Revenge of the Post-Trump Pariah Caucus

Marjorie Taylor Greene
Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty
Tina Nguyen
January 11, 2022

Last week, the anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, was a profound reminder, for journalists like myself who were there, that history happens slowly and then all at once. I’ve spent years reporting on the rise of the far right, and even longer studying the intersecting conservative moments that gave birth to Donald Trump, and the events of that day represented my absolute worst-case scenario. But one conversation I had that morning confirmed my long-gestating fears: “That building belongs to us,” one protester told me, hours before the riot began, pointing to labor activists’ decade-ago occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol as inspiration. “They don’t have enough security to stop us.”

I’ve been reflecting on that conversation ever since I wrote about it for Puck. For many people, Trump’s presidency, pandemic response, and election loss were radicalizing. Those events also underscored, again, how quickly politics can change—and just how unpredictable Washington has become now that, with apologies to Bryan Burrough, the barbarians have breached the gates. Many of you wrote to me last week in response, about how the Republican Party is evolving in the post-Trump, post-Covid era; the resurgence of once marginal players and ideas in the G.O.P.; and the candidates who are likely to emerge as rival standard-bearers in the lead-up to 2024. My thoughts, and other observations, below.

Will Marjorie Taylor Greene Survive Life After Twitter?

Last week, Twitter rung in the new year by permanently banning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account, saying that she’d repeatedly violated their Covid misinformation policies. But unlike Trump’s Twitter ban, I doubt her career is in peril because she lost one megaphone—and the differences extend beyond the obvious benefits that social media cancellation often confers upon conservative provocateurs. Greene is immensely popular back in Georgia and remains the odds-on favorite to win re-election despite this year’s redistricting, which made her home district slightly more Democratic. She decisively beat a more traditional Republican in 2020, and that’s when she was still dabbling, publicly and at times explicitly, in the QAnon cult. (Greene has previously said that she believed “Q” was a real person and a “patriot”, before disavowing the movement once she got to Congress.) She knows how to grab media attention and is a highly effective small-donor fundraiser, with more than $3 million cash on hand.