On Monday, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene showed yet again that she can’t commit to the bit of even pretending to be reining herself in from far-right extremism. Instead, she’s looking to escalate the conservative-fostered culture war into a civil one.
Greene’s call for a “national divorce” comes after the representative has complained over and over again about Democrats apparently trying to “divide” America. It also follows her attempted “rebrand,” as she has tried to straddle the lines between the furthest right parts of her party and some portions of the establishment wing.
The new narrative stems in large part from Greene’s allyship with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, as he sought to attain the speakership last month in a historically grueling selection process. The House speakership vote left the Republican leader domineered by a select group of far-right members who secured radical rules changes and key committee spots, even usurping other Republicans who supported McCarthy from the beginning. Greene, though, toed the line, by virtue of having the history she does as one of the ring leaders of that radical caucus while urging members to support McCarthy. She now sits on both the House Oversight and Homeland Security committees.
Greene, who McCarthy has since said he would “never leave” and “always take care of,” is said to also be attempting this balancing act in order to posture herself up as twice-impeached former President Donald Trump’s 2024 VP pick if he wins.
Earlier in January, when Greene was asked about her beliefs in QAnon, the representative suddenly distanced herself from one of the key characteristics of her congressional career: reactionary conspiracy.
“Like a lot of people today, I had easily got sucked into some things I’d seen on the internet,” she said. “But that was dealt with quickly early on. I never campaigned on those things. That’s not something I believed in, that’s not what I ran for Congress on, so those are so far in the past,” she claimed.
QAnon supporters were among the most aggressive rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021—an attack Greene herself played no small part in helping to incite. A riot too, that Greene recently claimed she “would have won,” if she and Bannon had a stronger role in organizing it. “Not to mention, it would’ve been armed,” she said.
Win or lose, numerous January 6 rioters were arrested on charges of sedition—an action that Greene herself is whipping up once again with her own seditious tweet calling to split the country. After becoming speaker, McCarthy proudly led a reading of the Constitution on the House floor; it seems Greene was absent for the part on the Fourteenth Amendment.
Greene’s attempts to straddle the lines between the establishment and the most extreme parts of her party don’t actually make much substantive policy difference. Greene can ally herself with McCarthy, or pretend to disavow QAnon beliefs—none of it matters. Even pretending to be “reasonable” in America’s Republican Party just means you may present yourself as only far-right, instead of far-far-right.
The agenda is still largely the same: which is to say, demonize gay and trans people, attack people’s right to choose, and cut social spending that millions of people rely on. In other words, the agenda is to embrace the right-ward shift Trump only accelerated. It doesn’t matter which “wing” a Republican may present themselves to be a part of. Don’t believe it? Try counting how many times any announced or potential GOP presidential candidate—from Nikki Haley to Ron DeSantis, to Tim Scott—have actually, forthrightly said anything bad about Trump, the opponent they’re supposed to want to beat.