Sentient Mayo Candidate Challenging Marjorie Taylor Greene Spreading Little Excitement In GOP Primary
Jennifer Strahan is the dull, safe Republican running against incumbent GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia’s 14th district. A poll from January showed Greene with 60 percent support to Strahan's 30. However, Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s defeat last week in his primary sparked hope in many that Greene could have an equally brief “grand opening/grand closing” congressional career.
Political consultant Fred Wellman tweeted, "Cawthorn lost for a lot of reasons but the lesson is they are not invincible. Stop telling me a one-term Congress member who has done nothing for their district can't be beaten. Marjorie Taylor Greene needs to be next. We can beat her. Support @Marcus4Georgia and send her home.”
Marcus Flowers is the Democrat challenging Greene in November. He’s raised a lot of money from decent people who hate Greene, but the district is solidly Republican. The best chance to beat her is during the primary.
Although Strahan has the backing of several GOP PACs, the state’s Republicans have not mobilized against Greene the way the North Carolina GOP did against the (alleged) orgy tattler. Some House Republicans have reportedly been helpful to Strahan, but won’t go public either because they're cowards or they're just acting out of basic self-preservation. Greene is bonkers, and it sounds like her constituents think so too, according to this CNN profile on Strahan:
One business owner, who had trepidatiously put a Strahan sign in her shop window, said Strahan would be more effective in Washington but requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation -- specifically the fear of receiving a threatening voicemail from the congresswoman.
"My stomach is churning just talking to you," the shop owner said.
We'd sure like to know more about why that business owner is scared of threatening voicemails from Greene!
CNN quotes supporters of Greene who say they love that she’s “bold” and “states her opinion." Steve Walker, age 66, said, “They hate her so I like [her.]” Who’s “they”? The “people in charge up there,” he says, even though Greene is one of them. Greene represents an authoritarian movement within the GOP that the party leadership is apparenlty powerless to resist, but her supporters appreciate that she “tells it like it is."
CNN did find some voters in the 14th who claimed they liked Greene’s politics "but not her demeanor.” This is bullshit, because there’s no hidden depth beneath her gross demeanor. Her racist, transphobic, cruel, hateful rhetoric is all there is. That’s her politics. They don’t really want a more polite, PG-rated Greene. Anyone who tries will simply read as a weak RINO who’s not fully committed to hurting the right people.
"As long as there's a Republican in that spot, I'm OK," said Lorrie Heiken, a 54-year-old self-described "MAGA" supporter who does not believe President Joe Biden won the 2020 election but also thinks the QAnon conspiracy theory -- and Greene's promotion of it -- goes too far.
Meanwhile, Strahan has “bravely” stated the obvious — "Joe Biden is our president.” — but she consistently avoids directly answering the looming question about whether she would’ve voted to certify the 2020 results. “To coup or not to coup” is not even an easy, reflexive “no” among the supposed adults in the room. This is typical for Strahan’s rhythmless tap dance routine.
Strahan says she disagrees with the Democratic House majority’s decision to remove Greene from her committees because of past statements supporting political violence. However, she also claims Greene’s absence on committees makes her ineffective, so that’s why voters should pick her instead. She’s Schrödinger's spineless candidate. Besides, GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly said that he’ll reinstate Greene on committees if Republicans regain control, which renders moot a key argument for Strahan’s campaign.
Strahan can’t even pass the Liz Cheney/Adam Kinzinger test. She’s twice stated she’d support Donald Trump if “he’s our nominee.” Sure, he’s undermined faith in our elections and incited a violent assault on the Capitol, but hey, she really enjoyed those 2017 tax cuts.
If Republicans deserve a better class of candidate than Greene, Strahan hasn’t shown she’s much of an upgrade.
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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."