OPINION: Comedic gold of Marjorie Taylor Greene really not funny

QAnon Fears That Greene’s Obsession with Jewish Space Lasers Is Distracting Her from Battling Baby-Eating Cannibals” — THE BOROWITZ REPORT

Democratic political consultants love Marjorie Taylor Greene, someone they can use in ads as the face of the GOP and its lunatic fringe.

But comedians might love her more: She has given them badly needed material in the absence of former President Donald Trump.

We Georgians have known for months the hot mess that U.S. Rep. Greene (R-Crazytown) brings to the table. A few years ago, she dipped into the pond that was QAnon and emerged online with the insane theories about Satanic child sex rings, Deep State plots and George Soros, a triple threat of suppositions that helped her build a following and, eventually, a ticket to Congress.

It’s a modern version of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” coupled with “Through the Looking Glass.”

Only weirder.

Now Greene has a bigger stage and has gone national. Maybe even galactic. She’s everywhere in the Big Time media, which is where late-night TV hosts and their writing crews fish for material. Greene, who Jimmy Kimmel called the GOP’s “screwiest, Q-iest member,” has arrived just in time for them.

“Part of it is that Trump dropped off the radar. I think a lot of us had an outrage hole in our hearts that was empty,” said Rob Kutner, an Atlanta native who wrote for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and later for Conan O’Brien. “Outrage is the rocket fuel for political comedy.”

ExploreOPINION: Conspiracy theories endanger lives and democracy. Believe it

Kutner added that Trump “was such a unique character with so many layers, and people are searching for something like that. But you won’t find a full-service comedic foil like that.”

Trump, he added, used to flirt around the edges of conspiracy stuff, but Greene “wears this on her sleeves and brings it to a new dimension.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene, campaigning at the time for a seat in Congress, speaks to supporters on August 29, 2020, during a political rally at the fairgrounds in Rome, Georgia. (BEN GRAY for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Marjorie Taylor Greene, campaigning at the time for a seat in Congress, speaks to supporters on August 29, 2020, during a political rally at the fairgrounds in Rome, Georgia. (BEN GRAY for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Gray

Credit: Ben Gray

“The specifics of these posts are grim. In one Facebook post, a Greene supporter asked of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, ‘Now do we get to hang them?’ And Greene replied, ‘The stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient.’ Holy haul them to The Hague, Batman! She’s not even trying to be discreet. At least mobsters use coded language.” — STEPHEN COLBERT

Greene has been recently lampooned for talking about “Jewish space lasers” causing wildfires in California. But actually, it wasn’t quite that.

In 2018, she was on Facebook “just asking questions” about the fires and mentioning that some people said they saw “lasers and blue beams” coming to Earth. Then she tied it in a nice wacky package with PG&E power company, former California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Rothschilds. The Rothschild family, of course, is the age-old anti-Semitic trope that says Jews are behind all sorts of scheming for world domination.

Another time, in 2018, Greene wondered in an online video whether Stephen Paddock, the sicko who killed 58 people at a Las Vegas concert, might not be a “lone wolf” gunman but actually part of a conspiracy to frighten Republicans into giving up their Second Amendment rights.

ExploreMarjorie Taylor Greene concedes little in first public statement after House rebuke

After getting some pushback from her Republican comrades, Greene last week came out with sort of a non-apology press conference, saying she “stumbled across something called QAnon.”

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true. I’d ask questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret,” Greene said, sounding like a 7-year-old whose reasoning abilities were somehow stolen from her.

She added that she’s a normal mom, taxpayer and businesswoman. “If it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” she said.

Yes, I guess she’s right on that. Later, she got even more truthy, saying “school shootings are absolutely real” and “9/11 absolutely happened. … I definitely want to tell you it’s not fake.”

“Looks like someone started listening to the reasonable voices in her head. Although, this woman is so crazy that her saying that 9/11 happened makes me go, ‘Wait, did it?’” — TREVOR NOAH

“But, yes, you see, it’s all Facebook’s fault for ‘allowing’ her to believe in those things. So don’t blame her — blame Mark Zuckerberg, with his social media lies and his space lasers.” — TREVOR NOAH
“But, yes, you see, it’s all Facebook’s fault for ‘allowing’ her to believe in those things. So don’t blame her — blame Mark Zuckerberg, with his social media lies and his space lasers.” — TREVOR NOAH

Credit: Comedy Central

Credit: Comedy Central

As punishment, the Democratic House leadership stripped Greene of her committee assignments, leading Noah to wonder if that was a good idea. Her punishment is to do less work for the same amount of money. The last thing you want to do with a crazy person is to give them more time to be crazy.”

Greene agrees. “You never want to give someone like me free time, with a lot of time on my hands to do the work I think that needs to be done,” she told a host on Newsmax, the station that’s trying to outfox Fox News.

Roy Wood Jr., an Alabama guy who has been a correspondent on The Daily Show since 2015, told me, “No one person can replace Trump. No one person can dominate the craziness. It’ll have to be multiple crazy.”

He said that if Trump is “an F5 hurricane,” then Greene is “an F2 tornado.”

Wood is glad Trump is gone, not only for political and social reasons, but for comedic reasons.

“It’ll force comedy to write more specific material. Trump was just too easy,” he said. Trump was like a vacuum, sucking up everything. “Trump leaving creates a space to do new things,” Wood said.

I called Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb, who chuckled while talking about Greene’s cartoonish qualities. “It’s almost unimaginable how she’s made herself irrelevant in just a few weeks” by being stripped of her House committee duties, he said. “But at the same time, she’s gotten so much attention.”

That is the danger. And it’s not funny. In fact, Greene says she raised a bunch of money because of it.

“People viewed Trump the same way in 2015,” Holcomb said. “He wasn’t credible; he was a joke. People tuned in for entertainment. Then he was elected.”

Holcomb said if Greene were to run in a GOP primary against Gov. Brian Kemp, who is not exactly Trump’s bestie, “she could be a credible threat from Day One. I’d like to think she’d lose in a general election. But …”

Democrats are buying ads to remind voters of the things Greene was “allowed to believe” and are tying her to the GOP, a party that really doesn’t want her but is afraid to say so for fear of angering Trump.

“Does she represent the future for the Republican Party?” Holcomb asked. “Democratic consultants might cheer at that idea. But that’s an awful thing. If she represents the Republican Party, then God help us all.”

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