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Marjorie, we hardly knew you

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) disappointed her supporters with a strained argument for a bill that will not shrink government.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), on the day of the full House vote on the debt ceiling bill, disappointed many with a nineteen-tweet thread in support of the measure. She strains to defend the indefensible, and utterly ignores the greatest flaw in this bill. Which, of course, is that it “normalizes” spending at current – historically absurd – levels, and makes no effort to cut spending. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) pointed this out, and indeed showed that government would grow, not shrink. As most readers will know, the bill passed, though more than seventy Republicans voted No. So the people of Georgia House District 14 need to know why and how their Representative advocated for it.

Who is Marjorie Taylor Greene?

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is no stranger to the pages of CNAV. She is most famous for proposing a “national divorce” of rightist from leftist areas of the country – without formal secession. In addition she has pointed out some less-than-savory merchandise and merchandise display choices by the country’s largest store chains. Marjorie Taylor Greene has also spoken out against American financing of Ukraine’s side in its war with Russia. Recently she accused Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) of having an intimate liaison with a suspected Chinese spy.

But she supported, even championed, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in his bid to become Speaker of the House. And, though she once seemed to champion the cause of all persons now languishing in jail after the January 6 event, she now finds herself involved in a controversy over release of surveillance footage from that event. Yesterday she announced that Speaker McCarthy was at last releasing the tapes.

But Laura Loomer asked why she would be talking about their release now, if McCarthy had released them three months ago?

Loomer also asked scathingly whether Greene was making this announcement to distract from her likely Yes vote on the debt ceiling bill. Whether she had by then seen the thread, is not clear.


The thread

Here, first of all, is the bill, so that readers can read it and judge the thread for themselves.

And here is the nineteen-tweet thread by Marjorie Taylor Greene, as the odd numbers.

Reaction to this thread was almost uniformly negative almost at once. Here is a fair sample:

Notice the trending hashtag: “Motion to Vacate.” That refers to a Motion to Vacate the Chair, now once again part of the House Rules. Kevin McCarthy had to agree to that in order to become Speaker. Under the relevant rule, any Member can bring such a motion, which then is privileged. Two days ago, Benny Johnson shared footage suggesting the House Freedom Caucus might file such a motion.

The Freedom Caucus threatens to file their motion if the Speaker builds a coalition to pass the debt ceiling bill without majority Republican support. Marjorie Taylor Greene obviously released her thread to try to garner that support.


This tweet summed up the feelings of many:

And this:


The alleged Continuing Resolution Tool can last only as long as the next vote. No Congress can ever bind all future Congresses, except by a Constitutional amendment. Neither can Congress bind itself; Congress can always repeal tomorrow, or whenever it deems it necessary, what it passes today.

More to the point, that appropriations tool still normalizes – that is, assigns normalcy to – all current programs. Many of these lack any Constitutional authority. No one has ever challenged these programs to see whether they fall under the Enumerated Powers of the Constitution. Even such an Enumerated Powers test could, under a sufficiently expansive Supreme Court, fall before the Necessary and Proper Clause:

The Congress shall have power … to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Magruder’s American Government calls this the Elastic Clause – because Congress can stretch it to fit anything it does. Even beyond that, Chief Justice John Roberts probably could put together a bloc large enough to tell Congress, “Straighten out your own mess! What do you think this Court is, a legislature?” Justice Brett Kavanaugh would certainly agree.


So the people must decide – for themselves – what sort of government they want. This is what CNAV means by saying that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner. Benjamin Franklin famously said we have a republic, if we can keep it. We’re about to find out whether we can keep it.

Sorry, Marjorie, but this won’t fly

Marjorie Taylor Greene, in nineteen tweets, said nothing about sunsetting programs that violate the Constitution. Until the people demand such sunsetting, we’ll be back with bills like this one. Until the people raise a new generation with a proper sense of shame that a government takes from others for their unearned, unpaid benefit, they will not demand such change as the salvation of our republic will require. That, then, is the challenge – and people like Marjorie Taylor Greene are simply not up to it.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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