Republicans fear their next-generation… a future dimmed by their past

Is it too much to ask that we avoid bestowing the trappings of chicness on the sleazeball that is Marjorie Taylor Greene? Using initials as shorthand, like a JFK or LBJ, allows her added notoriety she doesn’t deserve, a bit like adding one of the French mother sauces to burnt toast and calling it a casserole. So let us call her by her name — -Marjorie. To date, her actions and her words fulfill HRC’s classic definition of a “deplorable.” In fact, she may be the queen of that meme.

Greene is the embodiment of the “next-gen” MAGA brand-brash, attention-starved and thoughtless. None of these mitigate her ignorance and bigotry, but her act is getting a bit tired. After finally being taken to the Republican woodshed for her comparison of the House mask rules to the holocaust…

“You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany, And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”

…the Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy led a rather united Republican response to her mind-numbing ignorance:

In a statement Tuesday, McCarthy said Greene’s “intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”

— The “Kevin McCarthy Republican Leader” website

Margie doubled down on McCarthy’s rebuke,

Their attempts to shame, ostracize, and brand Americans who choose not to get vaccinated or wear a mask are reminiscent of the great tyrants of history who did the same to those who would not comply,”

Take that, KMac! Her thoughts, such as they are, lead to positions that are meant to be mean-spirited and controversial, as she, like the MAGA brand she tries to emulate confuses chutzpah for shame-a case of Greene being Trump.

To state that Greene is more symptom of the party’s ills than cause is a bit deceiving since the symptoms have taken over a major political party and threaten to rot the core of American Democracy. The disease that wracks her party has been with us since our founding. She may be, however, a tipping point in the trajectory her party post-Trump. As the opposing forces gather and mount a comeback, Greene has joined with another MAGA-crazy fool on the “America First” tour. Greene and the less than great, Matt Gaetzby are now the poster-children for the “new Republican” hoodless version of white supremacist. They tour the country together spewing their mindless canon like two of the fallen angels from Codex Gigas, the Devil’s bible, a centuries-old text that was supposedly the work of a medieval monk whose soul, like theirs, was bartered. As Gaetz awaits his fate in a child sex ring probe, and Greene continues to make her Republican colleagues cringe with horror (imagine that!), mainstream, old-line Republicans try to reclaim their party. This week there was a Paul Ryan sighting at the Reagan Presidential Library which followed a recently published political memoir from deposed former Speaker John Boehner. Both now acknowledge their inability to stop the toxic populism arising from within their party’s which has been trending over the past 50 years. Trump seized on their inner rot that clothed racism and bigotry in a buttoned-down conservative disguise. Ryan tried to retake the stage and his party this week,

“If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere. Voters looking for Republican leaders want to see independence and mettle… “

His venue, however, bespoke the lie that conservative Republicans have fostered since Reagan opened his 1980 presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi. On the first day of his presidential run, Reagan hid the quiet things in his dog-whistle homage to states’ rights. Speaking at the Neshoba County Fair, Mississippi, Reagan chose to open his presidential run with a nod to the racists there and in his party whose ears were tuned to his signal. As the Washington Post noted:

As the Republican nominee for president in 1980, Reagan staged an Aug. 3 rally at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi, an event that was weighted with racist symbolism. Neshoba County was the site of the brutal murders of the black activist James Chaney and white civil rights workers Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman.

— June 19, 2020

Where once their words were spoken in code, Ryan’s chastisement of the current breed sounds more like a message of warning for a return to that past. For Greene and the current establishment of Republicans, however, the fight is about how much more of the quiet-ugly part is said out loud. The unfiltered truth is that the party Ryan yearns for has simply been taken over by their own most ardent adherents. The party that now is home to neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and militant militias, always counted on a goodly portion of deplorables in our nation as a rock-solid base. Over the years the party has cultivated them and nurtured their grievances toward non-whites, immigrants, Jews, the poor… and change. They have now reaped what they have sown — -and so have we. The former Speaker is no longer even welcomed in his own House, let alone in the greater MAGA universe. Now an outsider, his fight is with his own past. Their rivals, now, as ever, are their spawns-the next Marjorie Taylor Greenes, the sons and daughters of Gaetz and Hawley.

This is what the conservative movement in the Republican Party has wrought. They are, in a way the politically homeless, a party living in parks and under bridges — — sleeping in their Lincoln Navigators. Where they go from here is anybody’s guess, but if I were to hazard one, it would be a dark place.

As they leave the scene, all that is left is for someone to dutifully turn out the lights.

Originally published at https://vincerizzo.substack.com.

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Vince Rizzo

Vince Rizzo

Former president of the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) and a founder of a charter school based on MI theory.