Voices: I asked Nancy Mace about her spat with Marjorie Taylor-Greene. This is what she said

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·5 min read
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  • Nancy Mace
    American politician
  • Marjorie Taylor Greene
    Marjorie Taylor Greene
    American politician and businesswoman from the state of Georgia
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Marjorie Taylor-Greene is coming up on her first anniversary of serving in the House of Representatives. While she has little to no legislative accomplishments to speak of, she can point to a record of “success” in elevating her profile with outrageous statements and getting into immature spats with colleagues, both Democratic and Republican.

Greene epitomizes a new breed of House members, both Republican and Democratic, that spends more time doing hits on cable television and elevating their social media accounts than doing actual work. However, according to her Republican colleague, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, that is their work. In his book Firebrand, he wrote, “...if you aren’t making news, you aren’t governing.”

Fresh off comparing 13 House Republicans to the likes of Benedict Arnold, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Hanssen by calling them “traitors” for voting to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Greene aimed her fire at South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert recently got into trouble over comments made about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. Boebert referred to the Muslim Congresswoman as a member of the “Jihad squad.” Mace was asked about it during an appearance on CNN and said, “I have time after time condemned my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for racist tropes and remarks that I find disgusting, and this is no different than any others.”

That was more than enough to set off Greene, who tweeted:

Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel, was not about to take it lying down and tweeted a response, complete with a correction of the kind of misspelling that’s common for internet trolls:

Greene’s silly accusation that Mace is “pro-abort” is based upon Mace’s view of allowing exceptions for abortion in the case of rape and incest. Her position stems partially from personal experience. When Mace was 16, she was raped by someone she thought was a friend. She made her position known as a South Carolina House of Representatives member while debating a fetal heartbeat bill and defending an amendment that allows an abortion exception for rape and incest.

At the time, Mace said, “For a woman who’s been through that kind of trauma, I think that choosing an abortion could be equally traumatic — but I’m not going to take that decision away from her.”

The position on abortion exceptions among Republicans varies. Still, it’s ludicrous for Greene to call Mace “pro-abort” because she supports such exceptions. Reasonable people (essential word being “reasonable”) can disagree on the issue without resorting to such petty personal attacks.

However, in an environment where using elective office as a platform instead of as means of legislating or governing, Greene’s seemingly insatiable necessity to insert herself everywhere she can is part and parcel of a segment of our political culture. It’s one in which “fighting,” “owning” someone Twitter, and general absurdity brings in a lot of campaign cash and kudos from voters who spend way too much time on social media.

I asked Mace about the incident, and she said, “I’m pro-life. Always have been. Voted to defund Planned Parenthood every chance I had. Voted for SC’s fetal heartbeat bill. As a victim of rape, I’ve always advocated for other women who are survivors of rape and incest and will continue to do so.” It’s difficult to square her position with the accusation that she’s “pro-abort.”

One of the more significant problems in this mess is the complete lack of leadership from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Points of disagreement among party factions go back to the founding. However, House and Senate members often aired those disagreements behind closed doors as party leaders want to project a sense of cohesion and solidarity, especially in an upcoming election year.

McCarthy’s inability to maintain order within his caucus puts his credibility at risk within the GOP, making it more likely he’ll face a challenge for House Speaker should the Republicans gain control of the House following the 2022 mid-term elections.

Greene, for her part, likely won’t get in line any time soon. As a stalwart defender of Donald Trump, including repeating his lies about massive voter fraud and claiming the election was “stolen,” as long as he sees her as an ally, she’ll say whatever she wants.

Greene tweeted she had a telephone conversation with Trump about Nancy Mace. Of course, the unlikelihood that such a conversation took place is close to 100 percent. Still, the ultimate irony is that Donald Trump supports rape and incest exceptions for abortion, the same as Nancy Mace.

I wonder if Greene called Trump “pro-abort” during the call.

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