A Just And Appropriate Punishment

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the obnoxious first-term Republican congresswoman from the U.S. state of Georgia, was lucky to have gotten off so relatively lightly.

Yesterday, by a margin of 230 to 199, the House of Representatives voted to remove her from the education and budget committees. Only 11 Republicans joined Democrats in support of this just and appropriate motion.

If Representative Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat from California, had prevailed, she would have been expelled altogether. And if it had been up to Representatives Sara Jacobs of California and Nikema Williams of Georgia, she would have been censured.

After much deliberation, Democrats endorsed a proposal by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and a few of her colleagues to strip Greene of the assignments she was scheduled to assume.

Greene’s demotion was reminiscent of a decision taken by the Republicans in 2009 to strip Representative Steve King of Iowa of his committee posts. He incurred the wrath of Congress after defending the concept of white nationalism.

Steve King

Like King, Greene was a politician beyond the pale of respectability. Her beliefs and comments were so repugnant, reprehensible and outside the mainstream that even some Republicans denounced her.

Mitch McConnell, the minority leader in the Senate, likened her “loony lies and conspiracy theories” to a “cancer” infecting the body of the Republican Party.

Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader in the House of Representatives, said, “Past comments from and endorsed by (her) on school shootings, political violence, and antisemitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values and beliefs” of the Republicans.

Kevin McCarthy

Despite McCarthy’s unequivocal condemnation, he cowardly chose to vote against the Democratic resolution stripping Greene of her duties on both committees.┬áIt’s a telling commentary on his judgment that he selected Greene to sit on the education committee in the first place.

Greene, a QAnon follower, trafficked in completely unfounded and bizarre conspiracy theories that sometimes veered into antisemitic rhetoric. QAnon cultists believe in Satan-worshipping, deep-state and child-abusing villains. And they are inspired by antisemitic tropes that echo outlandish claims that Jews secretly dominate the world and murder Christian children for their blood.

Before she was elected to Congress, Greene posted, shared and liked a number of incendiary Facebook posts with which no reasonably intelligent person could possibly agree.

She absurdly claimed that the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was a staged incident. She darkly theorized that the Rothschild banking family was involved in igniting California’s wildfires by means of space lasers. She lambasted “Zionist supremacists” and advanced the so-called “great replacement” theory, which falsely alleges that Jews are conspiring to undermine the white majority in the United States by encouraging non-white immigration.

She claimed that Barack Obama, the former U.S. president, was a secret Muslim. She advised two Muslim congresswomen to return to their ancestral homelands in Somalia and the Middle East. She liked a tweet claiming that the Mossad was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. She debunked the fact that an Arab terrorist-piloted commercial airliner crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Nancy Pelosi

She expressed support for social media calls to execute “traitors” like Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives.

And after peddling the false claim that Donald Trump had won last November’s presidential election, she joined 147 Republicans in advocating a delay to certify its final result.

Following McConnell denunciation of her, she took to Twitter to blast him, claiming “the real cancer” in Republican ranks were “weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”

Saying she felt emboldened by the avalanche of criticism, Greene declared, “Every attack, every lie, every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies.”

But in a brief speech before she was formally blacklisted by the House of Representatives, she was somewhat contrite, saying that her “words of the past” did not “represent” her and claiming she had left QAnon two-and-a-half years ago.

Greene, however, did not offer an apology, which is precisely what was expected.

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Greene’s contrition is suspect and should be regarded as a defence mechanism. It’s obvious that she was compelled to backtrack by the Republican leadership.

So she remains what she truly is — a Republican rebel and outlier whose offensive and dangerous views cannot be taken seriously.