The Republican House’s Key “Strategic Thinker” If They (Shudder) Win

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Hope you’ll all bear with me for a few more obsessive blog posts between now and next Tuesday.

In what are my clearer moments, I realize I’ve adopted an “I Alone Can Save Democracy” grandiosity. After November 8, I’ll return to covering a wider variety of topics—some of them, I hope, even lighthearted and amusing at times.

I also apologize for not visiting your posts as often as I’d like. I’ve been spending time on direct voter outreach. I’ll be a more diligent fellow blogger soon.

Before I delve into the potential horror that may await us, I’m going out on a twig-thin limb with a prediction: the Democrats will retain their majorities and possibly pick up a Senate seat or two.

This is not just a fanciful notion, but since I expressly encouraged us all to “Ignore the Polls and Vote” in my previous post, I won’t explain why I’m comfortable going against the story that the mainstream media has been ceaselessly feeding us.

You’d think from the scary stories that we’re facing a red wave. We are not, though we are probably facing a close election in which every single vote is essential.

My concern now is that because of that faulty red wave narrative, the actual results will seem suspect not only to the far right, but also to many ordinary citizens. If that’s the case, we’re in for even more trouble than we might have faced without the journalistic fervor to call the horse races instead of enlightening us.

But since there’s still time for many of you to vote, I’m using this week’s posts as my closing arguments about the reasons we must work for Democratic wins as widely as possible.

I’ve noted in previous posts the many positive reasons to vote for the Democrats. This post is a warning about the Republicans.

As an intro to the nightmare scenario, it’s important to understand what the Republicans have done following the violent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul in their San Francisco home.

The man who broke in was a conspiracy theorist who had bought into the worst garbage about Nancy Pelosi. After years of targeting her with all sorts of lies, the lunatic fringe has settled on her as the persona of their bizarre and despicable convictions: they believe–or profess to believe–that she leads the Democrats’ blood-thirsty assaults on young children.

Pelosi, mother of five, grandmother of nine, has throughout her career focused on making government work well for families, especially “for the children.”

Yet that’s how they demonize her.

So a severely disturbed man named DePape, swayed by the wacky rhetoric and writings, broke in with a hammer, carrying rope and zip ties. He asked her husband: “Where’s Nancy?,” just as the January 6th Insurrectionists had done as they hunted for her.

The man’s diary is riddled with his writings about all the conspiracies and Trumpian lies. This was clearly an attempt to harm or assassinate the elected official second in line for the Presidency.

But apart from some clucking and wishing the victim well from a few of the party’s leaders, the Republicans have played along with conspiracy theorists claiming that this was some kind of false flag designed to sway the elections, or the attacker was Paul Pelosi’s secret lover, or worse. There has been no effort on their part to try to reduce the dangerous rhetoric.

As Heather Cox Richardson wrote--with a quote from conservative writer Tom Nichols that’s worth emphasizing:

“The parallels between DePape’s rhetoric and plans and the January 6th attack on the Capitol—right down to the zip ties and the references to the American Revolution—have made Republicans desperate to spin the deadly attack as a reflection of political violence on both sides of the aisle, of the general violence they insist is happening in the cities, or—appallingly and without evidence—of a gay tryst gone bad.

“Others have tried to turn an assault on the husband of the Speaker of the House, the second in line for the presidency, in an attempt to get at her, into fodder for jokes.

Conservative commentator Tom Nichols tweeted that the moment ‘feels like a turning point…. [I]f we’re not going to ostracize people who are yukking it up over taking a hammer to a man in his 80s, then we’re a different society.’”

And the world’s most odious billionaire, Elon Musk, now in possession of a massive Twitter soapbox, fed the conspiracy thinking before withdrawing his tweet after it had received hundreds of thousands of views and retweets.

Musk has announced his intentions to vote for the Republicans. Of course he has.

Don’t be like Elon Musk!

Here’s the Nightmare Scenario:

If the Republicans win the majority—even by one House seat—Kevin McCarthy is the presumed speaker. Some of the party’s worst extremists may contest his leadership, but he has locked in support from several of them. They’re not especially loyal to him, but they see him as sufficiently weak to bend to their will.

Enter Marjorie Taylor Greene (no longer Greene since her husband left her, but that’s how she’s known, so I’ll use “Greene” here).

Greene, a first-term Congresswoman from Georgia who’s spouted QAnon nonsense, antisemitism and white nationalism, and was stripped of her committee assignments for advocating violence against members of Congress, has positioned herself to be the force who delivers the messages that McCarthy must act upon.

In recent meetings, photos show her seated right behind him as he speaks.

Robert Draper, a journalist whose book Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind, was recently published, adapted portions of that book for a New York Times Magazine article titled “The Problem of Marjorie Taylor Greene—What the rise of the far-right congresswoman means for the House, the G.O.P. and the Nation.”

I’m ambivalent about all the publicity she’s getting. However, the Republican Party has allowed her to move from an outlier to a party leader in less than two years. Thus, I think it’s worth underscoring the danger with a few quotations and insights from that article.

At the top of Greene’s agenda is the impeachment of President Biden: she filed articles of impeachment one day after he was sworn in, claiming that as Vice President he had illegally helped his son Hunter with Ukraine business dealings. (Everything is always upsy-downsy land with the Republicans).

Where is her evidence? She told Draper that she expects McCarthy would go along with that plan.

“My style would be a lot more aggressive, of course. For him, I think the evidence needs to be there. But I think people underestimate him, in thinking he wouldn’t do it.”

She wants to punish President Biden and the Democrats for their alleged “witch hunt” against Trump.

Draper quotes her:

“‘I think that to be the best speaker of the House and to please the base, he’s going to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway,’ she predicted in a flat, unemotional voice. ‘And if he doesn’t, they’re going to be very unhappy about it. I think that’s the best way to read that. And that’s not in any way a threat at all. I just think that’s reality.’

Draper spent 18 months interviewing her (!), and during that time, he writes,

“Greene’s messaging machine achieved a kind of wall-of-sound inescapability. Her daily litany of often-vicious taunts, factual contortions and outright falsehoods on social media and behind any available lectern depicted a great nation undone by Biden’s Democrats, with allusions to undocumented immigrants as rapists, transgender individuals as predators, Black Lives Matter protesters as terrorists, abortion providers as murderers and her political opponents as godless pedophilia-coddling Communists.

“The Trumpian media ecosystem where these phantasms originated saw Greene as their most able exponent, while Trump himself, in a news release earlier this year, proclaimed her ‘a warrior in Congress,’ adding, ‘She doesn’t back down, she doesn’t give up, and she has ALWAYS been with ‘Trump.’”

She has said Trump told her he’d consider having her run as his vice president in 2024, and she would be “honored.”

Based on his time with her, Draper concludes that a Republican majority with Greene “in the vanguard” would mean:

—“America should have a Christian government and…open prayer should return to classrooms”

—Impeach Biden, Attorney General Garland, and Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas

—Defund the FBI because of the seizure of stolen documents at Mar-a-Lago

—Expel from Congress those she claims are “Communists,” eg, progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez D-NY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a prominent January 6th Committee member

—Launch a Congressional investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings

—Suspend all immigration into the US for the next four years

—Ban abortion

—Overturn gun control laws

—Eliminate “any and all regulations that were intended to address climate change”

She has, astutely, hired as her chief of staff a man named Ed Buckham, who had served in that position for Republican House majority whip Tom DeLay, who was effective in that role.

Greene told Draper:

“I hired him because I want to be a very serious legislator…a very serious member of Congress. And it’s because I have true goals in Congress, and then also for the Republican Party. I think our party needs a lot of work.”

In other words, to Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican Party of today just isn’t extreme enough.

Please vote to prevent Kevin McCarthy from gaining the power to enable Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “leadership” in shaping America according to her wild, hate-filled convictions. Of course we’ll have President Biden to veto the excesses for the next two years, but I think we’re foolish if we underestimate the potential damage of a McCarthy-Greene House of Representatives.

If you’ve already voted and you want a different America than Marjorie Taylor Greene does, contact everyone you know, offer to drive your neighbors to the polls, do whatever you can between now and November 8 to prevent this nightmare scenario.


20 thoughts on “The Republican House’s Key “Strategic Thinker” If They (Shudder) Win

  1. I’d be interested to know why you expect the Democrats to retain their majorities, if you ever decide to post about it. To me it seems that there are unique factors at work in this election which make the outcome pretty much impossible to predict; it could go either way. Perhaps you’re aware of some point I’ve overlooked.

    The striking thing about Marjoreene’s proposed program, aside from its general lunacy, is that none of it is aimed at solving actual problems. Yes, it would appeal to the extremists, but a lot of swing voters who are leaning Republican are doing so because, rightly or wrongly, they believe the Republicans would do something effective about inflation and crime. Nothing she’s proposing addresses those things at all. As with the threats against Social Security, they seem to be almost trying to turn voters off. McCarthy is a fool for not explicitly repudiating her statements, but the whole Trump episode showed that Republicans are too gutless to get their own extremists under control.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. At least in Western New York, Republican candidates are running on little except opposition to crime, inflation, immigration, and New York State government. Two, Reps. Stefanik and Tenney, favor impeaching President Biden, the politics of revenge.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I will post my thinking after the dust has settled, though if the election is close, there will be a long wait for certified results. The use of the crime against Paul Pelosi to distort reality is making everything murkier. I do worry how legitimate Democratic wins in the various races will be received.

      Your point about Greene’s failure to offer solutions is valid, of course. Though she’s extreme in many ways, there are no Republican proposals for dealing with crime, inflation, etc.—other than the discredited supply side economics and “sunsetting” our safety nets—and attacking asylum seekers, though immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than non-immigrants.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. I find it hard to believe that the influx of new voters especially, the female variant think that Repugs are the ticket to a bright future. Presidential level turnouts in every state indicates that something is different this year. I see every reason to be cautious and never let up but I see no reason to be pessimistic.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The sun will rise here in Dayton at 7:15 am November 9, 2022. The Morning Golden Hour will last for 36 minutes. Of this I am certain after that I shall look forward to the unfolding of time. Fortitude now!
    “Never be disappointed and never lose your hope and fortitude when all that you see around is only shadows. Because if there are shadows, there must also be sources of light nearby. Find them, take them with you to illuminate your trail and make shadows disappear!”
    ― Giannis Delimitsos

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not sure any of these characters are capable of such human emotions. But I sure hope to celebrate their defeats.

        Did you see Tim Ryan win over a Fox audience—telling them the truth about the Insurrection? I think he may have made a teensy bit of headway.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Just reading Marge Greene’s (yeah, even though divorced, she is still Greene unless she legally changes it) plans make me nauseous. She would, in other words, turn this nation into a pariah where its citizens have no rights and the rest of the world loses any and all respect for us and eventually holds us accountable for our dereliction of duty to the planet. Bah Humbug to Ms. Greene.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My father always recommended voting early and often. I did indeed vote early this year—for Democrats straight down the line—but I’ve never been able to pull off the “often” decree. Still, I fully expect the former guy and his sycophants to again shout voter fraud if their preferred candidates lose. If there is any fraud, it’s on the part of right wingers who do whatever they can to block mail-in ballots and other ways for as many people as possible to vote.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. True, indeed, Gail. They’ve already started lawsuits to fuel the chaos. There are so many more of us; if we overcome timidity and apathy, we can succeed to fight the next battles.


  5. For a basket, er, bunch of people who think the attack on Mr. Pelosi is hilarious, they are working hard to distance the attacker from them and their stances. Shouldn’t they be hailing him as a hero?
    Maybe they would have been more proud of him if the attacker had succeeded in finding and incapacitating, or killing, Mrs. Pelosi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the strategy—to the extent that there’s any beyond cruelty—is “Do as I say, not as my message contends. If I say the Democrats are responsible for rising crime rates, give me the power to encourage the thugs to make things worse.” I want to know if the Kari Lakes need protection—or if, like trump—she’s sure she’s safe with the mobs she encourages.

      Liked by 1 person

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