Just four months after being sworn in as a freshman member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has firmly established herself as the lower chamber's leading instigator. At a dizzying pace, she has accrued regular fines and reprimands and been stripped of her committee assignments, all while firing off tweets whose sole goal seems to be to offend a large swath of readers.
But as a result of her many transgressions, and as calls from Democrats grow to have her expelled from Congress, Greene's popularity among pro-Trump Republicans has skyrocketed. To read her social media posts or watch her speak from the House floor, or to attend her "America First" rallies, makes clear that she is not the kind of person to issue perfunctory "sorry to anyone I may have offended" apologies. Stepping over the line is the whole point of her political career, and what, at this precarious moment in a sharply divided America, gives it strength.
For instance, at Friday's rally in Mesa, Ariz., which she held with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Greene delighted her audience by recounting how she had received two fines on a single day last week for not wearing a mask on the floor of the House of Representatives. This gave her the opportunity to take digs at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who, taking a page from former President Donald Trump's insult-moniker playbook, Greene announced she had nicknamed "Speaker Maskhole."
"I got in a little bit of trouble. I got my name taken down by the very sweet lady who is the Sergeant-of-Arms, and they sent me a letter from the House Ethics and it says, 'You have broken the rules,'" Greene said, adding that she was being fined $500.
To the delight of her audience, Greene said she fed the letter into a paper shredder on her desk before returning to vote on the House floor, still without a mask, causing her to incur a second fine.
"So I got another letter, and the second fine is $2,500. Yeah, that's more than my mortgage," she said.
This had come just days after Greene had likened Pelosi's reticence to lift the House mask mandate to the German extermination of the Jews under the Nazis.
"You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about," Greene told the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody.
Another wave of outrage emerged, including from Greene's GOP colleagues. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., newly ousted from her GOP leadership post, dubbed Greene's comments "evil lunacy." Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., said her words were "beyond reprehensible."
Sparking controversy is a feature, not a bug, of Greene's political messaging. On Sunday, she endorsed the idea of cleaving the country further apart via state secession.
The civil war Greene seems to have in mind pits liberals and supposedly phony Republicans against "America First" conservatives like herself and Trump. On Friday, she repeatedly went after Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as being emblematic of the party as a whole that she posits as anti-American.
"What's wrong with these ladies? Do they not appreciate being an American woman? Isn't being an American woman the greatest thing in the world?" Greene asked, adding, "These women are a disgrace. They're an embarrassment to the United States Congress. They are terrorists. They are, they're supporting terrorists abroad, and supporting terrorists at home."
On Thursday, Greene and Gaetz are set to hold their next rally in Dalton, Ga.
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