Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s revenge porn stunt in last week’s House Oversight Committee hearing was the last straw for Democrats. They’ve introduced a resolution to censure her for her record of “racism, antisemitism, LGBTQ, hate speech, Islamophobia, anti-Asian hate, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred.” Freshman Rep. Becca Balint of Vermont has the honor of sponsoring the resolution.
“For me, censuring Rep. Taylor Greene is about the health of our democracy and faith in government. Her antisemitic, racist, transphobic rhetoric has no place in the House of Representatives,” Balint said in a statement announcing the bill. Because she introduced it as privileged, she can bring it up on the floor at any time and it will have to be considered. It won’t remove Greene from Congress, but it would require a formal rebuke of her by Speaker Kevin McCarthy while she stands in the well of the House chamber. It’s a shaming ritual.
There’s plenty of shameful behavior as evidence in the resolution: four pages detailing around 40 instances of Greene’s violent, abusive, hateful words and acts. Oh, and the conspiracy theories she spouts, everything from 9/11—the government did it—to the 2020 election Big Lie. She has “repeatedly called for violence against elected representatives and their families,” the resolution states, providing the instances, such as when she said former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was ‘‘a traitor to our country, she’s guilty of treason’’ and should ‘‘suffer death or she’ll be in prison.” Or when she “posted an image of herself holding a gun next to images of three Members of Congress with a caption encouraging ‘going on offense’ against them.”
There’s a litany of instances where Greene “repeatedly espoused antisemitic rhetoric and conspiracy theories, including through inflammatory evocations of the Holocaust.” This includes her association with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and her public slurs against Black people, Asian Americans, and LBGTQ+ people as well as her Islamophobic statements, including against sitting members of Congress who she calls the “Jihad Squad.”
Given Greene’s alliance with McCarthy, he’s not going to be willing to rebuke her. McCarthy has practically made her a member of his leadership team. He’s given her plum committee assignments on Homeland Security and Oversight, where she shared big pornographic posters. McCarthy ignored established procedures and put Greene on the conference committee charged with working with senators to reconcile the National Defense Authorization Act, a seat that would normally be reserved for an Armed Service committee member.
She’s McCarthy’s pet, or maybe his puppet master. It’s hard to tell. At any rate, leadership isn’t going to allow her to be censured. One way or another, they’ll get the resolution off the floor without condemning her, but it will still put Republicans in a bind. The resolution and all of the evidence collected in it will be read on the floor, and every Republican will be forced to say whether they stand with Greene or condemn her actions.
You wouldn’t think that would be a tough call for any member considering the Freedom Caucus decided she was too toxic to be in their club. Instead, they’ll probably reject the censure, condone her behavior, and embrace her as one of them.