Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s vitriolic, conspiracy-laden, violent (anti-Semitic, white supremacist) rhetoric and politics have drawn widespread condemnation. News outlets and Republican colleagues have called her comments “nutty,” “kooky” and “loony,” while Democrats have been even harsher. On Thursday, in an unprecedented move, the House voted to strip Greene, R-Ga., of her committee assignments as punishment for her rhetoric. Yet Greene remains unrepentant, claiming that the vote “freed” her to spread her message, and to hold the “Republican Party accountable” and push it “to the right.”
While fellow Republicans have tried to paint Greene as an aberration – outside of the mainstream of their party, someone for whom they bear no responsibility – the truth is far blurrier than they are willing to admit. The congresswoman is actually part of a long line of radical far-right White women who have animated American politics dating back to the 19th century. By consequence of their conspiracy theories and extreme rhetoric, they have managed to stretch the margins of what is considered politically respectable. Their politics have also stoked the radical wings of their respective parties (Democrats in the early 20th century; Republicans in the late 20th and early 21st centuries). With her advocacy of violence and condemnation of party leaders and American officials, Greene fits squarely in this inglorious tradition in American politics.