We Can Stop Wondering Who the Republicans Want to Be

By Connie Schultz

February 5, 2021 5 min read

When Marjorie Taylor Greene was a teenager, she —

Oops, wrong age.

When Marjorie Taylor Greene was barely into her 20s, she —

I beg your pardon. Wrong decade.

When Marjorie Taylor Greene was in her mid-40s, she clicked "like" on a Facebook post calling for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be shot in the head. She liked comments about executing FBI agents as "deep state" operators trying to undermine former President Donald Trump. She promoted the conspiracy theory that a passenger plane never flew into the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks.

And, as we've recently learned, she also suggested the wildfires in California had been caused by a "space laser" controlled by a prominent Jewish family.

She was no kid making these claims. She was in middle age.

Greene established her QAnon cred in a lead-up to her successful 2020 run for Congress. She mocked the 2018 Parkland high school massacre a "false flag." On Facebook, she posted a photo of survivor David Hogg and identified him as "littlerhitler." In a video that recently surfaced, she stalked and taunted Hogg as he walked to meet with members of Congress.

"I have a concealed-carry permit," she told Hogg at one point, "and I carry a gun for protection."

More about Greene from CNN reporters Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski, who have been tracking her social media posts before she began deleting them:

"In one Facebook post from April 2018, Greene wrote conspiratorially about the Iran Deal, one of former President Barack Obama's signature foreign policy achievements. A commenter asked Greene, 'Now do we get to hang them ?? Meaning H & O ???,' referring to Obama and Hillary Clinton.

"Greene replied, 'Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off.'"

In September 2020, Greene posted a campaign image of herself holding a gun alongside images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. The caption read, in part, "Squad's worst nightmare."

In other videos in the past two years, Greene encouraged protestors to "flood the Capitol," and promoted violence. "The only way you get your freedoms back is it's earned with the price of blood," she said in a 2020 video. She has repeatedly echoed Trump's lie that he won the last election and brags that they are still buddies.

She got away with all of this until Jan. 6.

Less than a month after that violent insurrection at the Capitol that killed five people, the House of Representatives decided there should be consequences for Marjorie Taylor Greene and her treasonous rhetoric.

Not her fellow Republicans, mind you. In a private vote, they were unwilling to hold her accountable. In public, on the House floor Thursday evening, one Republican after another attempted to recast Greene as a put-upon kid being unfairly tagged with long-ago comments.

A popular refrain: "before she was elected to Congress."

Greene is 46 years old.

This is who Marjorie Taylor Greene is when she thinks we aren't watching. Now she realizes we see her. In Trump fashion, she is attempting to cast herself as a victim.

In her 10-minute speech on the floor Thursday, using the language of a middle schooler trying to prove she did, too, do her homework, she announced that the 9/11 attacks "absolutely happened" and that school shootings were "absolutely real."

But Greene failed to apologize for her comments. Instead, she dismissed public outrage as "cancel culture" against conservatives, likened journalists to QAnon and tried to explain away her previous statements as having been duped.

"I was allowed to believe things that weren't true," she said, as if she had been temporarily carted away by aliens.

Numerous "think pieces" after the last election have swirled around this question: Who do Republicans want to be now? Marjorie Taylor Greene forced them to answer.

The House vote to strip Greene of her committee assignments was 230 to 199. Only 11 Republicans joined the Democratic majority in deciding to limit the power of the dangerous extremist in their midst.

Who do Republicans want to be now?

We have their answer: More Marjorie, please.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University's school of journalism. She is the author of two non-fiction books, including "...and His Lovely Wife," which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. She is also the author of The New York Times bestselling novel, "The Daughters of Erietown." To find out more about Connie Schultz ([email protected]) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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