Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has become a constant source of controversy. She has pushed anti-LGBTQ hate, supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, blamed extreme weather events on Jewish space lasers, and lost her House committee assignments after endorsing social media content that advocated killing prominent Democrats.
But she still won her primary contest to be re-nominated on Tuesday evening. And, wrote MSNBC's Zeeshan Aleem, that is a sign that her fringe views are no longer truly fringe in the Republican Party.
"Greene’s victory is a loss for Georgia, and the country," wrote Aleem. "She is arguably the purest expression of Trumpism as an ideology in Congress, not to mention the strangest member of the congressional MAGA squad. In a group that includes scandal-plagued firebrands like Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida, that’s saying something. She displays no real interest in or skill for governance, but she’s effective at promoting white nationalist and authoritarian ideas, and she has a gut instinct for how to use disinformation and media stunts to stay in the news. Worst of all, the Republican Party establishment seems to have accepted her extremism as the new normal within the GOP."
"Generally speaking, Greene has not only survived but thrived," noted Aleem. "She’s now one of the most recognizable Republicans in the country, and she has achieved that rare status of perceived authenticity on the MAGA right ('Like Donald Trump, she tells it like it is,' a right-wing activist in Georgia noted to a Business Insider reporter recently). GOP candidates in competitive races across the country have sought out her endorsement. And she has established herself as a fundraising juggernaut: She raised the eighth-highest amount among House candidates in 2021 and dwarfed the war chests of her primary challengers."
Some members of her district have denounced her antics, slamming her as an "embarrassment," with at least some business owners worried her reputation will be bad for business in the area. But not enough are bothered to matter, wrote Aleem — and it has implications for the GOP's future.
"Greene has provided a playbook for future hard-core Trump-wing newcomers," wrote Aleem. "Stirring up maximal controversy, spreading disinformation and trafficking in white nationalist ideas can be a winning MAGA formula, especially among Republican voters plugged into right-wing media. Sure, such politicians will only undermine the legislative process and help tilt the country closer to democratic collapse — but in red districts, they will have good shots at re-election."
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