Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has quickly become one of the most famous members of Congress, and will almost certainly cruise to re-election for a second term, even if her own constituents can't identify any specific accomplishments.
Charles Bethea, a reporter from The New Yorker, profiled Greene earlier in her first term and has been following her around on the campaign trail, and he shared some of his observations with Slate -- including the possibility that she'll be compelled to testify about her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
"A lot of the Green supporters didn’t seem to be able to offer what’s what you could describe as a more substantive case for why they wanted to vote for her," Bethea said, "and I think that’s been borne out by how little she seemed to actually have done for them."
Greene has become an avatar for voters in her deeply conservative district in northwest Georgia, which Bethea said has a history of electing fringe candidates since it was first drawn up in 2010.
"It’s a corner of Georgia that while the rest of the state may be becoming purplish or bluish," Bethea said. "This particular corner of the state is sort of behaving in more anachronistic ways, and she will continue to take advantage of that. Well, I mean, so it’s it’s very rural, it’s very white, it’s poor. Two biggest cities each have fewer than 40,000 people. Neither one is the top 20 town in Georgia. Fairly recently, I think, 6,000 people signed a petition to preserve a statue of a Klan member."
Greene's challengers are having a hard time breaking through because her deficiencies don't seem to bother voters, and her antics draw plenty of out-of-state donations.
"We saw this with Trump, too," Bethea said. "I think that people who opposed Trump were tempted to and often did focus more on his deficiencies than on their own qualifications. I think Marjorie Taylor Greene, she seems, at least to many people, to present this kind of smorgasbord of deficiencies as a person, as a candidate, and it’s really tempting to focus on the Jewish space lasers and on the failed attempt to impeach Joe Biden and all these various other things than to talk about kind of more nitty=gritty policy stuff. That’s a little you know, it’s a little snoozy for the average voter, even if it’s actually more consequential."
The lawmaker is facing a legal challenge similar to one filed against fellow election denier Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) under a provision that disqualifies insurrectionists from holding office, although Bethea said the lawsuit is unlikely to succeed -- but that's not exactly the point.
"So the way it works procedurally, I think, is that the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, will potentially put it in front of an administrative law judge who would then make a ruling of some sort and then it could continue from there to be heard," Bethea said. "I think in both cases, the likelihood that Greene will actually be disqualified from the ballot using these arguments like Cawthorn is relatively low. But I think that she could be compelled, as this plays out, to testify under oath about her role in Jan. 6, which hasn’t happened before, and which would be quite useful, I think, to get a broader picture of what actually took place in that day."
"They’re not going to go ahead and concede that, that they’re not going to win this lawsuit," he added. "They’re not willing to say that. It’s pretty clear that, like, a secondary goal of the suit is this other opportunity to get her to testify under oath."