the Jan. 6 videos selectively released to Tucker Carlson (who apparently got very little traction out of them before getting fired). And last week, all hell broke loose when she voted for the debt ceiling compromise bill crafted by McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
As a result, MAGA world is out for blood. The Daily Beast talked to a bunch of conservatives, all of them eager to see her defeated.
In the past week, former Trump administration official-turned-podcaster Steve Bannon led the charge, calling for Greene to be primaried by a more right-wing candidate who is “REAL MAGA.”
A fringe set of far-right allies soon followed.
“I 100 percent support a challenge to MTG, and look forward to meeting and helping a serious challenge to her,” Stew Peters told The Daily Beast.
One figure of the far right, activist and former Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer, told The Daily Beast she’s already exploring a primary against Greene. As of now, Loomer doesn’t live in Georgia—let alone Greene’s district—but that hasn’t stopped her from wishcasting.
Loomer, who lives in Florida, lost a 2020 campaign against Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel 59-39 in what was a solidly Democratic district, despite then-President Donald Trump’s enthusiastic backing. It would certainly be a far cry from the urban district Loomer last ran in, which was centered around West Palm Beach—100% urban, according to the Census Bureau—to Greene’s 14th Congressional District in Georgia, which is 40% rural. And really, the Census Bureau is overselling the district’s “urban” 60%, since the largest town in the district is Rome, population 37,713, with a “metro area” of just 96,317. It’s a whole different world from West Palm Beach, not that Loomer or her friends give a damn about actually representing constituents.
Still, Loomer has an old grudge against Greene. ”She took a job from me when she publicly accused me of being crazy ... and told Trump not to hire me,” Loomer said to The Daily Beast. “I think it’s only fair that I get a shot at taking her job, too. You know what Donald Trump always says? An eye for an eye.” She is so trapped inside the MAGA cult that she cites Trump talk as if it’s scripture, instead of the original, you know, scripture.
The problem with the nihilists is that, like Trump, they’re incapable of forging real relationships. As such, Greene has had a fallout with almost the entire Freedom Caucus cast. There’s her fight with Boebert, as also reported by The Daily Beast:
According to another source familiar, while in the bathroom, Greene asked Boebert, “You were OK taking millions of dollars from McCarthy but you refuse to vote for him for Speaker, Lauren?”
The first source said Greene was in a stall and, upon coming out, confronted Boebert about taking money from McCarthy for her re-election and then turning against McCarthy when it came time to vote. The Colorado Republican was allegedly unaware that Greene was also in the bathroom at the time.
“That’s when Lauren said, ‘Don’t be ugly,’” the first source said, before she—in the words of this source—“ran out like a little schoolgirl.”
South Carolina Republican Rep. Nancy Mace called Greene a “religious bigot,” to which Greene lost her head.
The row began after Rep Lauren Boebert of Colorado made Islamophobic remarks about Democratic Rep Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of two Muslim women elected to Congress, calling her a member of “the jihad squad.”
In response, Ms Mace criticised Ms Boebert on CNN Monday.
“We have a responsibility to lower the temperature and this does not do that,” she said. “I didn’t come to Congress to throw bombs on Twitter, to take advantage of people by saying crazy things to raise money or to be a comedian.”
In response, Ms Greene, who has made Islamophobic remarks on multiple occasions, criticised Ms Mace, calling her “the trash in the GOP Conference”.
And Greene is certainly not taking Bannon’s slings and arrows sitting down. “Steve [Bannon] and I aren’t getting back together,” she wrote in a text message to Rep. Matt Gaetz that was obtained by The Daily Beast. “And if he keeps it up I’ll take the house and kids. I hope you send it to Steve. Because I’m done.”
Is there anything more delicious than watching the worst people in the world tear each other apart? Ironically, these people generally agree with each other ideologically! But as politically immature true believers, they are incapable of handling even the most minor disagreements, creating chaos and disorder in all of their interactions.
The end result is a Republican Party that keeps drifting ever further from the American electoral mainstream, unable to talk about the issues that people actually care about.
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Countless progressive organizations seek to engage and mobilize voters, but coordinating those efforts is a mighty task. On this week's episode of "The Downballot," we're joined by Sara Schreiber, the executive director of America Votes, which works with hundreds of partners at the national and state level to deploy the most effective means of urging voters to the polls. Schreiber walks us through how coalitions of like-minded groups are formed and how the work of direct voter contact is divvied up between them. A special focus is on "blue surge" voters—those who, in the Trump era, joined the rolls for the first time—and why ensuring they continue to participate in the political process is the key to progressive victories.