Today in political theater gone wrong, we have performance artist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). On Wednesday, during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Greene went too far with her vitriol even for Republicans when she impugned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by calling him “a liar.”
Greene’s five-minute tirade began against both China and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the latter whom she slandered by claiming he had a “sexual relationship with a Chinese spy—and everyone knows it.” Democratic Rep. Daniel Goldman of New York moved to have Greene’s words taken down. But after the Republicans on the committee voted to table the motion, Greene continued on. And she did not stop being offensive for the full five minutes.
The tirade ended with her being muzzled for the remainder of the hearing.
\u201cMarjorie Taylor Greene keeps it classy during a congressional hearing (wait for it)\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1681921402
When she finally got around to (sort of) asking Mayorkas a question, it came in a high-octane run of, “Where China is poisoning America’s children, poisoning our teenagers, poisoning our young people, how long are you going to let this go on?” Mayorkas attempted to answer, saying that nobody was “letting this go on,” when Greene interrupted him, saying, “No! I reclaim my time! You’re a liar!”
Greene’s bile, the concentration of everything the Republican Party stands for at this point, is a whole lot harder to take when meeting in the more intimate space of a committee hearing. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi immediately moved to have Greene’s words “taken down.”
At this point the Republican chairman of the committee, Mark Green, made his ruling:
“It’s pretty clear that the rules state that you cannot impugn someone’s character. Identifying or calling someone a liar is unacceptable in this committee; and I make the ruling that we strike those words.”
Now, this is where it became a special kind of awesome. Goldman asked if the ruling was the one that Thompson asked for: to have the words “taken down,” versus having them “stricken” from the record. The distinction is an important one because having the words “taken down” also means the speaker—in this case the Tasmanian devil from Georgia—would no longer be recognized in the hearing.
Possibly realizing she was about to be shut down completely, Greene attempted one of her patented make-believe moves, saying, “Point of personal inquiry,” to which Goldman responded, “There’s no such thing.” Teehee.
The fact that Greene’s existence in all settings is a waste of space is nothing new. But in this circumstance she not only effectively nullified her entire political theater performance, she nullified her party’s own usual political theater performances by forcing them to punish her instead of spending their time blaming President Joe Biden for fentanyl.
After a moment of conferring, Green broke the news that her words would be struck from the public record and “the gentlelady is no longer recognized.” The Republicans then decided the only win they could get was to say that Greene’s pretty slanderous attack on Swalwell didn’t break the rules.
Goldman gave a clear response to that, saying out loud that Greene’s statement was “bullshit.”
\u201cMarjorie Taylor Greene\u2019s questions for Mayorkas end abruptly after she calls him a liar, has her words taken down, and Goldman notes that the rules prohibit her from continuing\nGreene: Point of personal inquiry\nGoldman: There\u2019s no such thing\u201d— Acyn (@Acyn) 1681921690
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos .