Speaker Marjorie Taylor Greene
All political parties eventually come to a moment of choosing, when they have to clarify their values and identity. Even clown cars need a driver.
Which brings us, on this late November morning, to the House GOP, that absurd collection of gollums, trolls, bigots, and crackpots, led by a “leader” so devitalized that he’s unable to stand up to Z-list freshmen.
So here’s a modest proposal: If the GOP does take the House next year, Republicans should just say f**k it, cut out the middleman, and name Marjorie Taylor Greene speaker.
As the Roman statesman Cicero might have said, Why the f**k not?
It’s not just that MTG represents the party’s id — in touch with both the base and the Orange-God-King-in-Exile — she runs the place anyway. Why not make it official? And anointing her has the added benefit of honesty.
Kevin McCarthy simply takes up space while she holds the real power. Amanda Carpenter called it back in May:
“Greene knows where she stands. As long as she has Trump’s support and keeps his voters in the GOP tent, she’s calling the shots. Not McCarthy.”
Since then, MTG has moved easily into the role of ideological enforcer, demanding retribution against RINOs like Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and John Katko — but also keeping her fellow deplorables in line.
When Lauren Boebert offered a tentative non-apology apology for making anti-Muslim remarks about her Ilhan Omar, MTG brought her sharply back into line, reminding her that in the Era of Trump, there are no apologies.
Sure enough, when Boebert and Omar spoke earlier this week, Boebert refused to make a public apology and Omar ended up hanging up on her.
All was right once again with the right.
MTG then turned her attention to another colleague, South Carolina’s Nancy Mace, who is not exactly a RINO. (She voted against impeachment and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and has made suitably anti-vax mandate noises on Fox News.) But Mace apparently drew the line at overt expressions of bigotry.
So MTG brought out the Twitter whip. ICYMI, here is how it went.
Mace fired back.
And lest her feelings about her batshit crazy clown colleague were unclear, Mace followed up with this:
MTG then appealed to a higher power, apparently calling Trump himself to complain about Mace.
At this point, a footnote may in order. As Eric Michael Garcia pointed out yesterday, the reason that Green is saying that Mace is “pro-abort” is “because Mace was raped in high school and as a result, wants exemptions for abortion bans for rape and incest, which many anti-abortion conservatives also support.”
Now we come to the denouement of yesterday’s events. The feckless Kevin McCarthy, who is still the nominal leader, tried to intervene in this unseemly spat, and reportedly had a meeting with the two squabbling congresswomen.
According to this report, he told them to stop, but — in a move that reminded us where the real power in the GOP now lies — “Greene walked out of the meeting, ignoring McCarthy, and started telling a reporter that she supports a primary challenge against Mace.”
Who’s the leader now, hmmmm?
I wrote about this on Monday, and discussed on our “secret podcast” yesterday with Mona Charen. Like so many other GOP “leaders” McCarthy is under the impression that he can emasculate his way to power.
He imagines that he can surrender his testicles, put them in a lock box, and somehow re-attach them when he comes to power.
Who’s going to tell him?
Wednesday's Supreme Court arguments over Mississippi's near-total abortion ban marks the culmination of decades worth of efforts to get Roe v. Wade overturned. It's a test for the conservative high court -- and for both political parties, which have built foundations and expectations around abortion rights.
The case has long been about more than Mississippi, or even about Texas, with nearly half the states in the country poised to significantly restrict access to abortions if Roe is overturned, as ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports.
That's not all it might mean: "I think if you want to see a revolution, go ahead, outlaw Roe v. Wade and see what the response is of the public, particularly young people," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said this week.
Republicans and conservative groups arguably have as much riding on the decision as Democrats. This represents what is almost certainly their best shot at undoing what they view as a monumental judicial wrong.
Conservatives on both sides of the Capitol are privately plotting to force a government shutdown Friday in an effort to defund the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on the private sector, multiple GOP sources told Playbook.
Funny how indictments focus the mind
WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff under President Donald J. Trump, has reached an agreement with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol to provide documents and sit for a deposition, the panel said on Tuesday, a notable reversal for a crucial witness in the inquiry.
The change of stance for Mr. Meadows, who had previously refused to cooperate with the committee in line with a directive from Mr. Trump, came as the panel prepared to seek criminal contempt of Congress charges against a second witness who has defied one of its subpoenas. It marked a turnabout after weeks of private wrangling between the former chief of staff and the House committee over whether he would participate in the investigation and to what degree.
The fall of the House of Cuomo…
CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo, one of its biggest stars, a day after the release of documents that detailed his efforts to help his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, fend off allegations of sexual misconduct….
“The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions,” a spokesperson said. “When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
1. Dr. Oz Quacks the Code of Republican Politics
Having peddled snake oil for years, he’s found his true calling in the GOP. Here’s Mona Charen in today’s Bulwark:
Dr. Oz abuses every privilege life has handed him. He preys upon people with less knowledge and sophistication. He misleads even when it can cause harm. So naturally, Sean Hannity is ready to help launch his political career.
Pennsylvania Republicans might have been better off with Parnell, who at least delivers his blows directly, without the smarmy deception.
2. Phony! Phoni! Phoné!
ICYMI: JVL on Chris Christie’s latest belly-flop.
People are public figures for one of three reasons: The position they hold. The constituency which supports them. Or the ideas they champion.
Chris Christie is a man with no position, no audience, and nothing to say. He is nothing more than an inconsequential phony.
If TV bookers ever figure this out and stop gifting him air time, he’ll disappear altogether.
And no one will notice.
3. The Forever War on Christmas
Jim Swift on America’s longest running war.
On Fox News yesterday, Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer were joined by guest Mitch Allen, the founder of a company called HireSanta.com, best known for having been featured on Shark Tank. Allen, who was dressed in green like an elf, told the Fox hosts about the dreaded problem of Saint Nick Scarcity. Demand is, according to his figures, up 121 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, the number of available Santas are down 10 percent. Allen has been making this point for weeks now; in fact, FoxNews.com covered it in early November.
Hemmer quipped: “I saw the story and I said, ‘Man, even Santa doesn’t want to work in this economy!’ Uh, that’s not really the case. Tell me what you’re up against.”
Naturally, the RNC clipped the segment and used it as a way to blame . . . Joe Biden?
I have said here in the past that most contemporary American politics falls into the realm of performance art, more than about actual governing. This is the result of the perverse incentives and structure of our system.
Both sides do this. It is basically a requirement for political survival these days.
Now, before you get all both-sidery on me, there is a key difference between even the performance art of the two sides:
The Democrats performance art is almost always about trying to help people, particularly people who find themselves on the wrong end of the economy or the wrong end of culture--the poor, women, racial minorities, non-Christians, the differently gendered.
GoP performance art is about stepping on these people's faces, with hobnailed boots... and this from, supposedly, a "Christian" oriented party. Maybe they don't really understand Christianity?
There is another important difference...
The Democrats actually try and govern and solve problems. You may not like or agree with their solutions or approaches--but at least they have them and they think about them. They even talk about them enough to bore you to tears.
The GoP has little actual interest in governing. What few solutions they do have to problems are overly simplistic and ineffectual and somehow seem to end up in some form of fairly open and visible graft (at least these days). That's if the Donald doesn't change his mind after talking to the latest kook that has his ear and change things out of the blue..
The only thing that the GoP actually DOES seem to have is the performance art... but apparently that is enough these days.
But at least the taxes are lower, eh?
Remember, in the end, that you get what you pay for. Taxes buy civilization. More cops, better trained cops, faster courts, emergency services, roads, clean water.. the list is pretty long... and invisible until you actually need it... or it goes away.
Again, you get what you pay for. There is no free lunch.
Apparently neither the GoP nor its supporters are actually all that interested in civilization. Unless they can turn a few bucks off it themselves even if they do not actually deliver on it.
Do you want a non-governing government that stokes fear and hate and oppression or do you want a government that is trying to do the right things--even if badly or not quite in the way you like? Policy can be fixed or changed--hatred and oppression and fear are something different.
Just a reminder about what separates media on the right from all other media: Chris Cuomo is out of a job, because the extent to which he was helping out his own brother, the Governor of New York, was discovered, and this presented a potential conflict that compromised his ability to do his job with objectivity.
Sean Hannity, who has the same time slot as Cuomo, was on the road headlining campaign events for Donald Trump in 2016.
It's some years hence, but I recall Keith Olbermann being fired from MSNBC, I think when he also held this time slot (it was either 8pm or 9pm) because it was discovered he made donations to Democrats.
On one side, there is real accountability. On the other, with Tucker and Sean, the inmates truly run the asylum. Both sides are confronted with perverse incentives in how they make their money, but they are not equal.