Former Bush aide says Marjorie Taylor Greene has become so powerful in the GOP that she can't be dismissed as a fringe figure anymore

Marjorie Taylor Greene wearing a biker vest in front of a big Trump sign.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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  • Marjorie Taylor Greene is too powerful a figure to be overlooked, former Bush aide Peter Wehner wrote in an op-ed for the Atlantic.

  • Wehner wrote that Greene is "giving voice" to a "growing sentiment" in the GOP.

  • Wehner highlighted that Greene is now a close confidante of Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Like it or not, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is now too powerful a political figure to be ignored, wrote former Bush aide Peter Wehner.

Wehner, who worked as a speechwriter for then-President George W. Bush in the early 2000s, argued in a February 22 op-ed for The Atlantic that Greene's newfound closeness to Speaker Kevin McCarthy makes her far more important than before.

"The temptation of many people, eager to move past America's political freak show, will be to ignore her comments and dismiss her as an outcast, a fringe figure, deranged but isolated," Wehner wrote. "The less said about her, the better. That's unwise."

Wehner added that Greene has not only become a "confidante" of McCarthy's, but now has his ear on policy issues, too. Greene is "giving voice to a widespread and growing sentiment in the Republican Party," Wehner wrote.

The Georgia congresswoman made a wild suggestion on President's Day that red states should be allowed to separate from blue ones. Her suggestion drew harsh rebukes from within the GOP: Sen. Mitt Romney called it "insanity" and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox branded Greene's idea as "evil."

Wehner wrote that while Greene's secession idea is too extreme to be considered, she will only get "gentle rebukes" from most of the GOP.

"What the rest of us learned during the Trump era is that a party led by craven men and women — some of them cynical, others true believers, almost all afraid to speak out — will end up normalizing the transgressive, unethical, and moronic," Wehner wrote.

"Greene and McCarthy — one crazed, the other cowardly — embody a large swath of the modern-day GOP," he added. "Any party that makes room for seditionists and secessionists is sick and dangerous."

Marjorie Taylor Greene, GOP power player
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia boos President Joe Biden during the State of the UnionJim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Greene is known for her anti-trans rhetoric, track record of pushing outlandish, anti-Semitic messages, and her well-documented beliefs in QAnon conspiracy theories. Despite this track record — or perhaps because of it — Greene's star has been rising in the GOP, and she's not been afraid to flex her newfound clout.

As Wehner pointed out, McCarthy owes Greene a great debt. She broke with her House Freedom Caucus colleagues Reps. Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert, and became one of McCarthy's fiercest supporters during his drawn-out slog to secure the speakership in January.

In return for her support, Greene was rewarded with seats on the homeland security and oversight committees.

But Greene's new power in the party has given her more room for defiance. She ignored Kevin McCarthy's warning to GOP lawmakers before the State of the Union to not indulge in "childish games" at the event.

During Biden's speech, Greene did the opposite of what McCarthy asked, rising to her feet and calling the president a liar. Greene said after the speech that she wasn't afraid of being reprimanded by McCarthy for her behavior.

The New York Times also reported in January that Greene and McCarthy have a strong friendship, and that he has said privately that he will "always take care of her."

"I will never leave that woman," McCarthy said during a private conversation, per an anonymous source who spoke to The Times.

Representatives for Greene and McCarthy did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider