Hawley and Cruz Are Still the Problem
Despite the amount of attention Marjorie Taylor Greene has amassed lately, the real danger for our government lies with allowing the power of Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz to go unchecked.
Don’t let the flamboyant tactics of Marjorie Taylor Greene, that originated with Donald Trump, divert your attention from the fact that Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz played a starring role in attempting to overthrow our democracy. It’s easy to get distracted by a political newcomer, who is clearly getting high off of her newfound notoriety, and basically freebasing public backlash at this point. It’s not easy to overlook the crazy person in the room, who is frantically shouting about laser forrest fires and attacks on American soil being staged — because ignoring her makes us feel like the crazy ones.
But, remember — this ability to perplex the public into a state of docile compliance while revving up and empowering those who are scared and ignorant enough to believe him, is the deadly, inherent skill that Donald Trump possesses. It’s an ability that surpasses manipulation and charisma, and we are too quick to blame those who are willing to believe it as the culprits and overlook what is really happening — con-artists playing the long game by riding the zeitgeist and using their mastery to channel and convert anger and fear into a shield and a weapon.
If you merge the natural instinct of a cobra snake, with its ability to mesmerize a victim into submission, and then combine that with the skill of a sharp shooter — you would have Donald Trump. Put Trump in a wig back in 1984, and you have Marjorie Taylor Greene. By fully converting the world of politics into that of entertainment, these braggadocious front men (and women) can enchant one simple part of the country, while simultaneously perplexing the other half so completely that we become paralyzed with our own incredulousness.
You can almost hear the carnival barker now…”Ladies and gentlemen, behold the ingenious system that has allowed a single person, firmly in control of an entire political party, to further amass the control of a whole nation — even those who hate him.” The only thing more impressive than the political entertainer who can sway the world with indecipherable babbling, is the shrewd and serious politician, who knows how to take control over the mouthpiece when it suits his agenda. This is the portion of our show when we re-introduce Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and put all spotlights directly on them.
Donald Trump did not create this bastardized version of the Tea Party that has become so dangerous — Ted Cruz did. When you make a name for yourself by making a mockery of the political process, and you read Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the US Senate, during the debate over the very serious issue of healthcare reform, you are opening the gate for those who are more talented to do even worse. Ted Cruz realized the value of collecting the fringe “Don’t Tread on Me” element, who had been straying from the mainstream Republican Party — so, he appealed to them by dumbing down his approach and using spectacle to lure them in.
Completely misunderstanding the facts and the lessons of history, the new Tea Party was desperate to secede from anything — not because they understood the actual concept and its ramifications, but because they were angry and felt left out. This new movement, that has now taken control of our country, stemmed from the same sentiment that children display when they don’t get their way and threaten to take their toys and go home on the schoolyard. Cruz molded this toddler faction and then, in proper Ted Cruz form: he failed to master the art of controlling them; proceeded to set them loose on the world; and then lost their attention to a better con man.
The only thing left for the money men to do, if they were to ever regain control over the workers they exploit, was to create a better, more sophisticated and appealing version of Ted Cruz. The only thing that could get that crazy train back on track would be to offer up the conservative version of a Kennedy — someone with education, youth, appeal. Most importantly, someone who had something that Ted Cruz was lacking — real confidence and true authenticity.
Josh Hawley has all of these things, but his lack of patience for amassing celebrity and power is a tragic flaw that his big money donors didn’t clock, or didn’t recognize as a deal-breaker. What Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley were then able to theoretically do, was battle it out for supremacy over the remnants of Donald Trump’s supporters and see who could best “reform” the right without the direct smear of racism on their record. More importantly, Hawley and Cruz were meant to lend the last shred of credibility and respect the Republican Party had, to the outlandish notion that the election had been stolen.
After the Jan. 6, attack on the US Capitol, it was clear who stood atop the dust and debris with hardly a scratch. It was apparent that both Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz had pushed for the objections to the vote counts in several swing-states, and it was obvious that they were not folding their terrible hand when the rioters called their bluff. Ted Cruz was happy to be overshadowed by Josh Hawley for a moment in the wake of the Trump insurrection — Hawley was providing Cruz with cover and his lack of expertise and thirst for attention was proving to be a great distraction for Cruz.
The deeds of both of these men, responsible in their own right and culpable to varying degrees, has been overshadowed by the woman who will now take the hit for both of them. Marjorie Taylor Greene will eventually go down in flames as the face of this seditious movement, because she was not smart enough to camouflage her direct role in the riot, and also because she is now addicted to the attention that her circus act yields.
After countering every solid accusation against her, Greene typically comes back with an outlandish accusation against her accuser — a reverse victim role that proves fundamental in gaslighting and one that we all saw Trump perfecting for four years. When Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) announced that she was being harassed in the halls of Congress by Greene — who is caught on video many times harassing victims — Greene claimed in a video response that she was the one being harassed.
When Marjorie Taylor Greene was promoted to a seat on the Education and Budget Committees, after video surfaced of her harassing a school shooting survivor while carrying a gun, she refused to back down while Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) provided her cover and even bragged about raising $175,000 over efforts to punish her.
Last night, with the threat of a House vote today that could kick her off both of her newly assigned committees, Marjorie Taylor Greene addressed the GOP conference and apparently expressed remorse for her past, most egregious comments. She told Republican colleagues that she now believes school shootings are real and called them "awful." Greene apologized for her past support of QAnon conspiracy theories, in a complete about-face from previous private comments made to colleagues.
This forced apology last night was preceded by a statement from Rep. McCarthy — who is outwardly in control of House Republicans, but clearly being controlled by Donald Trump. McCarthy basically introduced Greene’s apology to her caucus by refusing to implement any real punishment and by reverse-blaming Democrats for "choosing to raise the temperature."
What McCarthy told the GOP last night is much more telling than a contrived apology from Marjorie Taylor Greene, that she will no doubt turn to her advantage when she claims she was forced to do it to protect the interests of her supporters. McCarthy quickly moved past the actions of Greene to place the blame on Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-NY).
“I offered Majority Leader Hoyer a path to lower the temperature and address these concerns," McCarthy told the GOP before Greene’s apology. "Instead of coming together to do that, the Democrats are choosing to raise the temperature by taking the unprecedented step to further their partisan power grab regarding the committee assignments of the other party."
McCarthy made one half step forward, and then three steps back. Marjorie Taylor Greene followed that up with an empty and meaningless apology. Both of these elected officials are indebted to Donald Trump and are still following his playbook, because they depend completely on his supporters to maintain their power.
The House will vote today on a measure to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, and if successful, Democrats will effectively provide the punishment that should have come from the Republican Party if it were to hold any real credence with the base. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has condemned Greene, calling her lies and conspiracy theories “loony,” while referring to her as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
Despite these harsh criticisms, McConnell, and ultimately the Republican Caucus, will still do nothing to diminish their own power, even if it is ethically necessary to repair the damage done. Much like this article for a while in the middle, Marjorie Taylor Greene has diverted our attention from the real problem that exists moving forward — Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. She will burn brightly and burn out, based on her lack of discipline, and she will get caught on a technicality, thanks to her lack of legal training.
It is those who were able to assist in an attempted coup, without dirtying their hands from direct liability and legal culpability, who pose the most danger, that will benefit most from Greene’s sacrificial obfuscation. Don’t let the flamboyant tactics of Marjorie Taylor Greene, that originated with Donald Trump, divert your attention from the fact that Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz played a starring role in attempting to overthrow our democracy.
Amee Vanderpool writes the SHERO Newsletter and is an attorney, published author, contributor to newspapers and magazines and analyst for BBC radio. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.
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