When Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene entered the United States House of Representatives in 2020, it was under a cloud of controversy.
A woman who won her race by being Trumpier than Donald J. Trump; the supposed embodiment of the “MAGA” movement, who came into Congress toting her gun, and challenging the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election, MTG was seen by many as the Republican AOC (hence, the abbreviation of her name).
Since that time, though, MTG has been attacked by the very same Right-wing forces that propelled into power.
It’s hilarious, because when she entered office in 2020, so many viewed her as a gonzo figure of the alternative-Right that she’d not last in office for more than a term or two.
Certainly, MTG’s tenure in Congress looked to be in doubt when she was kicked off any committee assignments in the caustic aftermath of the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill. But once the Democrats lost their majority in Congress after the close 2022 Midterm Elections, MTG’s stock suddenly rose in the eyes of her colleagues.
Marjorie Taylor Greene stopped being the gonzo backbencher whose raison d’être appeared to be little more than “owning the Libs” and suddenly went through an almost Machiavellian metamorphosis to become a serious, rising power player in the House Republicans.
The process in which MTG began her evolution occurred off-camera; at a time when she was seeking greater influence and access to implement her program for preserving America’s ailing Middle-Class.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Goes Full Machiavelli
Rep. Greene fundamentally understood that she could not achieve this herculean goal—or be of any use to her constituents in any circumstance—from being locked out of committee assignments and relegated to the rafters because of her hardline stances.
Greene had to make the choice that so many ideologues have had to make: remain so publicly tied to your beliefs that you’re no longer effective from an implementation standpoint. Or she could play the game.
Marjorie Taylor Greene played the game.
She made an unlikely alliance with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), long the target of the MAGA and Tea Party wing of the GOP. While McCarthy comes across as somewhat of a nerd—his involvement with the “Young Guns” in the 2010s was truly cringeworthy—the fact remains that McCarthy has been a stalwart Right-winger for his entire career.
But, like MTG today, McCarthy had modeled his politics in such a way that he could remain viable as a member of Congress. Aggravating his colleagues constantly and undermining his own stances with ideologically flashy public displays, McCarthy quickly learned, were not the path to success in Congress.
That is a lesson that MTG learned the hard way. Because the Georgia Republican appears to be wising up to the great political game in Congress, MTG has earned the ire of her colleagues in the Tea Party Caucus. In fact, the Tea Party kicked MTG out from its membership.
It’s proving to be quite a controversy in the Washington press, given how far to the Right Marjorie Taylor Greene has been.
Yet, it shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone.
MTG is a smart operator and she’s getting craftier still. What’s more, I doubt that she’s abandoned the ideas that propelled her into office. The Georgia Republican just getting better at working in the noxious environment that is Capitol Hill.
After all, the House of Representatives is a team sport. If your own team hates you, you’ll never make any headway in passing your agenda.
The Marjorie Taylor Greene – Boebert Divide
The reason that MTG was evicted from the House Tea Party Caucus was due to her ongoing feud with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a fellow leading member of the Tea Party Caucus. But that shouldn’t matter one wit to MTG. Boebert continues to beclown herself with her antics in the House.
As such, no one takes her seriously. It’s an interesting dichotomy, because at the outset of their respective Congressional careers, both MTG and Boebert were painfully similar.
Their careers are an example of the paths not taken.
For MTG, she realized the ineffectiveness of the gonzo conservative archetype terrorizing the halls of Congress. She could keep her values but be better at implementing them, which is why MTG has turned into being a shadow of Rep. McCarthy. Boebert, basically, never grew up. The controversial Colorado Republican kept blundering ahead, expecting different results.
The great feud between the two controversial conservative congresswomen began with MTG’s shocking support for Kevin McCarthy in his bid to become the new Republican speaker of the House. Boebert opposed McCarthy and the Tea Party Caucus was the reason for the pathetic display that was the ill-fated challenge to McCarthy’s rise as speaker.
MTG was on the right side of that issue.
The one-dimensional Boebert and her fellow Tea Party Caucus members were not. From there, Boebert and MTG feuded over MTG’s wise support of raising the debt ceiling—not because MTG believes America’s debt is acceptable. She clearly does not. MTG did this because it was the pragmatic thing to do.
If the GOP had allowed for the Tea Party types in their midst to prevent the raising of the debt ceiling last month, as Boebert wanted to do, it would have crashed the economy—and likely given the Democrats just the impetus they needed to blame the Republicans, as we enter another contentious presidential election year.
McCarthy, MTG, and the rest of the House Republicans were wise to push the issue off for another two years. At this rate, given the awful size of the debt we’ve incurred in just last decade, it doesn’t really matter whether we address it this year or 18 months from now.
It really all comes down to politics. And MTG, unlike the fanatics in the Tea Party Caucus, understands this.
Tea Party vs. MAGA?
Another thing that this MTG-Tea Party scrap has exposed are the fissures that exist between the “MAGA”-type Republicans and the Tea Party types. They’ve been lumped together by ignorant media for years, since Donald Trump’s rise.
Indeed, many of the Tea Party elements supported Trump in 2016. But ideologically, the Tea Party comes out of the extreme Libertarian, small-government side of the GOP.
On the other hand, the MAGA wing is from the working-and-middle-classes of America and led by a brand of firebrands who happily describe themselves as “Right-wing Marxists.” The MAGA people have no problem with Big Government—so long as they are the ones controlling the levers of power, to dole out goodies to their preferred constituencies, whereas the Tea Partiers usually want to just smash the machine itself and let everyone figure out what to do for themselves.
These two groups, then, are ideologically opposite—and were only united in their support for Donald Trump’s presidency. Now that Trump has been out of office for three years, with so many other options arising in the Republican Party Primary, the fissures are again becoming pronounced.
The MTG-Boebert feud is but one outgrowth of those divisions.
The divisions are real.
Ultimately, however, the disagreements are relatively minor when compared to the division between the MAGA crowd and the establishments of both major political parties. In this, too, the MAGA and Tea Party groups share a common enemy. After all, the elites hated the Tea Party from the moment it arose in the House in 2010.
Those same elites despise the MAGA crew.
The key difference is that, in the case of MTG, elements of MAGA clearly figured out how to game the system in Washington. Their gaming of that system will ultimately lead to the acquisition of the kind of power these MAGA-type politicians need to fundamentally alter the course of the system.
A system in which both the MAGA side of the GOP and the Tea Partiers believe has been on the wrong path. The Tea Party has been in Washington for more than a decade. It remains splendidly isolated—and therefore utterly useless—to the GOP in its attempts to rearrange the power structure in Washington.
MTG is Loyal
Thus, far from being a traitor, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a stalwart of protecting and enhancing the GOP’s power in Washington.
She also remains an outsider who has simply gotten better at playing the insider game. I’ve seen little to suggest that she has abandoned her stances in favor of power. Those bashing MTG, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), appear to be either woefully uninformed or jealous of MTG’s rising stature both in MAGA-world as well as in Mainstream GOP circles.
It’d be nice to see if more fire breathing Right-wingers, such as Gaetz and Boebert, learned from MTG’s example and according to her example. Alas, misery loves company. And it’s always easier to make impossible stands while generating loads of media buzz for yourselves rather than furthering a cause for which the voters elected you to champion. MTG clearly shows she’s the more mature of the Far Right-wingers.
What a thing
A 19FortyFive Senior Editor, Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (July 23). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.