Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) and some other Republican lawmakers have begun openly embracing everyone’s favorite MAGA-aligned conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), as the QAnon congresswomen has spent the last few weeks seemingly changing her tactical approach to politics. Greene has been trying very hard to lean into what looks like a new public image where she is no longer the famously far-right member of Congress but instead the number one ally to Speaker McCarthy and other moderate Republicans.
As the New York Times reported on Monday, Greene’s performative transition and shift to support McCarthy and other less extreme Republicans seem to have been strategic on both ends, as Greene tries to disguise herself as a serious lawmaker and McCarthy accepts the reality of the far-right’s weight in his caucus.
It’s all rather silly and desperate on everyone’s parts.
According to the New York Times, days after McCarthy won the speaker seat — after a 15 round, very public, days-long fight with his own party’s conservative members — he raved to a friend about Greene, his brand new ally and comrade in arms.
“I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy, told the friend, who described the private conversation to the New York Times on the condition of anonymity. “I will always take care of her.”
Theirs is a “relationship born of political expediency but fueled by genuine camaraderie, and nurtured by one-on-one meetings as often as once a week… as well as a constant stream of text messages back and forth,” in the Times’ words.
And if the political union between the two continues to flourish, the MAGA agenda Greene lives by will likely become more mainstream by the end of the 118th Congress. Greene has already influenced McCarrthy a great deal. The California Republican adopted her stance on opposing vaccine mandates, questioning funding for Ukraine and her call to reinvestigate the Jan. 6 attack to get the “the other side of the story.”
Greene told the New York Times, “if he sticks to it, will easily vindicate me and prove I moved the conference to the right during my first two years when I served in the minority with no committees.”
In addition to getting her agenda items passed through, Greene is also making some personal gains from the new alliance.
Despite being stripped of her committee assignments by all Democrats and 11 Republicans in 2021 for a laundry list of conspiracy theories she promoted before taking office — including suggesting that 9/11 was a hoax — last week, under Speaker McCarthy’s leadership, Greene was assigned to the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.
On Saturday, when asked in an interview whether Greene should be on the House Homeland Security Committee despite her false remarks about 9/11, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) took a page from McCarthy’s book, defended Greene and said “she has matured.”
“These conspiracy theories that people go down, I disagree with this,” McCaul said on ABC News’ “This Week.” “This one was the worst violation. 9/11 was not a hoax. It was carried out by Al-Qaeda. There’s no question in my mind.”
“Look, this is 2018. I will tell you, she has matured. I think she realizes she doesn’t know everything and she wants to learn and be more of a team player,” he continued.
McCaul added that it’s incumbent on more senior members to “try to bring her in and try to educate her that these theories she has are not accurate.”
When asked if he’d rather have seen a different choice in such powerful role, “I’m not the chair of that committee. And I’m not the Speaker either,” McCaul answered with a chuckle.