Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has increasingly become a thorn in Republican leaders’ side due to her advocacy for various disturbing conspiracy theories. And now Democrats are seeking to weaponize her reputation to their benefit ahead of 2022’s midterm elections.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching a $500,000 television and online ad blitz against vulnerable House Republicans that ties them to Greene and to her support of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely claims powerful Democrats are part of a cabal of cannibal pedophiles.
The ad buys are one step in an escalating campaign Democrats are waging against the Congress member, in which they seek to deplatform her in Congress while fundraising off the controversies surrounding her.
Greene has come under fire recently over conspiracy theories she has embraced on social media, which run the gamut from racist and anti-Semitic claims to 9/11 and Parkland shooting denial. Before her election, she also liked posts calling for the execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and baselessly asserting that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton murders children.
Republican leadership knew of Greene’s embrace of QAnon even before she was elected but some top Republicans, hoping to take back control of the House, endorsed her, while others stood idly by. Upon her arrival in Congress, GOP leadership did not ostracize her, but seated her on the Education and Labor and Budget committees.
Now the House Democrats’ campaign fundraising arm is seeking to capitalize on Republicans’ unwillingness to rein her in. The DCCC created a 30-second spot to be run in the districts of eight Republicans — Reps. Don Bacon (NE), Maria Elvira Salazar (FL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Mike Garcia (CA), Young Kim (CA), Michelle Steel (CA), and Beth Van Duyne (TX), as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA).
Over images of Greene, ominous narration says QAnon “took over the Republican Party” before going on to say the Republican representative in the district of each ad stood with Trump and QAnon, as footage of the Capitol riot plays.
Of the eight representatives targeted, only three — Garcia, McCarthy, and Van Duyne — voted against certifying the results of the 2020 election. All eight, however, voted against impeaching former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the crowd that rioted at the Capitol on January 6. Overall, the ad is an attempt by the DCCC to attach Greene’s extremism to all Republicans, regardless of whether they backed Trump’s attempt to overturn the election, arguing that she typifies the GOP — a task made easier by McCarthy and Republican leadership’s refusal to uniformly treat her like persona non grata.
Within Congress, Democrats are flexing their majority by offering an ultimatum to McCarthy, who has — despite a pointed critique of Greene’s beliefs by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — only promised to have a “conversation” with the Congress member.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told McCarthy to remove Greene from her committee assignments, as House Republicans did with former Rep. Steve King over racist remarks, within 72 hours. If McCarthy fails to do so, Hoyer reportedly said Democrats will take the issue to the floor, according to Politico.
The move comes among an outpouring of anger from House Democrats, who have discussed censure and expulsion in addition to a committee removal resolution.
I don’t need to explain why @RepMTG is a clear and present danger to Congress and our democracy. She did it herself.— Rep. Jimmy Gomez (@RepJimmyGomez) January 28, 2021
And she must go.
I’m introducing a resolution to expel her from Congress immediately: https://t.co/45KyC59WDU
Democrats are closing ranks around the idea of punishing Greene, from Pelosi, who slammed Republican leadership for seating Greene on the Education Committee, to first-term members like Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who is changing offices to be farther from Greene after a hallway confrontation in which Bush said the Georgia Congress member “berated” her without wearing a mask.
If the committee or expulsion resolutions get to the point of a vote, House Republicans will have to go on record regarding their stance on Greene — something GOP leadership would likely rather avoid. If a vote does come, however, the DCCC will surely be ready to pounce on those Republicans who vote to defend the lawmaker.