GOP Crazies Aren’t The Democrats’ Problem
Let's start with Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) but keep it short. The Georgia Republican's honking-mad commentary speaks of dementia, not anything approaching political discourse. She's getting gobs of attention, but then, so do car accidents.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had it exactly right when he said that "loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party."
And so, why are so many Democrats and friends on left-leaning Twitter so bent on going ape over her every crackpot eruption? Because she's entertainment, and entertainment is what American politics has become. "Saturday Night Live" hit the painfully funny nail on the head when it identified Donald Trump as a "former social media influencer."
After Greene expressed regret for her bizarre comments, including the assertion that the 9/11 attacks never happened, fellow Republicans responded by giving her a standing ovation. That's how low their bar for acceptable governance has fallen.
Greene's marker for success seems measured in publicity. And her hero Trump ran the master class in getting people to talk about him.
In the jaws of the COVID-19 health crisis, he tweeted insults at scientists and endangered the public by countering expert health advice — but, boy, did he get media attention. The so-called mainstream media were complicit. They expanded their audience by obsessing over the freak show. That fed Trump still more audience.
"Whatabout?" Trump supporters will ask. What about Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who, like Greene, aired some anti-Semitic sentiments? There was a difference. The Minnesota congresswoman tied her ignorant remarks to a real place called Israel and not lasers from outer space. Omar, at the least, was tethered to some kind of reality.
I find her whining more bothersome. As a Somali refugee plucked from a camp in Kenya — given a university education in North Dakota and a seat in Congress — Omar might have been expected to temper her disappointments that America wasn't as cushy as her family was led to believe. Guess the room service wasn't up to her standards.
But while Omar is a burden to the Democratic Party, she's also hardly a hero there. In 2020, her hyper-liberal Minneapolis district was highly motivated to vote Trump out of office, but it gave her only 64 percent of the vote. Joe Biden got 80 percent.
As for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, she is a smart woman but exerts more energy building her celebrity than helping the Democratic Party maintain power. And if she would talk less about her personal triumphs and travails, that would be OK with me.
Have you noticed how unentertaining President Joe Biden is? He's quietly pushing through an economic stimulus. He's getting COVID vaccines out to the public while urging the public to minimize new infections. And he's telling Russian President Vladimir Putin that Trump is no longer in a position to serve him.
He's doing all this without incendiary commentary about his political adversaries. When bipartisanship happens, he expresses gratitude.
The @JoeBiden feed has been issuing only one or two tweets a day, probably not written by him. The subjects center on such concerns as the pandemic, foreign relations and the economic crisis, important matters that — sorry to tax anyone's brain — are also complex.
When a reporter asked his press secretary, Jen Psaki, if the White House had a comment on Greene's latest howl on social media, she curtly responded: "We don't. And I'm not going to speak further about her in this briefing room."
Biden has a presidency to run. From a purely political perspective, the more Republican crazies make the world wonder about them, the better it is for Democrats. But let's be frank: None of this is good for the country.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at email@example.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.
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