Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some tea and it involves House Democrats and representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The House votedalong party lines on Thursday to remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from her two committee assignments, a move by Democrats to rebuke a Republican who has espoused extremist beliefs that she publicly renounced in part just hours before the vote.
Greene had been an open adherent of the QAnon ideology, a sprawling and violent web of false claims that played a role in inspiring the Capitol attack. In addition, she had made comments on social media suggesting that some mass shootings were staged by supporters of gun control, that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by government forces and that a Jewish cabal had sparked a deadly wildfire with a space beam.“I don’t understand what is complicated here,” said House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D.MA.), exhorting his colleagues to sideline Greene. “We know the result of these violent conspiracy theories. We saw that on Jan. 6. We know what it leads to. I don’t ever want to see that again. And we all should make clear where we stand on this.”
The vote against Greene reflected a deep frustration in the Democratic ranks over the Republican leadership’s reluctance to take its own action to marginalize Greene (R.Ga.), their desire to yoke the entire GOP to her extremism, and their anger over a lack of accountability for the January 6 Capitol riot.
The vote was 230 to 199, with 11 Republicans voting with Democrats to strip Greene of her committees.
Greene had took back some of her most egregious remarks on the House floor a few hours earlier, in a 10 minute speech that was more explanation than apology one that doubled down on her attacks against the media and her political enemies while omitting some of her most recent behavior.“These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values,” she said.
Greene’s comments did little to temper Democrats’ outrage particularly as they seized on comments she made last year during her House campaign where she refused to repudiate QAnon, as well as her ongoing efforts to raise money off the uproar. Greene said on Twitter late Wednesday that she had raised more than $330,000 from 13,000 small donors in 48 hours.
Equally infuriating to Democrats were social media postings she made approving of violence against prominent Democratic politicians including former president Barack Obama, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.CA). Greene did not address those postings in her Thursday remarks.
“I believe in forgiveness, but in order to benefit from forgiveness, you’ve got to demonstrate contrition, and she has demonstrated no contrition,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D.NC.), who added that he saw “a correlation between that type of reckless rhetoric and what we saw on Jan. 6.”
Pelosi on Thursday placed the onus on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.CA.) and other Republican leaders, suggesting they should have acted against Greene out of a “sense of responsibility to this institution.”
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D.MD.) hoisted a sign showing a Facebook post her campaign made in September one showing Greene posing with a military style rifle juxtaposed with photos of three liberal Democratic congresswomen and the caption “The Squad’s Worst Nightmare” and walked it over to the Republican side of the chamber.“When you take this vote, imagine your faces on this poster,” he said. “Imagine it’s a Democrat with an AR-15. Imagine what your response would be.”Greene was seated among fellow Republicans as Hoyer spoke. Behind him was Rep. Ilhan Omar (D.MN.), one of the women featured in the post and one of the Democrats whom Republicans have suggested they might remove from committees in the future under the new precedent.
The vote came a day after McCarthy publicly refused to strip Greene from her committees as Democrats had demanded. Instead, he told reporters, he proposed to Hoyer that Greene move from the Education and Labor Committee, which has jurisdiction over school security, to the Small Business Committee. Democrats rejected that move, and McCarthy responded by accusing Democrats of a “partisan power grab” that upended the long-standing practice of allowing each party’s leadership to determine its own committee assignments a procedural argument that gained traction among GOP members who were uninterested in defending Greene’s comments.