In late 2021, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene briefly discussed “a National Divorce scenario” that seemed to predict to the split of the United States. As the CDC added Covid injections to its list of recommended vaccine schedules, the Georgia Republican seemed to predict a “national divorce” a year later.
Though many elected officials issued statements recognizing the Presidents’ Day holiday, the right-wing lawmaker took to Twitter with a message that ignored traditional American patriotism. The missive is read in its entirety:
“We need a national divorce. We need to separate into red states and blue states and shrink the federal government. Everyone I talk to says this. From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat’s [sic] traitorous America Last policies, we are done.”
On the face, this isn’t very surprising. Greene has a reputation as one of Congress’s most radical members in recent memory. She has expressed support for violence against Democratically elected officials, and she joined a white-nationalist event a year ago. The congresswoman’s support of a vision in which Americans are “separate by red states and blue states” is entirely consistent with all we know about her.
But don’t lose sight of the bigger picture: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Republican leaders have appointed Greene to committees, including the House Homeland Security Committee. It is not a rhetorical question. GOP leaders should tell the public if they are OK with such a dynamic and what they are prepared to do in response if they are not.
Indeed, it is ultimately what counts in answer to so many of Greene’s controversies. Her extremism has become so common that it has become background noise. Fundamental American patriotism generally prohibits elected officials from endorsing the dissolution of the United States, but we’ve reached a point in our collective history where members of Congress can publish such messages which would’ve sparked a genuine scandal in the not-too-distant past and much of the political world shrugs, seeing it as somehow routine.
With this in mind, it appears that the focus should be on McCarthy. Although her extremism has become expected, his reactions to her radical vision remain relevant. How comfortable is the House Speaker with one of his major friends asking for our country to be divvied up? What is he prepared to do about it? Can we have faith in the work of the House Homeland Security Committee knowing that Greene is on it — and that she no longer wants to reside in the same nation as many Americans?
“I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy reportedly told a friend, referring to Greene, after his hard-fought struggle to win the speaker’s gavel. “I will always take care of her.”