Greene and Gosar Won’t Be Punished for Hanging With White Nationalists

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene smiles at Representative Paul Gosar during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on December 7, 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

When furious condemnations rained down on U.S. House MAGA extremists Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar for appearances at a conference led by white nationalists (MTG’s was live; Gosar’s was by video, though he appeared live at the same event last year), some observers may have thought House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy would finally get tough. After all, the last thing the GOP needs as it tries to get swing voters to forget about Donald Trump and focus on the alleged sins of Joe Biden is yet another reminder that some of the 45th president’s favorite House members would make Attila the Hun look like a goateed Harvard professor of sociology.

But of course, McCarthy isn’t going to do a damn thing. Most obviously, punishing these extremists could bring a dangerous reaction from their patron in Mar-a-Lago. But the Californian is also vulnerable to a right-wing leadership challenge if Republicans take back the House this November with a narrow margin of control. So he’s giving them not a slap but a little tap on the wrist, as The Hill reports:

McCarthy said that he has spoken with Greene in recent days but has yet to talk with Gosar after the two spoke at the America First Political Action Conference organized by white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

“She will not go again,” McCarthy said of Greene. 

Wow. So Greene, who comes up with a fresh set of outrages on a weekly basis, will not commit this exact same offense in the future. Since Gosar is a recidivist in consorting with the America First Political Action Conference (whose convener, Nick Fuentes, says “white men” are the “secret sauce” of his outfit), I guess he’ll have to promise McCarthy the third time will be the charm in staying away from these people. Meanwhile, the Man Who Would Be Speaker confirmed an earlier pledge to restore the committee assignments stripped from Greene and Gosar last year — for expressing violent intentions toward their Democratic colleagues — once he has the gavel.

McCarthy has been determined not to go out like his former colleagues in the GOP leadership, Eric Cantor and John Boehner. The former was purged by conservative primary voters and the latter was taken down by House Freedom Caucus members. As I noted last fall, McCarthy clearly thinks “periodic bad publicity about his tolerance of scary people saying and doing scary things is a small price to pay for ensuring there is no GOP leadership coup in 2023.” Who knows, maybe McCarthy will promise his unruly troops they can go absolutely wild after the midterms if they will just avoid cutting fascistic capers between now and then.

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Greene & Gosar Go Unpunished for White-Nationalist Event