The Jolt: Marjorie Taylor Greene’s scorched-earth victory party

Some victory celebrations are “all is water under the bridge” affairs -- in which the past is immediately declared dead and gone. Then there are the scorched-earth parties.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, she of the QAnon conspiracies, used napalm last night and into the morning.

The Republican nominee for the 14th District seat -- virtually a shoo-in to become a member of the 117th Congress -- only a few minutes ago Tweeted out a photo of the five law enforcement officers/bodyguards she said were made necessary by the “hateful violent vitriol” of those who opposed her candidacy.

Journalists who had questioned many of her assertions were declared unwelcome, including one of your Insiders. But not before she had made some specific points:

In a hotel ballroom crowded with about 100 supporters, Greene promised to be the “worst nightmare" to the liberal left and news media that “hates my guts." Then she turned her focus on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a way that went beyond the usual red-meat rhetoric.

“She's a hypocrite. She's anti-American. And we're going to kick that bitch out of Congress," Greene said.

A teenaged Twitter-user who commented on the ouster of members of the press prompted this reply from Greene, who has 62,000 Twitter followers, at 1:53 a.m.:

We kicked out several Fake News reporters tonight. If you would have shown up, you'd have been gone, too. Tell your “reporter" buddies not to waste time calling me, since I won't be taking their calls. Truly the enemy of the people.

The young man has since deactivated his account, telling us he’s rattled but OK. But this morning did bring applause from President Donald Trump, who himself has been known to lean into what he terms hyperbolic versions of the truth:

Congratulations to future Republican Star Marjorie Taylor Greene on a big Congressional primary win in Georgia against a very tough and smart opponent. Marjorie is strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER!

Last night, Greene also attacked the GOP establishment that had disavowed her, a list that includes several House Republicans from Georgia with whom she’s likely to serve.

Georgia GOP Chairman David Shafer was one of the few prominent voices willing to applaud Greene after her win Tuesday night, but it was restrained.

“Congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene @mtgreenee on her victory in the Republican primary runoff to succeed @RepTomGraves in Congress,” Shafer wrote on Twitter. (He posted a similar message for 9th District runoff winner Andrew Clyde.)

It is common for parties to stay neutral through contested primaries, but Shafer’s voice was notably absent even as other party leaders and incumbents said they disapproved of Greene’s rhetoric.

Separately, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler congratulated both Greene and Andrew Clyde, who won the runoff in the neighboring Ninth District, as “outsiders with business sense” who will stand with President Donald Trump.

Greene has theorized that the 2017 Las Vegas massacre might have been a plot against the Second Amendment, warned of an “Islamic invasion” after two Muslims won office, described Black citizens as “slaves” to Democrats and last week defended a lie that Democratic donor and billionaire George Soros turned over Hungarian Jews to the Nazis.

Republican analyst Amanda Carpenter offered a thought about future Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene this morning: “If she wins the general, Republicans should not seat her in Congress.”

Though that seems unlikely, yet we also wonder what committee assignments will go to a rookie Republican who calls Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “bitch” during her victory speech.

But more important will be the relationship that Greene strikes with the GOP establishment wary of the impact she could have on Republican efforts in suburban Atlanta. Next year, the Legislature will take up redistricting. Neighboring Republicans will be looking for ways to shore up their own congressional districts. She’ll need friends in the state Capitol.


Jewish groups were among the harshest critics of Marjorie Taylor Greene following her runoff victory, noting that she courted support from white supremacist Chester Doles and repeated an anti-Semitic trope about George Soros.

Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s southern division, said Greene’s refusal to retract hateful statements was a “moral failure.”

“Ms. Greene’s continued insistence on propagating such antisemitism shows she has decided to double down on hate, which, to say the least, is deeply problematic,” she said.

Dov Wilker of the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta office said Greene’s rhetoric goes beyond typical political policy debates.

“Political candidates should not promote antisemitic tropes or associate with white supremacists. This is not the face of Georgia.”


In other election news:

-- State Rep. Michele Henson, a 30-year incumbent in the General Assembly, lost her Stone Mountain-based House seat to fellow Democrat Zulma Lopez on Tuesday night. There is no Republican in the contest.

-- State Rep. Sharon Beasley-Teague of Red Oak was losing her Democratic runoff to Mandisha Thomas.

-- Former state lawmaker Charlice Byrd moved a step closer to retaking her Woodstock-based House seat, defeating Katrina Singletary. Byrd faces Democrat Ginny Lennox in November.

-- It may still be too close to call, but Jason Anavitarte was barely leading Boyd Austin in a GOP runoff to replace state Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen. The winner will face Democrat Tianna Smith.

-- As mentioned above, gun shop owner Andrew Clyde beat controversial state Rep. Matt Gurtler in the 9th District runoff.

-- In Gwinnett County, incumbent Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader, who had been accused of providing a private investigator and two contractors improper access to the county computer network, was defeated by Deborah Fluker.


Georgia held one round of the Democratic presidential primary debates. Why not a general election showdown?

House Speaker David Ralston recently penned a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates promoting Georgia as a venue, in part because early voting will make residents among the first to weigh in on the race.

“We must give voters a fair chance in an already unprecedented election, and we ask that you consider adding an additional, earlier debate in Georgia this September,” the Republican wrote.

“This monumental election will determine the very future of our nation. The least we can do is equip voters with the facts necessary to aid them in electing the next president of the United States.”


Our AJC colleague Maya Prabhu brings some not-unexpected news:

As was anticipated, Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday asked the federal appeals court in Atlanta to overturn a federal judge's decision that tossed out the state's anti-abortion law.

Since the legislation was filed, supporters have said the end game was to get to the U.S. Supreme Court and overturn the landmark decision in Roe vs. Wade guaranteeing a woman's right to have an abortion, and the appeals court is another rung in that ladder.

The law aims to ban most abortions once a doctor could detect fetal cardiac activity, as early as six weeks.

It also includes so-called “personhood" provisions, which would extend legal rights to fertilized eggs. It's those provisions that supporters believe will ultimately overturn the 1973 decision and make abortions illegal.

Opponents argue that the language surrounding the “personhood" provisions were too vague and therefore unconstitutional.


Nikema Williams has officially launched her campaign for the late John Lewis’ Atlanta-based congressional seat. She’ll support “Medicare for all” health reforms that provide coverage to every American regardless of employment status.

Her outlook on a universal healthcare system changed after she was involved in a bad car accident during a 2017 campaign for the state Senate. Williams had resigned from her job and did not have insurance at the time.

Although she was bruised and bloodied, she declined to be transported by ambulance because she was worried she would not be able to afford the final bill.

“That shouldn’t happen in this country,” she said.