Since the November elections, the January Senate runoffs in Georgia and the January 6 attack on democracy, civil war has broken out between Traditional Republicans and Trump Republicans. Whose party will it be?
Two Republicans might give us a peek at the GOPâ€™s future. One has had a load of media attention; sheâ€™s the QAnon congresswoman from Georgia. The other has been under the radar; heâ€™s a former North Carolina Chief Justice who advised Donald Trump on overturning the election.
Â The QAnon Congresswoman
While Georgia elected two Democratic Senators and gave Democrats control of the Senate, Georgiaâ€™s 14th Congressional District elected Marjorie Taylor Greene.
She has suggested that 9/11 was a hoax, that aÂ Jewish banking familyâ€™s space laser started a California wildfire and that the Clintons had John F. Kennedy Jr. killed. Her social media posts have been racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim â€“ and talked of executing Nancy Pelosi and FBI agents.
Greene publicly harassed young school-shooting survivors. So what did House Republicans do? They put her on the House Education Committee.
Maybe Democrats will try to make Greene the face of the Republican Party, much like Republicans have tried to make Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the face of Democratic Party.
AOCâ€™s politics may be leftish, but Greeneâ€™s views are â€“ as Mitch McConnell said â€“ â€œloony lies.â€
Sheâ€™s an inviting target for Democrats. She divides Republicans. She scares Independents. She gives donors the heebie-jeebies.
Democrats could make every Republican take a stand on Greene. As an old mountain legislator used to say, â€œAre you fer her or aginâ€™ her?â€
Speaking of mountains, her district in northwest Georgia borders North Carolinaâ€™s 11thDistrict, which produced Mark Meadows and Madison Cawthorn.
Whatâ€™s in the water up there?
Â The Chief Justice
The New York Times reported this week that Meadows, then White House chief of staff, connected Trump to Mark Martin during the 77-day period after the election when Trump was desperately trying to overturn his defeat.
Martin was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina from 2014 through 2019. He resigned to become Dean of the Law School at Regent University in Virginia Beach.
Martin, the Times reported, was part of a group of lawyers who pushed in December for an â€œaudaciousâ€ lawsuit asking the Supreme Court to throw out election results from Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and â€œshift the selection of their Electoral College delegates to their legislatures, effectively nullifying 20 million votes.â€
The Supreme Court refused.
But then, the Times said, Martin gave Trump â€œa radical interpretation of the Constitution: Vice President Mike Pence, he argued, had the power to stop the certification and throw out any results he deemed fraudulent.â€
Thatâ€™s what Trump told Pence to do. Pence refused. That led Trump to denounce Pence and tell the mob on January 6 to go to the Capitol. They went, they attacked the building and some of them tried to hunt down Pence. Five people died. That led the House to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection. He now faces trial in the Senate.
What Next for Republicans?
For now, the Republican Party still seems to be Trumpâ€™s party. Will it become Marjorie Taylor Greeneâ€™s party?
Her ideas may be â€œloony.â€ But she is a member of Congress.
Mark Martinâ€™s ideas about overturning elections may be â€œradical,â€ but he is a former state chief justice and a law school dean, charged with preparing future â€“ presumably conservative â€“ lawyers and judges.
Are Greeneâ€™s ideas and Martinâ€™s ideas the future of their party?
Where do Republicans stand?