Why Would AOC Ever Bother Debating Marjorie Taylor Greene?

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Lydia Wang
·4 min read
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Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, pauses while speaking during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. The House voted Thursday to strip Greene from her two committee seats for embracing conspiracy theories and violence against Democrats, dividing her own party as it tries to move past Donald Trump’s presidency. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, pauses while speaking during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. The House voted Thursday to strip Greene from her two committee seats for embracing conspiracy theories and violence against Democrats, dividing her own party as it tries to move past Donald Trump’s presidency. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2021/04/12: U. S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at joint presser on Corona Plaza. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the Federal Emergency Management Administration hotline number to help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-hit families that cannot afford it. During announcement Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez were joined by local activists and residents. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – 2021/04/12: U. S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at joint presser on Corona Plaza. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the Federal Emergency Management Administration hotline number to help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-hit families that cannot afford it. During announcement Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez were joined by local activists and residents. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

These days, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been pretty busy getting suspended from Twitter and pushing to award officers who “fight back against Black Lives Matter terror” days after a 20-year-old Black man was shot and killed by the police. However, Greene clearly has some extra time on her hands, because she wants to debate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal.

“Since you sponsored the Green New Deal and have a degree in Economics, I’m sure you are more than qualified,” Greene tweeted, unprompted, on Wednesday. “A debate between AOC and I on the Green New Deal economic policy would be informative for the American People. They deserve to hear the two sides with pros and cons.” She then laid out some proposed rules: Each congresswoman would choose one moderator, then “negotiate” and select a news network to host the debate.

Ocasio-Cortez did not yet respond, but Greene continued to tag her in even more tweets: “People are excited about our debate about the Green New Deal economic policy! People are saying they would pay money to see it,” she wrote. “We could debate pay per view style? And the money raised could be split between us for our choosing of where it goes. What do you think?”

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Many people immediately began mocking Greene’s proposal. “When you aren’t on any committees you can propose stunts like this,” responded California Rep. Eric Swalwell. Ocasio-Cortez serves on the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and three subcommittees within the two. Meanwhile, Congress voted to remove Greene from her two assigned committees after discovering her past statements and social media posts in support of dangerous, disproven conspiracy theories, including QAnon.

As others mentioned, her challenge feels like a desperate grab for… attention? Money? In the words of comedian Amber Ruffin, Greene is really challenging Ocasio-Cortez “to use her popularity to help her get attention.”

In 2019, Ocasio-Cortez first introduced the Green New Deal, a comprehensive resolution that lays out a roadmap for addressing climate change and reforming the economy. Greene is a longtime skeptic of both the framework and global warming itself. “Maybe, perhaps, we live on a ball that rotates around the sun, that flies through the universe, and maybe our climate just changes,” she said at a March 28 town hall. “And I don’t think a whole lot of spending is gonna do anything about it.”

As intriguing as it would be to watch Ocasio-Cortez go head-to-head with Greene, this is not something she has to, should, or will do. This week, Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer launched a COVID-19 funeral assistance program and hotline to help low-income people apply for financial reimbursements. She has over 12 million followers on Twitter. She doesn’t need the fame or the exposure — and frankly, she really doesn’t need to spend her time convincing QAnon conspiracy theorists like Greene that climate change is real.

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