Marjorie Taylor Greene Tried Being Normal, but Quickly Realized It’s Just Not Her Jam

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In case you missed her, Marjorie Taylor Greene is back. It didn’t take long either.

After backing establishment Republican Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become speaker in January, she is now safely ensconced in the committees that her loyalty earned, which means the old MTG has returned with a vengeance—in all her QAnon-adjacent glory.

It started with the silly balloon stunt before the State of the Union, picked up when Rep. Greene wore a white fur-trim coat to the event and heckled President Joe Biden (whom she calls a “coward”), and continued Thursday in a classified briefing about the Chinese spy balloon.

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It sounds like the hearing was off the hook. “When she got to ask questions,” one fellow member of Conngress said, “she was yelling out saying ‘bullshit,’ and, you know, ‘I don’t believe you…Just screaming and yelling, irrational in my estimation,” the lawmaker continued.

“I chewed them out just like the American people would’ve,” Greene told The Hill. “I tore ‘em to pieces.”

Look Marge, I wanted to shoot down the balloon sooner, too, but there’s such a thing as decorum. I mean, WTF, MTG?

But that’s not even the end of her return-to-crazy week. During an entirely different Oversight Committee hearing, Greene told former Twitter executives: “I’m so glad that you’re censored now, and I’m so glad you’ve lost your jobs.” A kinder, gentler, MTG, this was not.

I’ve always been skeptical that Greene’s support of McCarthy meant she was trying to do a heel-face turn from Tonya Harding to Nancy Kerrigan, but there was a reason to believe she might at least try. After all, Greene’s support for McCarthy coincided with a larger rebranding effort that included her explaining away her penchant for QAnon conspiracy theories as (absurdly) something in her very distant past.

The fantasy that she had matured wasn’t just an MTG creation; it was pushed by her more mainstream Republican colleagues in the House, too. “She realizes she’s got to go toward the McCarthy side to be successful—if she hangs out with the bomb-throwers all the time, she’s not going to be able to get much done,” said Rep. Kasey Carpenter of Georgia.

“I will tell you she has matured,” Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said last month on ABC’s This Week. “I think she realizes she doesn’t know everything. And she wants to learn and become I think more of a team player.”

Today, those words sound even more absurd than when he first uttered them.

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No, I don’t think that Greene, now sitting on prestigious committees, will embrace the awesome responsibility of leadership a la Thomas Becket. But it’s worth asking whether her support for McCarthy was always a strategic one-off, or whether she simply fell off the rebranding wagon.

I think it’s the former.

For one thing, Greene clearly believes in what she is doing right now.

You can hear it in her rhetoric—“I chewed them out just like the American people would’ve,” Greene said, referring to the administration officials who briefed her on the balloon.

She sees herself as the hero of her own story and as a Paraclete for the American public.

And why not? Everywhere she goes (from her very conservative Georgia district, to Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, to Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast), Greene hears MAGA Republicans praise her for voicing their concerns and saying the things that other people are afraid to say.

Yes, the spy balloon was eventually popped, but the conspiracy bubble in which Greene floats appears to be shatterproof.

It’s also possible that she is overcompensating in an attempt to get back in the far right’s good graces.

Remember when Rep. Andy Biggs accused her of “crossing the Rubicon,” and Nick Fuentes and Laura Loomer attacked her? She also reportedly had a bathroom fight with Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Rep. Matt Gaetz mocked her theory about “Jewish space lasers” starting wildfires.

If peer pressure isn’t enough to get her to return to the madness caucus, perhaps she fears losing some of her market share.

When infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robs banks, legend has it that he responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” Likewise, Greene’s brand—her unique selling proposition—requires her to keep her fans (and small-dollar donors) happy.

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If politics is about “dancing with the one who brung ya” to “climb the greasy pole,” then MTG is once again dancing her ass off on that pole.

Now, maybe she can afford to dip her toes into a leadership battle and occasionally side with the establishment. That not only earns her rewards, it also garners her attention and ups her eccentricity factor. But let’s be honest: MTG is a rock star, and rock stars do dumb things like throwing TVs out of hotel windows. If she starts behaving like, you know, a normal politician, her star value goes out the window, too.

MTG, in my mind, is a combination of a true believer who guzzles the Kool-Aid and a savvy political operator who realizes that going straight is going nowhere. Maybe someday it will be in her best interest to reinvent herself as a normie. But if that day ever comes, I’m not sure she could even stick to it.

You can take the girl out of Q, but you can’t take Q out of the girl.

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