JD Vance wins Marjorie Taylor Greene primary

No one can top MAGA Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

US Senate candidate from Ohio, JD Vance, has a problem. Like New York‘s Sarah Jones explained just after announcing her offer last summer, the Hillbilly Elegy the author is a MAGA upstart:

Vance’s campaign will face some serious headwinds, despite his national fame and a $10 million investment from Peter Thiel. A best-selling book does not necessarily translate into electoral appeal; neither does the critical adaptation of this book. The Senate race will likely hinge on the most Trumpiest nominee, and there Vance could expect trouble.

Vance once disdained Trump, saying until October 2016 that he intended to vote for conservative anti-Trump presidential candidate Evan McMullin. But now he’s in a crowded Senate primary full of MAGA cheers, like former state treasurer Josh Mandel, former state party chairwoman Jane Timken and wealthy businessmen Mike Gibbons and Bernie Moreno. Vance clearly decided that loud and proud right-wing “populist” Trumpism was his ticket to the big political leagues, so he took his time and got the endorsement of the most extreme pol MAGA available: Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Having been permanently banned from Twitter for serially spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Greene couldn’t endorse Vance on that platform. But his lengthy statement on his behalf claimed the former investment banker “would fight to end unconstitutional mandates for vaccines and masks, break up big tech companies that censor conservatives, expand American manufacturing by imposing tariffs on woke corporations shipping our jobs overseas, and will do everything in its power to secure the border and stop Biden’s repeated attempts to grant amnesty to millions of illegals. doesn’t just offer distant approval: she plans to join Vance on the campaign trail in Ohio this weekend.

Vance certainly laid the groundwork for an endorsement of Greene, as Aaron Rupar of Vox observed even before Vance made his candidacy official:

In recent months, Vance has retweeted the likes of Donald Trump Jr. and Dinesh D’Souza with approval; does softball interviews with Tucker Carlson and former far-right Trump administration official Seb Gorka; tweeted Trump-style attacks on the media (e.g. to ask, “Why are so many members of the press such amazing babies?”); and promoted a QAnon-inspired conspiracy theory suggesting that a cluster of unrelated sexual misconduct cases are evidence of a cabal.

But nothing says extreme quite like MTG. Even before her election to Congress, when she was a rookie pol making national headlines as a QAnon candidate touting the virtues of violence and rarely appearing without an AR-15 in her hands, she became a factor in a U.S. Senate race when Senator Kelly Loeffler sought and won her endorsement in a special campaign contest in Georgia. Loeffler had some of the same problems then that Vance has now: She was being ravaged by Trump frontrunner and special election rival Doug Collins as a RINO even as the governor who nominated her to the Senate, Brian Kemp, was on about to solidify his position as an enemy of Trump. After launching campaign ads calling herself “more conservative than Attila the Hun”, Loeffler eventually fought on and won the MTG primary, and although she ultimately lost her Senate seat in a second round against Democrat Raphael Warnock, no one took his right. Vance could use some of the same wild magic on May 3, when Ohio Republicans vote.

Beyond the potential significance of Greene’s endorsement in the Ohio Senate race, it must give even the most thoughtful Republicans pause to watch this cartoon character become a national political force. She has now been in Congress for just over a year. Her only accomplishments, to the best of my knowledge, were losing her committee assignments through exposure of the hateful and violent things she said on a slew of social media posts in the very recent past and inflicting record fines for defying house rules mandating mask use on the floor (she is, of course, proudly unvaccinated). She seems to spend a lot of the time she saves having no real job traveling the country with her pal Matt Gaetz as some sort of villainous Johnny Appleseed who starts fires instead of planting trees. Yet she has raised more than $6 million for her re-election campaign in a dark red district and appears to have struck fear into the heart of House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who cannot bring himself to seriously reprimand her.

Junior members of Congress were expected to keep their heads down, do heavy work on committees, salute when addressing more senior colleagues, and eventually earn the right to make uncontroversial remarks. on the bedroom floor from time to time. For anyone in Ohio to know who Marjorie Taylor Greene is is a terrible sign for Congress, the Republican Party, and American politics.

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