Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene may well overcome a long-shot legal proceeding designed to force her off the 2022 ballot for advocacy of insurrection in connection with the Capitol riot. But it’s hard to imagine her credibility beyond the deepest MAGA fever swamps can survive her performance on Friday in a legal hearing on the challenge when she claimed befuddlement that anyone could imagine her advocating violence. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports she said this while under oath:
“I never mean anything for violence,” she said under questioning about her social media posts urging Donald Trump supporters to show up at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. “None of my words, never ever, mean anything for violence.”
So the fiery MAGA ultra went beyond denying the meaning of her words about January 6 as “our 1776 moment” and a vindication of the Declaration of Independence’s injunction to “overthrow tyrants” or her never-wavering support for Donald Trump’s election coup. She is now denying the very essence of her brief and stormy political career, as the Journal-Constitution noted:
Greene’s assertion during the legal hearing that she hasn’t condoned violence on social media runs counter to a background that includes racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic remarks and a past belief in the deranged QAnon conspiracy theory, which pitted Trump as a champion against a cabal of Democrats and their allies seeking to exploit children. Before she was elected, she expressed support for a dangerous conspiracy theory about child abuse and endorsed posts that called for the execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She also liked comments about executing law enforcement agents who were in the “deep state” working against Trump.
While Greene professed during the hearing that she “didn’t recall” various utterances she made on and prior to January 6, she presumably does remember being stripped of her House committee assignments for repeated threats of violence against Democratic members of Congress not long before she ran for a seat in that chamber herself.
The profession of innocence of violent thoughts and words is also odd coming from a politician whose 2020 campaign ads typically showed her brandishing (and in some cases firing) an AR15 at alleged threats to her idea of liberty. One ad, which also showed her husband glowering at the camera with a hand cannon on his hip, showed Greene getting ready to blow away the “antifa” mobs she fatuously described as menacing her bucolic northwest Georgia district.
Now extremists like Greene are free to claim that in advocating the physical destruction of their political enemies and imaginary strangers that they are simply utilizing “Second Amendment solutions” provided in the Constitution. What they cannot do is profess non-violent motives, unless they are admitting they are lying demagogues who don’t mean what they say.
The hearing at which Greene’s own words impeached her testimony is an evidentiary procedure that will conclude with a recommendation by Administrative Judge Charles Beaudrot on the advisability of removing her from the ballot. The actual decision, in a nice twist of irony, will be made by Georgia secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, regarded by all good MAGA folk as the GOP Judas who helped rob Donald Trump of his 2020 victory in Georgia. The odds are low that Raffensperger will knock Greene off the ballot, even if Beaudrot recommends it. But the congresswoman continues to work hard to supply ammunition — if you will excuse the expression — to the large group of primary and general-election rivals seeking to retire her via the ballot box as well as to congressional colleagues in both parties who are thoroughly tired of her act.