Fresh off her excommunication from her committee assignments, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday gave what was euphemistically described as a “press conference,” in which the Congresswoman attempted to shrug off the sheer depths of her disgrace.
As described by Kate Riga for Talking Points Memo, the effort was intended to be a quick reboot of a congressional career that has almost immediately sputtered into neutral and stalled: “It seemed an attempt to humanize herself, as she beseeched the press to ‘tell my story a little bit better,’ not just her conspiracy theories.”
It was clear that the “great call” that she had bragged about, between herself and Donald Trump, included the advice that she never back down, never apologize, and never admit to a mistake. These were all tactics that worked well for Trump, a protegé of the morally bankrupt, putrid and despicable Roy Cohn. So following that playbook, she proceeded to do as the Master had recommended, firing away with all the handy right-wing tropes she could think of.
“I was in the chamber unlike AOC,” Greene shot, describing the insurrection. She then claimed that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) “faked her outrage with another hoax.”
On Friday, she said that she was glad to be kicked off of her committees, given the “tyrannically controlled government,” since she’d be wasting her time there anyway. She said that she’d be spending her time instead building a mass of support that she “already got started” — she has claimed to have raised well over $1 million in fundraising off of her scandals so far.
She ended the press conference in a way strikingly familiar to those who watched Trump’s press conferences over the past four years: a verbal fistfight with the reporters asking her questions. When the first reporter asked if she would apologize, Greene immediately asked what outlet they were with. Upon finding out it was CNN, she launched into a counter-interrogation, demanding that the reporter apologize for “lying about President Trump” with the “Russian conspiracy.”
Greene’s problem, though, is that she is not Donald Trump. She doesn’t have Trump’s chops, or his charisma. She has no reality show under her belt to rely on for instant fame and adulation. Despite her apparent newfound popularity with Republican donors, she has little innate personal appeal beyond a very narrow set of voters. Her personality is grating, off-putting, and frankly, obnoxious.
People know her type. She’s that Facebook mess who they quietly avoid.
And while her behavior has garnered fulsome media attention, as a disgraced congressperson, she is occupying a singularly dangerous position for a Republican Party that is already being visibly outflanked and rendered irrelevant by events, most notably and by contrast, the swift and decisive actions of the Biden administration, but also the resolute and united behavior (thus far) of the Democratic Senate. If she becomes perceived as representative of the entire party, then that party will not grow. Specifically it will not grow in the suburbs where Democrats continue to dominate. Women, in particular, will not embrace her. Most will be repulsed.
Despite what many eager elected Republicans seem to believe, Trump’s insouciance, his boorishness, his swagger, and his instincts are not transferable commodities. Standing alone, imitators and wannabes like Greene are going to be viewed in a rather different lens by the greater part of the American electorate. It’s simply a matter of personality, and despite what these Republicans might think, personality matters.
Many Republicans are going to learn that lesson over the next two years.