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Keep Paying Attention to Marjorie Taylor Greene

Some Republicans want you to look away—because they know she makes them look bad.
February 3, 2021
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(Photo by Dustin Chambers / Getty)

Marco Rubio wants everyone to stop paying attention to Marjorie Taylor Greene. The senator is upset that her deranged comments are the lead story across the media landscape. He is worried that the congresswoman, a fellow Republican, will get “famous,” “raise money,” and “elevate” more conspiracy theories.

Oh, how exactly could it be that Rep. Greene has been getting famous? Perhaps because she found footing in a Republican party that tolerates people getting famous, raising money, and elevating themselves off deranged conspiracy theories? Could that be it? Could it be that she is a member of Congress who has been fully embraced by the former Republican president of the United States and was paraded by him on the campaign trail in hopes of re-electing two Republican senators last month?

How did she get “famous” indeed.

House Democrats are now taking steps to remove Greene from her committee assignments, wanting to hold the congresswoman accountable for her statements. But Rubio and his fellow Republicans are, are always, pointing their finger at the media. It’s the media’s fault for finding all those hours and hours of videos—sitting right there on the internet—of Greene wading into the most disgusting corners of the far-right internet to get more famous, raise more money, and elevate more insanity.

“STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO HER,” they shout. “MOVE ON.”

Just like everyone is supposed to “move on” when it comes to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol led by a raging mob of delusional, politically driven conspiracy theorists. The insurrection was, in the words of Nikki Haley, “not great,” but the real threat to democracy is the Democrats and Never Trumpers. Not the delusional, politically driven conspiracy theorists who are in the House of Representatives.

We’ve all heard of anti-anti-Trumpism. Rubio is pioneering anti-anti-mobism—complaining more about the dangerous conspiracy theorists’ critics than about the conspiracy theorists themselves. The Republican anti-anti-mobists would like everyone to let Greene and the gun nuts she hangs out with talk about executing people in peace, please.

Before the insurrection, you might have understood (if not agreed with) the notion that we shouldn’t give additional oxygen to the conspiracy mongers. But to argue now, after the Capitol was besieged, that it is not worthwhile to address and confront members of Congress who traffic in the lies that inspired the perpetrators is simply an attempt to avoid accountability.

On Tuesday evening, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained while defending Congress during that insurrection, lay in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. While people paid their respects, down the hall House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy contemplated what to do about Greene. Because now, their secret is out.

By now, everyone knows that Greene is a dangerous operator who is so morally defective she sees nothing wrong with harassing the survivor of a school shooting to drive up likes on YouTube. But McCarthy, as well as the rest of GOP leadership, were aware of Greene’s disgusting political background during her primary last year.

Even now, most of the GOP isn’t willing to go record saying she’s not fit to serve.

Indeed, some Republicans, like Rubio, Haley, and McCarthy, are worried about crossing Greene and the wild coalition she’s building. That’s the real reason they argue she isn’t newsworthy—not because they really believe she isn’t, but because the news coverage of her troubling antics and beliefs puts them in a position of endorsing the madness or running afoul of that base.

She makes them look bad. That’s why they don’t want anyone to talk about her.

Amanda Carpenter

Bulwark political columnist Amanda Carpenter is a CNN contributor, author, and former communications director to Sen. Ted Cruz and speechwriter to Sen. Jim DeMint.