Michael Steele, the RNC chairman during the Obama era, has heard just about enough of Marjorie Taylor Greene and her calls for a national divorce: The antics of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have likely frequently angered more establishmentarian, Republicans, even if they don’t speak out about it.
One former head of the party has, in fact, spoken out. And he is not happy – to say the least.
Marjorie Taylor Greene: All of the Drama
In response to Greene’s recent call for a “national divorce,” Michael Steele, who was chairman of the RNC between 2009 and 2011, ripped Greene in an MSNBC interview back in March. Steele is a political analyst on that network.
Appearing on the network’s “The 11th Hour” show months back, Steele slammed Greene’s “national divorce” idea, as reported by The Hill.
“She has no clue what the hell she’s talking about,” Steele said on the show.
“Why do we listen to this crazy fool? Marjorie Taylor Greene, please just shut the hell up. Do us all a favor. You are an embarrassment to the Republican Party and to the country as a congresswoman.”
Steele also invoked the Civil War as a reason to oppose a “national divorce.”
“We fought that war,” Steele said.
“A Republican president lost his life over trying to save the union, and this fool wants to split it? So, here we go. This is the kind of crazy that requires a lot of heavy thinking because she isn’t.”
A Note on Steele
Steele is not exactly a Republican in good standing.
A former lieutenant governor of Maryland who was the first African-American RNC chairman, Steele has been an outspoken opponent of Donald Trump, and in 2020 he both linked up with the Lincoln Project and endorsed Joe Biden for president.
The former chairman knows a thing or two about people who frequently say outlandish things in public, even outside of his political work. Steele’s sister, Monica Turner, was formerly married to retired boxing champion Mike Tyson.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Tries to Backtrack?
Greene tried to clean up her “civil war” comments in an appearance back in March on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, implying that rather than an actual dissolution of the United States, she is calling for a weaker federal government and for the states to have more power to do what they want.
Another “never Trump” conservative, David French, who recently became a New York Times columnist, also criticized Greene at the time for the national divorce idea.
“The very idea is absurd. It’s incompatible with the Constitution. It’s dangerous. It’s unworkable. It would destroy the economy, dislocate millions of Americans and destabilize the globe,” French wrote.
“Even in the absence of a civil war — it’s beyond unlikely that vast American armies would clash the way they did from 1861 to 1865 — national separation would almost certainly be a violent mess. There is only one way to describe an actual American divorce: an unmitigated disaster, for America and the world.”
Citing colleague Jamelle Bouie, French noted that “the very idea that red states or blue states represent ideologically coherent communities is completely wrong,” as red states contain many Democratic voters and vice versa.
That applies to French’s home state of Tennessee, which went for Trump by a wide margin but saw Biden win by 30 points in the big cities of Nashville and Memphis. And that also applies to Greene herself, who lives in Georgia, a state that went for Joe Biden in 2020, and in November re-elected two Democratic senators.
But French remains worried about massive disunity in the country.
“Animosity is the enemy of American liberty,” he wrote. “It is hard to muster the will to defend the rights of people you despise. But it’s also the ultimate enemy of American unity. Hatred and fear are the foundation of “unreasoning fury,” and the fury that divided us once before may well do so again.”
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.