Monday, February 01, 2021


Politico reports that House Democrats intend to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees, daring Republicans to defend her.
Top House Democrats are moving to force Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off multiple committees this week — with or without Kevin McCarthy’s help.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered an ultimatum to McCarthy on Monday: Either Republicans move on their own to strip Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments within 72 hours, or Democrats will bring the issue to the House floor.
At Commentary, Noah Rothman says the GOP is stuck in a loop, but one it can escape.
The negative attention Greene has received from the left has induced a predictably tribal response from the right. “The Democrat mob has declared me enemy #1,” a typical fundraising email from the congresswoman’s office reads. “But in reality, they’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way.” Taking advantage of the Democratic Party’s efforts to single Greene out has proven a lucrative enterprise. According to her office, the congresswoman raised $1.6 million since she became the target of Democratic criticisms.

Thus, the vortex in which Republicans find themselves becomes self-perpetuating. Greene makes reckless, inflammatory remarks, and Democrats demand satisfaction–thereby raising Greene’s profile and triggering the GOP’s protective instincts. Everyone gets what they want out of this deal, except for the Republican Party....

And yet, the loop is not a fact of nature. It can be broken. That would be a difficult prospect—one that would elicit punishment from the most vocal and dogmatic Republican. But Republicans are going to be dealing with pain one way or the other. In Greene’s case, they can punish her and risk the wrath of their most committed voters, or they can do nothing and allow her to become the new face of the Republican Party, thereby further alienating the suburban voters who abandoned the Republican Party over the course of Donald Trump’s presidency and cost them control of Congress and the White House. Either way, the forecast calls for pain.
So according to Rothman, Republicans should kick Greene to the curb because she threatens their electoral prospects. (I want to believe that, but I'm not sure it's true.) Notice what Rothman never suggests: that Republicans should repudiate Greene because it's the right thing to do -- because it damages Amercia if a large segment of its population, including one of the country's two major political parties, is in thrall to leaders who spead mass delusions. (See also Donald Trump.)

I know it would be politically suicidal for Republicans who don't want the GOP to be what it is now to stand up to Greene (or Trump) -- but Republicans regularly demand courage of others. They're willing to send young men and women to fight and die in wars, in the interests of American security. What about the threat to American security from crazy demagogues within our own borders? Why shouldn't politicians be willing to sacrifice their political careers, especially when all of them are certain to land on their feet, obtaining cushy jobs as lobbyists or gigs in TV and radio or comfy positions on corporate boards? That's not like getting your limbs blown off in a war zone.

Yes, at this point there might be an element of physical risk in challenging Trump, Greene, and their allies. But in that case, get yourself some extra security and suck it up. There are low-level state election officials who make much less than a member of Congress, and who are now facing threats from the same crazies. If they can handle it, so can Republican members of Congress.

But I'm talking as if it's reasonable to expect elected Republican officials to have courage, or concern for their country. I know that's naive.

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