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Marjorie Taylor Greene makes enemies where she least expected them

As President Mike Johnson attempts to push a package of foreign aid bills through the House of Representatives, including one for vital aid to Ukraine, all eyes are on the representative. Marjorie Taylor GreeneHe threatens to oust him. So far, only Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has supported his efforts, but other far-right members surrounded Johnson on the House floor Thursday to voice their disagreements.

Greene and her fellow ideologues may want to tread carefully. There is a growing backlash from the Christian right against the decision to oust Johnson. While Greene’s MAGA influence antics are attracting significant media attention, people with long-standing influence in the evangelical political trenches, including Johnson himself, are waging a silent but scathing war against her in the Christian media . The Republican Party’s evangelical base – vital to Republican hopes in the fall – is hearing that Greene is baselessly attacking a godly man and jeopardizing the party’s electoral chances, thus moving (in Johnson’s words) closer to “the agenda of crazy awakening” of the Democrats.

Johnson himself struck first, appearing on the Christian Broadcasting Network with David Brody, a popular evangelical journalist known for unearthing news interviews with Washington insiders. The speaker pushed back against Greene’s attacks on his faith, including tirade on, railing against Johnson’s supposedly unchristian capitulation to big government spending: “@SpeakerJohnson you cannot follow Christ and fund full-term abortion clinics,” Greene wrote. Never mind that there is no federal funding for abortion, nor is there such a thing as “term abortion.” Greene’s goal was to make Johnson the most ardent Christian patriot in the room.

Fully aware that Brody’s audience knows of his long experience as a faithful foot soldier in the battle for the Christian nation, Johnson reminded CBN viewers of his Christian bona fides. “I try to follow all the biblical warnings as I do every day,” Johnson said. “One of them said: “Bless those who persecute you.” I’m practicing this a lot at the moment and it’s: “A gentle word turns away anger.” »

Days after the CBN interview, Johnson appeared on the inaugural episode of the Salem News Network’s new right-wing show “This Week on the Hill,” hosted by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. Early on, Johnson and Perkins, one of the Beltway’s most influential evangelical figures, spent a lot of time attacking President Biden and the Democrats. But then they turned their attention to the GOP caucus.

Although Perkins and Johnson did not name Greene directly, the implication was clear, as was their fear that her theatrics could cost Republicans dearly on Election Day. Perkins first criticized “some members” of Congress who “are here more to build their brand than to govern and lead the country.” Johnson insisted that “I’m not talking about anyone individually” but then urged Republicans to “make sure that the people who come here come to govern and not just be famous.” But after Perkins made Greene’s motion to resign, the two men blasted her and her threats to shut down the government, which they concluded would only come back to bite them in November. “It’s a dangerous bet,” Johnson concluded. “We have to keep the train on the tracks, and that doesn’t do any good.”

Perkins also interviewed Rich McCormick, another Greene Republican from Georgia — who, not coincidentally, supports U.S. aid to Ukraine. Perkins, Johnson and McCormick did not directly address the aid bill, but McCormick criticized Greene. “It’s not based on any thought,” he said of the release motion, likening it to going after your own team’s quarterback. In case his message wasn’t clear enough, McCormick added that Johnson, a “proven conservative,” was “chosen by God.”

It wasn’t just men who attacked a prominent member of the Republican caucus. Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, another powerful Christian right group with a strong presence on Capitol Hill, published an op-ed in Newsweek earlier this month calling on Greene to abandon her “pointless” efforts. “Every day, her attacks become more shrill and conspiratorial: she questioned Johnson’s faith, claimed he had surrendered to the Democrats, and even suggested he was being blackmailed,” wrote Nancy. “Can such dissidents ever be satisfied, or are they more interested in the 15 minutes of fame that comes with denigrating their leader? Like Perkins and Johnson, Nance disparaged Greene’s motives and warned that her stunts could cost the party dearly in November. “Republicans who now attack Johnson may need to be reminded that we are only seven months away from an election,” she wrote.

The far-right flank of the Republican Party continues to make noise regarding Johnson’s impeachment. But more than anyone, veterans of the Christian right know that the electoral landscape is already tense for the party of Trump and the abortion ban. Their confrontation with the Freedom Caucus gadflies sends the unequivocal signal that they are terrified of losing in November. They also send a signal to Greene and everyone else joining her: They already know who they will blame for the fallout if she pulls the trigger to oust Johnson.

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com


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