Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a fount of conspiratorial bigotry who is also prone to outbursts and other embarrassing behavior. And the White House has been happy to use her to its advantage.
On Tuesday, this took the form of an ad using the Georgia Republican’s words against her. At a conference hosted by the right-wing group Turning Point Action over the weekend, Greene railed against President Joe Biden’s support for funding social programs by comparing him to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Although Greene was attempting to say this is a bad thing, many observers online were quick to note that portions of the speech — in which she compares the presidents’ desire to improve things like education and health coverage — would sound pretty great to most anyone living outside the conservative media bubble.
So, logically, Biden’s team set Greene’s words to inspirational music and then tweeted the new video, saying he approves the message.
Greene has undoubtedly stoked legislative chaos. She and like-minded lawmakers in the House majority are effectively thwarting the passage of any bill that isn’t loaded with right-wing rhetoric.
But this chaos is arguably paying dividends for the Biden administration — at minimum, it has elevated Greene as the public face of a Republican Party that is dead set on destruction and petty grievances.
Over the last couple of months alone, she has been ousted from the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus after a verbal altercation with Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican and fellow right-winger; she led a now-stalled effort to impeach Biden; and she angered conservatives after backtracking on her commitment to release Jan. 6 security footage.
For some time now, I’ve thought it wise for the Biden administration to paint Greene as the GOP’s true leader and capitalize on her repulsiveness.
The plan seems to be in effect.
For several months, Team Biden has used Greene’s behavior to portray the president and the Democratic Party as a sane alternative to Greene and the GOP.
When Greene and other House Republicans heckled Biden during his State of the Union address in February, calling him a “liar” for accurately claiming that some Republicans want to gut entitlement programs, the president flipped the script on them.
He later earned laughs mocking Greene for that outburst in speeches, as you can see here:
And Biden zinged Greene again at the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner: “I want everybody to have fun tonight, but please be safe. If you find yourself disoriented or confused, it’s either you’re drunk — or Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
Greene’s extremism is no laughing matter. But Biden’s ad shows how he has managed to turn her ineptitude into a punchline that serves him quite well.
Ja’han Jones is The ReidOut Blog writer. He’s a futurist and multimedia producer focused on culture and politics.