Ok, here’s my unpopular opinion. Marjorie Taylor Greene should not have been stripped of her committee assignments. Sure, what she said is repugnant and she should be ostracized and ridiculed. However, the people of her district elected her and they should be the ones to punish her by throwing her out of office in two years.
The First Amendment protects Greene’s right to make obnoxious, racist, and offensive statements. She made them before she was elected or even a candidate. If her opponents in the primary and general election didn’t bring up her crazy and hateful rhetoric, that was a failure on their part. If they did and the voters didn’t care, that’s the price we pay for democracy.
It would be different if she were a sitting Member of Congress when she was spouting her hateful, stupid views. Then, she’s bringing disrepute to the House of Representatives. Because she made those statements before she was elected, they should be protected, regardless of how repugnant they may be.
The move also sets a terrible precedent in the age of social media. How many future Members of Congress are going to get committees assignments stripped for stupid things they said on Facebook or Twitter when they were much younger and immature? Greene will be the excuse for partisan or vindictive behavior for a long time to come.
In addition, Democrats are creating a martyr for a bunch of people who already believe they are victims. Greene’s punishment just validates their views that the elites are out to get them. She will use the move to strengthen her position within the GOP.
A better move would have been to publicized her statements and positions every time she opened her mouth. She could have been a punching bag and object of ridicule on her committees while embarrassing all of her GOP colleagues. The things she says in an official setting could be far more damaging than what she’s going to say outside of the context of her Congressional duties.
I believe the answer to repugnant speech is more speech. Expose her. Don’t censor her. I don’t believe Congress should punish Greene for what she says or believes. That’s why we have elections. If voters continue to choose her to represent them, then she’s a symbol of the problems we need to overcome. Silencing her by stripping her from committee assignments is the equivalent of sweeping the problem under the rug. We should hear what she says in her official capacity. We already know what she believes. Allowing her to speak will likely make the case for rejecting her.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >