UPDATE: Pundit emeritus Chris Cillizza has more on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s recent rehabilitation, at least in part at Lauren Boebert’s expense:
How did Greene pull off such a coup? How did she go from an outcast in Congress to a member of the House Republican conference in good standing?
…Part of what changed is that McCarthy realized that he needed MTG more than she needed him. McCarthy was laser-focused on being Speaker and long before the 2022 election, Greene made clear that any path to that job went through her.
…MTG 2.0 is a far savvier version of the original, and someone who had quite clearly made the conscious choice that being a backbench bomb thrower isn’t enough for her.
With that, Boebert has taken MTG’s place as the GOP caucus’ “backbench bomb thrower.”
As readers know, the once-enthusiastic friendship between the “Q-some Twosome” in Congress, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado has transformed, in the way some high-profile relationships sadly do, into a bitter and increasingly public rivalry.
It was reported as far back as last spring that Boebert was growing tired of MTG hogging the far-right spotlight–and despite Boebert’s own footsie played with “QAnon” conspiracy theorists, Boebert believes that MTG is an even bigger liability to the GOP than…anyone else would say Boebert herself, but she obviously doesn’t feel that way about herself.
During the protracted struggle over Kevin McCarthy’s ascension to the Speakership, in which Boebert emerged as one of the final obstinate holdouts raking McCarthy over the coals to the bitter end, the animus between MTG and Boebert was on full public display on social media and conservative outlets frequented by both. The Daily Beast broke the story yesterday of a confrontation between MTG and Boebert on January 3rd that reportedly just about became a scene from a movie:
On the first day of Congress this year, Jan. 3, the mounting tension between Greene and Boebert reached its boiling point. According to multiple sources, the two women were nearly in a screaming match in the Speaker’s lobby ladies room just off the House floor…
The first source said Greene was in a stall and, upon coming out, confronted Boebert about taking money from McCarthy for her re-election and then turning against McCarthy when it came time to vote. The Colorado Republican was allegedly unaware that Greene was also in the bathroom at the time.
“That’s when Lauren said, ‘Don’t be ugly,’” the first source said, before she—in the words of this source—“ran out like a little schoolgirl.”
The point here is not to poke fun at adolescent drama playing out in a bathroom between people with “Honorable” in their titles, although it’s all there for public consumption. From the point of view of any Republican who wants the new GOP House majority to appear united and functional, which might encourage American voters to vote Republican again in future elections, MTG was in the right to call Boebert out–while Boebert’s antics were destructive to the new Republican majority’s credibility at a moment they could least afford it.
In short, MTG was doing what Colorado Republicans are too scared to do: hold Boebert accountable.
For the moment, Boebert doesn’t appear to have been directly punished by McCarthy, receiving despite her behavior during the confirmation battle a post on the House Oversight Committee to join in the coming two years of bedevilment of Joe Biden’s administration. But especially given Boebert’s vulnerability to a viable challenger demonstrated in last year’s elections, Boebert needs all the friends can. McCarthy spent big to prop up Boebert’s underperforming re-election. Much like Liz Cheney herself, who held a fundraiser for Boebert before January 6th rent them asunder, MTG is right to point out Boebert’s disloyalty to those who have tried to help her.
Notwithstanding Matt Gaetz, Boebert is relieving herself of friends instead of gaining them. There’s no way that ends well for Boebert, or her longsuffering constituents, in the long run.