“I don’t see middle ground on a lot of these issues,” he said, citing topics like national defense and climate change. “So what is the other answer if it’s not a divorce?”
“Well exactly,” she responded, before insisting that the civil war she’d called for is not really a civil war.
“No one wants that,” she said. “At least everyone I know would never want that. But it’s going that direction and we have to do something about it.”
Greene called America “a crumbling nation” and “a nation in distress.” She described her version of America as some kind of a reverse-racist hellscape, where white people are victimized, conservative members of Congress are silenced, and corporations are being taken over by the federal government.
The only way out, she concluded, is apart.
It’s hard to say which is worse — a Georgia congresswoman calling for a civil war, which is what she’s calling for, or one so fundamentally divorced from the reality of the state she’s supposed to represent in Congress.
The first problem with her proposal is the most obvious, which is that with a Republican governor and two Democratic senators, Georgia is neither red nor blue. So whose house would we stay at on the weekends when the national divorce is final?
Luckily, we also seem to have elected people who don’t subscribe to Greene’s “irreconcilable differences” school of leadership.
While she’s been busy talking up all the ways people from different parties will supposedly never get along, Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, men from different parties and different backgrounds, have been trying to forge a functional partnership to make both the city and the state stronger.
While Greene has been flying to press conferences on the southern border of Texas, she’s never mentioned the thriving international community in Atlanta’s suburbs, including Cobb County, where longtime Atlantans live alongside recent arrivals and new transplants.
And the supposedly “irreconcilable differences” over climate change that she described have been rather easily resolved in her own north Georgia district, where the booming clean energy industry is expanding exponentially, and providing thousands of jobs in Dalton and beyond.
When Greene was at the Georgia state Capitol Thursday, she might have noticed members of different parties treating each other with decorum and respect, even when they disagree strongly on issues, which happens often.
Instead, she delivered a four-and-a-half minute speech to the state Senate about “a great delusion that has been sent on our country,” which she said was the idea that children can be transgender. All the while in the Georgia state Senate sits a senator whose own child is exactly that.
The more outrageous Greene’s statements become, the more tempting it is to ignore her entirely. But House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to appoint her to key congressional committees this year has put her in positions of real power and impact in Washington that have nothing to do with her incendiary Tweets.
So far on the House Oversight Committee, she’s harangued a former Twitter executive for disabling her campaign twitter account after she spread false conspiracy theories. But moments later, she launched into her own false conspiracies about that employee’s supposed connection to child pornography.
“I’m so glad you’re censored now and lost your jobs,” she said to the witnesses at the hearing. “By the way, I’m a member of Congress and you’re not.”
From her post on the House Select Committee on COVID-19, she’s spread evidence-free suggestions that people are “dying suddenly” after receiving COVID vaccines — and vowed to get to the bottom of it.
And as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, she has repeatedly called for Biden to be impeached —for having classified documents in his home; then for not shooting down the Chinese spy balloon sooner; and this week for traveling to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who wore a sweater to their meeting.
“He gladly takes our money in sweatshirts and t-shirts, but Biden is dressed up. So insulting,” the congresswoman tweeted. “America Last!!!”
Greene’s outlandish rhetoric isn’t just tolerated in the House chamber, it’s emulated. When she screamed, “Liar!” at Biden’s State of the Union address, multiple fellow Republicans joined in to make the formerly respectful affair sound more like a professional wrestling match.
“He got exactly what he deserved, I’m not sorry one bit,” she told CNN the next day. “I don’t think Speaker McCarthy is upset with any of us for expressing our views. What am I going to do, stand up and give golf claps?”
It’s hard to tell if Greene believes the nonsense she’s spouting or just saying it all to get a national reaction and the online campaign donations that flow from there.
But it really doesn’t matter. Thanks to her alliance with Speaker McCarthy, Greene is no longer just a sideshow for Republicans. She’s the main act in town, with real power and a platform to amplify it. And that’s a reality none of us can divorce.