LZ Granderson: Georgia can do better than Marjorie Taylor Greene
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Los Angeles Times
Georgia’s 14th congressional district has a population of 728,551, of which 468,681 were registered for the 2020 general election.
Only 108,816 voters turned out in the Republican primary and fewer than 77,000 during the John Cowan-Marjorie Taylor Greene runoff, which advanced to the general election with the support of a whopping 43,813 people.
That was all it took for Greene — a woman who believed a laser beam from space started wildfire in California in 2018 — to get into Congress. That and our habit of voting for the party rather than the person.
Well, maybe their controversial and sometimes outright racist views are a reflection of the 728,551 people who call the 11-year borough home. It’s more likely that she’s simply the beneficiary of a small group of QAnon followers who bothered to show up when most others were either too busy or uninterested.
All I know is that the best way to get her out of office is the same way she got in – the vote. It’s up to their district to decide if they represent who they are and what they want.
Some opponents hope to keep their name out of the vote because of their support for the Jan. 6 uprising by applying the constitution’s “exclusion clause.” But part of me believes that she doesn’t represent the best in the district and that voters will show it when they get the chance.
It’s a shaky claim, I know.
Currently, Herschel Walker, a former Georgia Bulldog football star who lied about his college degree, is the top candidate in Georgia’s Republican Senate primary and earlier this year told college students in Texas that his upholstery company employs about 250 persons, although there is actually no evidence that he even owns an upholstery company. So, yes, only a part of me believes that Georgia voters will have the wisdom to kick Greene out of Congress.
I’ll admit it was entertaining watching Greene testify last Friday. It’s amazing how she can do so much while remembering so little. And comparing what she said under oath to what she allegedly said via text message to Mark Meadows, then President Trump’s chief of staff, certainly reveals some inconsistencies. The word “perjury” immediately springs to mind.
But regardless of what, if anything, happens in court, getting more of the 728,551 people in your district to vote them out is the most effective way. Why? Because a disqualification would be seen as a political attack by the left. There will be no rest for future candidates like you; it would supply them with ammunition. Defeat in the Republican primary is not something that can be dismissed so easily — not by Greene or future candidates.
That only works if the district is disillusioned with her, which isn’t clear. She has raised most of the money, but it is dominated by out-of-state donors. Greene has a national notoriety, but does she care locally if she’s being rude? Misinformed? Has a flair for racist storytelling?
“Imagine you’re a woman and you’re just trying to get your groceries out of your car to carry them inside and you’re faced with men who don’t even belong in your carport and there they are because they invaded our country,” Greene said during a news conference at the U.S.-Mexico border, where a delegation of Republican congressmen pretended to care about the rule of law while ignoring the fact that the storyteller at the microphone was attempting to convey the to overthrow presidential elections.
Greene took time to offer his condolences to the family of Bishop Evans, the 22-year-old member of the Texas National Guard who drowned trying to save two migrants who were fighting in the Rio Grande. Of course, Greene also voted against awarding Congressional Medals to US Capitol Police and other officers who protected the Capitol during a riot she appeared to have helped organize.
At least that seems apparent in the texts she reportedly sent to Meadows.
On January 7, 2021, she sent: “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our appeal against the 6 States. I’m sorry nothing worked.” On Jan. 17, she said, “In our private chat with members only, several say the only way to save our republic is for Trump to call for the Marshall Act.” – where “warlike” is misspelled.
There are signs that not all conservatives in their district are happy to have Greene representing them. There are five challengers in the primary. In 2018, incumbent Tom Graves faced no challenger in the primary. He retired to run a lobbying firm in Washington.
In any case, another positive sign is that these challengers are clearly anti-Greens.
“Despite what our current representative may have you believe, kindness is not a weakness,” Seth Synstelien, one of the candidates seeking to unseat Greene, says on his campaign page. But he also says: “Someone who has true power does not throw tantrums. They speak softly while carrying enough firepower to blow a person into the kingdom.”
Not exactly the kind of words you’d want to hear from someone who lists “police officer” among their career backgrounds, but hey, at least he’s not endorsing the Marshall Act.
Or is it “warlike”?
I can not remember.
LZ Granderson is an Op-Ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
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