Okay, what in heck is going on here?
First, in mid-November, Axios reported that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene isn’t joining the right-wingers in Congress who claim they will not vote for current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to become speaker of the House in January. (Why won’t they? Because McCarthy isn’t tough enough on “woke” liberals, according to a Nov. 18 statement published by leading anti-McCarthy Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs.) “I actually think that’s a bad strategy when we’re looking at having a very razor-thin majority,” Greene told Axios.
She elaborated, quite reasonably, that moderate, anti-Trump congressional Republicans have already shown they are willing to cross over and vote with Democrats on certain issues. And since the speaker of the House has to win a majority of all the votes in the chamber, not just their own caucus, a hypothetical compromise candidate backed by Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans could beat McCarthy for the role.
In addition to being symbolically embarrassing for the GOP, this would give the Dem-backed candidate significant formal powers, most notably control of the Rules Committee, which determines how long bills can be debated on the House floor and whether they can be amended and so forth. Not something you want the other side to control when you have the majority!
Then, in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and self-declared Nazi Ye (the former Kanye West), the Washington Post went looking for Republican members willing to suggest that it might not be a good idea for the party to associate itself with antisemitic conspiracy theories—and the paper found Greene. “If you don’t know who someone is and don’t know what they’re about, you don’t know that they’re maybe a bad person in your midst,” she said.
As the Post observed, Greene herself spoke at Fuentes’ annual conference in Florida this year. She told the paper, however, that she did so before becoming aware of the specifics of his views, and that when she was told about them, she “could not believe the stuff he says.”
Says Greene (now): “I don’t want anything to do with him.”
Greene became well-known nationally for staging obnoxious stunts (like confronting Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, whom she accused of being a puppet for Jewish philanthropist George Soros) and posting allegations about global conspiracies online (like a suggestion that a business controlled by the Jewish Rothschild family started a wildfire in California using “a laser beam or light beam”). What might explain her apparent movement toward a less “Jews secretly control the world”–type posture? Some possibilities:
• McCarthy promised to reappoint her to the committees she was pulled off in 2021 (for being a nut, basically) if she supported him and chilled out somewhat. (Greene says she is going to be on the Oversight Committee when the next congressional term begins but she has not acknowledged making any deal with McCarthy.)
• Being an ardent, obsessive advocate of a given cause is more important to her than what that cause actually is, and perhaps mainstream Republican partisanship is replacing conspiracy theories as her main thing. (According to a long 2021 profile in Politico, Greene never demonstrated an interest in politics until Donald Trump ran for office; prior to that, as writer Michael Kruse showed, she posted frequently online about the CrossFit fitness regimen.)
• The space laser got her.
Which is it? Beats me! I still can’t see inside Marjorie Taylor Greene’s brain, and if I could, I probably would have already exploded.