Let Them Fight

(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

There seems to be much ado about what some on the right would refer to as “infighting” as of late. The clash between Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has raised more than a few eyebrows, especially among Republicans who believe it could detract from the fight against the Democrats during the 2022 midterm campaign season.

The Washington Examiner reported:

Most of the members and leadership are hoping to move past the incident quickly and keep similar drama from happening again. The 2022 elections (in which Republicans have a very good chance of winning back the House) are at stake, and they believe the focus should be on taking down Democrats rather than each other.

“The drama doesn’t have an impact on inflation. It doesn’t have an impact on employment. It doesn’t have an impact on policy that doesn’t have an impact on anything else,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) told the Examiner. “There’s far more press interest than actual internal caucus interest or world relevance interest.”

On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had to step in and play referee. “I’m not here to be your babysitter,” he reportedly told the two lawmakers.

The rhetorical donnybrook began when Greene fired verbal shots at Mace after she criticized Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) for making an asinine Islamophobic joke about Rep. Ilhan Omar (R-MN). “Well, she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine,” the Colorado Republican recounted saying to a Capitol Police officer during an event. The suggestion was that Omar was a radical Islamic suicide bomber.

During an appearance on CNN, Mace slammed Boebert for peddling “racist tropes and remarks that I find disgusting.” Greene responded by criticizing Mace on Twitter, calling her “trash” and falsely claiming that Mace is pro-abortion.

Mace, who is a rape survivor, opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest. She responded by publishing a tweet using emojis of a bat, pile of feces, and a clown to refer to Greene as batsh*t crazy, and referred to her as a grifter who has not accomplished anything during her stint in Congress.

Greene reacted by threatening that she and former President Donald Trump would mount a primary challenge against Mace.

“It’s incumbent upon members like myself to step up,” Mace told the Examiner. “I don’t fear retribution. I don’t fear the consequences. I think that is a difference that you’ll see between me and other members.”

The Examiner indicated that to both lawmakers, “the point of the public battle over ideology, style, and tactics is important for defining the future of the Republican Party. Mace explained:

“As a party, we can’t bring other women into the fold or independents or women who’ve been victims like myself, women who are survivors like myself, we are doing nothing to advocate for them if we let that voice be the majority voice. It is not, and it never will be.”

Greene contended that the GOP must stop playing “to the middle to get the ‘swing voters’” and argued that “all that has done is create the Uniparty, which has led us to this disaster.”

The Examiner pointed out that Mace and Greene’s clash is only one of several happening on the right:

The Mace-Greene fight, though, is only the latest intraparty division among House Republicans. Before Thanksgiving, a faction of right-wing conservatives in the conference angled to punish the 13 Republican members who voted in favor of an infrastructure bill in defiance of Republican leadership, resulting in a tense exchange during a conference meeting.

It is easy to look at this story as a simple pissing match between two lawmakers. But it is deeper than that. Mace and Greene are both right in suggesting that the debate over ideology and tactics will define the direction of the Republican Party. This is an important conversation to have; we must figure out what type of tactics and strategies will work best for the movement and the only way to determine this is through debate.

This is why I say we should let them fight.

When I say “them,” I’m not just talking about Mace and Greene. I’m talking about the different factions in the party. It is not realistic to expect that the entire GOP will be in lockstep with one another.

Even the Democrats are having their own internal conflict that will determine the course of their party. The moderate establishment has been trading blows with the far-left socialist wing.

Contrary to what some might think, debate does not make us weaker – it makes us stronger. Sure, some of these feuds might be unnecessary, albeit entertaining. But the America First anti-establishment has been taking on the old guard of the GOP for years, and the battle ain’t over yet. It was a conflict that began in earnest with the rise of the Tea Party and culminated in the nomination and presidency of Donald Trump.

To put it simply, sometimes these things need to happen.

Some have surmised that this “infighting” will prevent the Republican Party from defeating the left in next year’s midterms. But I would submit to you that the conservative movement can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can work to defeat the left while also having conversations about what our movement should look like going forward.

As it stands currently, the Democrats are doing everything they can to defeat themselves. They are propping up an incompetent geriatric authoritarian in the White House, and it’s not working out so well for them. They are pushing policies that are unpopular with the American public. Moreover, despite having control of the executive and legislative branches, they have not accomplished much that is noteworthy.

So, in the words of Ken Watanabe in “Godzilla,” we should “let them fight.” Even better, let’s join in the debate – especially if you’re concerned about those who wish to drag the conservative movement back to the days before Trump.