At the America First Political Action Conference, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman from Georgia, was the star speaker. The No. 2 star, probably, was the conference’s leader, Nick Fuentes. In the course of his talk, he said, “Can we give a round of applause for Russia?” His audience responded with tumultuous applause. Some started to chant “Putin, Putin.” Fuentes responded, “Absolutely, absolutely.” The atmosphere was totally beer hall.
Fuentes also said, “The United States government has become the evil empire in the world.” Great applause. He further said, “The United States government has become the ‘Great Satan,’ as many have called it.”
I thought of Pat Buchanan, a senior America Firster. “To much of the world,” he wrote, “America has become the most secularized and decadent society on earth, and the title the ayatollah bestowed upon us, ‘The Great Satan,’ is not altogether undeserved.”
At his conference, Fuentes said, “And now they’re going on about Russia and ‘Vladimir Putin is Hitler’ and . . . and they say it’s not a good thing, and . . . I shouldn’t have said that . . .” From the audience, big laughs.
All the while, there were American flags behind the speaker. That is one of the worst aspects of the affair. Other emblems would be more appropriate for the sentiments expressed.
Then came Congresswoman Greene. Another Republican House member, Paul Gosar of Arizona, participated by video. Later on, MTG said she knew nothing about Nick Fuentes or his views, but took part in order to speak to his young following about “America First policies.” She also denounced Putin and blamed the war on President Biden. She also disavowed white nationalism.
Is it really possible to go to such a conference and be hosted by such a person without knowing anything about the person or the conference? Maybe so. I find it kind of surprising, though.
Let me stress that, as usual, I speak for myself, and no one else.
Thinking about Marjorie Taylor Greene, I thought of another Republican congresswoman: Liz Cheney of Wyoming. The Republican National Committee has censured Cheney and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) for their membership of the January 6 committee. I also thought of this.
The heading at the page I have linked to is “Conservative Leaders: Remove Cheney and Kinzinger from House Republican Conference.” In their letter to Kevin McCarthy, the GOP chief in the House, these leaders indeed urged that Cheney and Kinzinger be expelled from the conference. The signers included Matt Schlapp, Gary Bauer, Jenna Ellis, Jim DeMint, Dave McIntosh — pretty much everyone you know.
Liz Cheney is persona non grata. Officially so, in light of the RNC’s censure. So is Adam Kinzinger. But Marjorie Taylor Greene? Very much grata. She is a star on the Republican fundraising circuit. She was just in Ohio, campaigning for J.D. Vance. At the moment, she appears to be untouchable.
Also untouchable, apparently, are Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and more. The only touchables? Cheney and Kinzinger, it seems.
Obviously, the issue of MTG & Co. is very uncomfortable for Republicans — Republicans in politics and in the media, both. Far better to concentrate on President Biden’s mental state or the latest move by AOC. But every party, and every movement, has a responsibility for itself. What do you want to represent in the world? What do you want to stand for?
In addition to the congressmen, the America First conference featured Sheriff Joe Arpaio — one of President Trump’s many interesting pardonees. Arpaio said, “I have the reputation of being the biggest racist in the country — think of that.” The crowd responded with applause. Nonplussed, Sheriff Joe said, “Well, I hate to . . . I hate to . . . What are you clapping for, that I am or I’m not? Well, I’m not! And I know you guys and gals aren’t either. You’re just trying to do the right thing for our country.”
I doubt it.