Turning Their Backs on Marjorie

Chris Wallace last week solemnly revealed to guests on his Fox News program what he regarded as a growing embarrassment for Republicans: U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, whom Democrats (and a few of her fellow Republicans) were about to strip of her committee assignments, was insisting that the November 3 presidential election reeked of fraud. She also defended the wacky QAnon conspiracy view, according to which the deep state does the bidding of pedophiles and other lowlifes. 

To the satisfaction of Wallace and his talking partners, two congressional Republican leaders, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), were about to chastise the wayward Georgia congresswoman. Wallace was particularly ticked-off that Republicans were less “outraged” over Greene than Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who voted her conscience when she called for impeaching Donald Trump a second time.

Listening to these comments about Marjorie (if I may use her first name), I thought I had entered a lunatic asylum. The present Congress has become the very opposite of a well-mannered English debating club circa 1850.  In fact, it is impossible for me to compare this body of legislators to the one that existed when I was growing up in the 1950s. 

The House of Representatives now abounds in screaming demagogues, such as Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and just about any member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congressional Democrats have made utterly irresponsible accusations against the former president and even abetted assaults on him and his staff.  The House Finance Committee is being chaired by the corrupt, inflammatory Waters, who once threatened the lives and livelihoods of Trump and his supporters, while another House Democrat, Eric Swalwell of California spent years sleeping with a Chinese spy and taking Chicom funding for his political campaigns, and yet sits (mirabilis dictu!) on the House intelligence committee. 

Just about every day, a former barmaid from the Bronx utters something so shocking that one might hope her party would disavow her stream-of-consciousness yapping. Instead, they stand by this mouthy pea-brain and even fall into line with her latest charge. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was caught lying through her teeth when she claimed to have barricaded herself in her office in the Capitol, to avoid attack by rioters on January 6. The guys with the MAGA hats never occupied the Cannon Building, where her office is located, after they entered the capitol complex. But Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues and most of the national media dismissed any question about her story, especially after she hyperventilated about how she had been a prior victim of sexual assault.    

Poor Marjorie is not exactly lowering the standards of this congressional bedlam. She has never spoken as recklessly as the hundreds of Democratic congressmen who pushed and, in some cases, continue to push the Trump-Russia collusion lie. 

But Marjorie is having issues. She belongs to a gutless party that will not defend its more outspoken members—for example, those who persist in believing that the election was full of appalling irregularities. GOP leaders also get conspicuously nervous when the other party or the national media label one of their members as a “white supremacist,” “homophobe,” “anti-Semite,” and so on. Greene’s description of George Soros as a “Nazi” may have been off the mark, but she is right in going after this ubiquitous funder of the violent Left. Anyone who criticizes Soros nowadays may be tarred as an “anti-Semite,” though I have not heard critics of Justice Clarence Thomas decried as racists or “white supremacists.” The closest Marjorie has come to what Newsweek calls “anti-Semitic tropes” is her suggestion that the Rothschild family were somehow responsible for wildfires in California; these were supposedly produced with “Jewish space lasers” (a phrase she never actually used). Pace leftist hysteria-mongers, Marjorie’s silliness here, however bizarre, falls miles short of a Nazi rant. 

McCarthy and Scalise should imitate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) by showing backbone. Striking “moderate” poses in the present political climate is like trying to be a pacifist on a battlefield. Nonresistance or appeasement is an open invitation to ruthless enemies. 

Despite my loathing for everything the Democrats represent, I profoundly admire their chutzpah. They lie scandalously, revel in their double standards, and never cease attacking someone whom they decide to destroy. To their credit, however, they stand together and always defend their own. For them, “moderation” means taking power and wiping the floor with their opponents. They know the other side will wimp out as soon as they bring up their heavy artillery. Not surprisingly, 11 Republican congressmen voted with the Democrats to drive Marjorie from the education and budget committees. Might we trade one of these Republicans—say, the Trump-hating Adam Kinzinger, for the fiery Maxine? That’s the kind of ally we need.

A deceased friend of mine used to get annoyed when I mocked conflict-averse Republican politicians. He would remind me that those figures whom I was ridiculing were somehow morally better than their Democratic rivals. They liked hanging out with their family and old high school friends and were therefore not as given to political combat as the Democrats. Assuming that were true (which I don’t), it seems that these folks have gone into the wrong work. They might have done us more good by running insurance agencies or perhaps by opening local eateries.

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

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