THE MEANING OF MARJORIE GREENE

Let us think about Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene is the newly elected Representative from Georgia’s 14th Congressional district. The district is south of Chattanooga, Tennessee (the three northern most counties are part of the suburbs of Chattanooga). The remaining nine counties contain distant western exurbs of Atlanta. With 732,000 residents spread over twelve counties, the district is overwhelmingly Republican. Greene’s victory with 75 % percent of the vote is fairly typical for Republican candidates in the 14th.

Marjorie Greene had never held a political office before running 2020. Greene and her husband run a construction company in Alpharetta, Georgia, purchased from her father. Alpharetta is in the Georgia 6th District which includes most of Atlanta’s northern suburbs. It was the district of the famous Republican Newt Gingrich, but it has become increasingly Democratic and is now represented by an African American Democrat, Lucy McBath.

So with the very suburban Sixth unlikely to be responsive to a Republican Q-Anon devotee who talked of California wild fires being created by Jewish sponsored space lasers, the Greenes officially moved to Rome, Georgia, in the more Republican 14th District so that Marjorie Greene could run from there.

Even in the very Republican 14th, Marjorie Taylor Greene was not a typical candidate. Of the nine candidates who competed in the June 9th primary Greene was the only woman. She also differed in that she seemed to deal with no conventional political issues but instead opted to run as a kind of Trump Mini Me.

Republican voters in the 14th do seem to have responded to a local Trump variant. It is one thing to arouse the locals by talking about imaginary left wing radicals who advocate the threat of the imaginary horrors of socialism. That may work on the campaign trail and it kept Greene and her talk of Jewish space lasers in the news. It may render a candidate less effective once in office.

In one sense, Greene is demonstrating that the endless Trumpian attempts to gain the attention of the most credulous of the public can work in down ballot campaigns. There were sixty-one freshmen in the 2021 Congressional class. Marjorie Taylor Greene is probably the only one of those people that the average American has ever heard of. She can appeal to voters and apologize even while once more reviewing her greatest hits in front of the Congress.

As a member, she is not going to get very much done. There are several good reasons for that. Republicans in this era, even when in the majority seldom get very much done. If we look at Republicans in Congress during the last forty years very little real legislation has been produced because many Republicans feel that the government does too much already. With the exception of increasing military spending (now over 700,000 million dollars!) and the lowering of taxes on upper incomes, they really want to do almost nothing.

And, for the next two years at least, Republicans will be technically the minority party. Democrats will be chairing all committees in both the House and the Senate. Essentially, the Republicans will function as stopper for Democratic legislation in all those committees.

Despite her rather bizarre support for Q-Anon and her advocating the assassination of all current Democratic congressional leaders, the Republican leadership last week refused to intervene. So, this week the Democrats and some fellow Republicans showed their displeasure by voting to remove her from both her assigned committees.

So, she will have her three room office suite. She will be given well over a million dollars a year to staff that office and several other offices in her twelve county District. There will be little else for her to do. Ironically she will be freed to spend her time making herself Donald Trump’s most loudly public supporter in the Congress.

At this point, only a few weeks into Joseph Biden’s new presidential term, Donald Trump seems to loom large. The media is going to be fully occupied, beginning next Tuesday on his second impeachment trial. We are going to see lots of film of the famous invasion of January 6th. We will hear a great deal from the ever vocal Marjorie Green.

Then the Trump fixation in the Congress may begin to recede. Trump himself will be occupied with his need to avoid incarceration. He paid little attention to the detail of legislation during the four years that he was in office. He is hardly going to start now. But he need not fear being forgotten. There are many in the Congress who fear Trump’s very publicly rumored plans to go on a speaking tour of the districts of Republican members who he feels were insufficiently supportive.

And, there will be Marjorie Greene with nothing to do and frustrated by what she will increasingly view as unfair treatment by the Democrats and some evil disloyal Republicans. It is certainly true that there are many Republicans, particularly after the events of January 6th, who would be happy if Donald Trump simply faded away.

He may fade but his spirit will live on. Marjorie Greene will still be there!

H.J. Rishel

2/07/2021

Retired political science professor of 40+ years. Educated at Olivet, UofM, MSU, Northwestern, & Harvard. Hoping to make politics a fun & exciting topic for all

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