Monday, February 01, 2021


Politico reports that some prominent Georgia Republicans believe Marjorie Taylor Greene is doing serious damage to the GOP. Here's one quote:
“If you have any common sense, you know she's an anchor on the party. She is weighing us down,” said Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election administrator who became a leading voice criticizing the baseless election conspiracy theories espoused by Trump and his supporters like Greene.

“Some people are saying maybe [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi will throw her out” of Congress, Sterling said, referring to the House speaker. “The Democrats would never throw her out. They want her to be the definition of what a Republican is. They’re gonna give her every opportunity to speak and be heard and look crazy — like what came out Wednesday, the Jewish space laser to start fires. I mean, I don't know how far down the rabbit hole you go.”
And there you see the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Is there any evidence that Democrats want Greene to remain in the House if it's possible to expel her? (It isn't possible -- expelling her would require a two-thirds vote.) Do you think they'll object if the GOP leadership strips Greene of her committee assignments? (Referring to Greene, Nancy Pelosi has said that the "enemy is within the House of Representatives" and has called Greene's assignment to the Education Committee "appalling.")

It might make sense for Democrats to treat Greene this way, for precisely the reason Sterling gives. It's probably what Republicans would do if the parties were reversed. But Democrats don't seem to be taking that approach -- for a couple of reasons, I think.

First, Democrats in D.C. sincerely want the government to maintain some standards. Even though it now appears to be a futile wish, they'd like to work with a Republican Party that's responsible and rational.

Beyond that, Democrats have learned from the example of Trump that it's dangerous to let a crazy, angry extremist become the face of the GOP because there's no reason to believe that the Republican electorate -- and, thus, the country -- will reject crazy, angry extremism. It's just the opposite, in fact -- Republicans love Trump and Greene, and while Trump-like figures might never win majority support nationwide, Republicans don't need majorities to seize control.

During the Obama years, Republicans accused the president and members of his administration (Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice) of malfeasance, but they never seriously tried to punish them. Democrats, by contrast, have (futilely) impeached Donald Trump twice.

Democrats aren't faking outrage, the way Republicans have against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden. Democrats genuinely believe that people like Trump and Greene are dangerous. Given the choice of making them examples or ridding the country of the threat they pose, Democrats will choose the latter.

No comments: