Here’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Very Serious, Very Dull GOP Primary Opponent

State/Local Politics
Here’s Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Very Serious, Very Dull GOP Primary Opponent

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke at a white nationalist event last weekend, which was embarrassing for Republicans who prefer to keep the white hoods on the downlow. Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel released a vague statement declaring that “white supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and do not have a home in the Republican Party.” She’s kidding herself.

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The Republican Jewish Committee condemned Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar for appearing at the Klan bake in “the strongest possible terms,” and Greene’s GOP primary challenger Jennifer Strahan agreed that her "behavior has no place in the GOP.” If this is how you learned Greene has a primary challenger, don’t feel bad. What Strahan lacks in Greene’s overt evil, she doesn’t exactly make up for with charisma and memorability. Here’s her campaign launch ad, where Strahan offers a boilerplate “Democrats are bad” message that might’ve resonated more in 2002.

STRAHAN: I’m Jennifer Strahan, a small business owner, a Christian, a wife, and a mother to a rambunctious little boy ... and two dogs and a tortoise. And I’m a no-nonsense conservative who believes our country and our culture has gotten off track.

Strahan is only 36, and it’s damn weird when people who are that young whine about how "our culture has gotten off track." If they were playing “Hey Ya” at your high school prom, you can probably cope with the modern world.

She goes on to say she’s not a politician or a celebrity, and says, “quite frankly, I don’t want to be either.” Bold move for an aspiring politician. Nonetheless, she’s called to service because she’s tired of “out of touch people in Washington putting what’s good for themselves ahead of what’s good for the country.” Is that a reference to the current representative for Georgia’s 14th congressional district? We might never know. Strahan isn’t calling Greene out by name.

Over a scary screenshot of Vice President Kamala Harris, Strahan denounces “out of control inflation” and a "crisis at the border.” There’s footage of President Joe Biden honoring fallen soldiers at Dover Air Force Base, which Strahan grossly calls a “harsh reminder that this is not the time for unserious politicians who just want to hear themselves talk.” Maybe she’s talking about Greene again, but if so, she’s missing the plot. No one has demonized and attacked Biden and Harris more than Greene, who’s called for their impeachment. It will hardly please the MAGA base that Strahan wants to tackle Biden’s perceived failings like a serious politician.

Strahan pushes the line that pointing out problems is easy, but offering solutions is hard. They are just racist and insane. Strahan is eager to join the new GOP House majority, which she says “must do very serious work” (there’s that word again) defending Donald Trump’s policies and holding the “Biden/Harris administration and the radical left accountable for their failures.”

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But Trump has no real policies beyond white nationalism. Sure, he rubber-stamped the standard GOP “screw the poor” agenda, but that’s not why his supporters showed up at his rallies or invaded the Capitol yelling about hanging his former vice president. You either go full Adam Kinzinger/Liz Cheney and repudiate Trump and everything he stands for, or you’re an insurrection-tolerant MAGA stooge.

The Republican establishment failed to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene during the 2020 primary when she was an unknown. Now she has two years on her resume. Strahan isn’t going to beat Greene by pretending she’s a more polite Trump enabler. MAGA doesn’t want polite. Polls shows that if a Republican has any shot of defeating Greene, they’ll need crossover support from Democrats in the open primary. Strahan doesn’t call out the Big Lie or denounce the January 6 insurrection. We’d love to see Greene lose her seat but it’s hard to get excited about replacing her with another Elise Stefanik or Nancy Mace.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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