Although Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has only just been sworn into office, she already deserves to be expelled from the House of Representatives. The Constitution gives both chambers of Congress the power to expel one of their members by a two-thirds vote if the member engages in “disorderly behavior.” While any single transgression of Rep. Greene may not warrant expulsion — although they would surely warrant censure — the agglomeration of all her actions and words undoubtedly do. These transgressions range from endorsements of political violence, to all different types of conspiracy theories.
Even prior to her tenure in Congress, she was a relentless conspiracy-monger. On Facebook, in 2018, Rep. Greene agreed with a user who claimed that 9/11 was an inside job planned by our own government. She also signaled her agreement with a user who asserted that “none of the school shootings” actually took place. This includes the Sandy Hook shooting which left 26 dead, as well as the Parkland shooting, which killed 17.
Also in 2018, in response to the California wildfires, she posted on Facebook that they were caused by space lasers funded by the Rothschild family. As Zack Beauchamp notes at Vox, anti-Semites have long claimed that “that this one particular wealthy family controls the world [in order to] cast aspersions on Jews in general.” It is these types of conspiracies which have led to the anti-Semitic terrorist attacks at the Tree of Life Synagogue and the Chabad of Poway in recent years.
She has also endorsed calls for political violence. In January of 2019, she “liked” a Facebook comment which hoped for a “a bullet to the head” of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
This taste for political violence may partly explain her role in fomenting the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. She has not only been a vocal supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, but has also promoted conspiracies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Trump through unprecedented voter fraud. She even tweeted “STOP THE STEAL.” Then, to make it worse, she also objected to the certification of her state’s electoral votes. It was these conspiracies which whipped up enough anger among some of President Trump’s most diehard loyalists to the point where they violently invaded the Capitol in order to overturn a democratic election. They were primarily motivated by the conspiracies that people such as Rep. Greene have been pushing.
Then, just a week later, Greene announced that she would attempt to impeach Joe Biden because “we cannot have a president of the United States that is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency.” She followed this statement up with the accusation that Joe Biden has been “bought off” by foreign governments ranging from China to Ukraine. Joe Biden had not occupied the Office of the Presidency for even a day at the time of her accusation, and she had no evidence to suggest he had been “bought off.” However, to her, such institutional checks on the executive branch can be used as just another political tool against her adversaries.
Everything outlined above — from her conspiracy-mongering, to her endorsements and complicity in political violence, to abusing the checks and balances set up in the Constitution — suggests that she is thoroughly unfit for office. There should be no place for the kind of hate in which she traffics in the US Congress.
In Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s book, How Democracies Die, they argue that democracies can only survive if political rivals have mutual toleration and forbearance. The former means that people must believe their political adversaries are, in essence, good people who they just happen to disagree with. The latter means that politicians must respect well-established norms — not wielding maximum power in the pursuit of partisan aims.
In both her words and her deeds, Rep. Greene ignores both prerequisites to the survival of democracy. By urging political violence and suggesting Joe Biden is essentially a foreign agent, she is clearly spitting in the face of mutual toleration. Then, to introduce Articles of Impeachment — which our norms dictate are supposed to be rarely used — is an obvious violation of forbearance.
I am a conservative, so I am not urging the expulsion of this representative on partisan grounds. Rather, I am urging it as an American who believes in our institutions, the truth, and rooting out hatred. It is time to send a message that subverting our democracy, recklessly abusing norms, and engaging in dangerous anti-Semitism, is not acceptable. People like Marjorie Taylor Greene are destroying our politics, and remaining complicit in her destructive aims is a clear dereliction of duty — a dereliction of duty that cannot stand.