There are a lot of things wrong with Marjorie Taylor Greene: She’s a bigot, she’s a Q-Anon supporter, she’s a transphobe, she’s a racist, she’s a gun nut, she’s a covid-19 mask skeptic.And according to a new Politico cover story, Greene is so inured in the world of conspiracy that she once published a Facebook post theorizing that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr in 1998. So the fact that this woman has reportedly used campaign donations for entry into exclusive clubs and obscenely expensive meals is the least of our concerns about her and her burgeoning influence over the Republican party.
But, hey, it’s funny.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the freshman congresswoman’s year-end campaign filing was included steak dinners and social club memberships, a move AJC says is “at odds with [the] populist image” she has built for herself.
Once in Washington, Greene quickly spent her donors’ money to gain access to the halls of power, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of her spending found.
In her year-end campaign filing, Greene reported spending campaign donations on a $717.60 dinner at BLT Prime, a pricey steakhouse inside the Trump International Hotel; another $653.15 to dine at the Beltway hangout Capital Grille; a $4,000 sponsorship payment to a conservative institute; and $825 to join the Capitol Hill Club, a Republican-only social club where lobbyists, staffers and elite donors come to rub elbows with members of Congress.
“That’s not where the revolution typically gets launched,” said Doug Heye, a Washington veteran and former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said of the Capitol Hill Club.
It wasn’t her first trip to the club. In the fall of 2019, Greene spent $547 there for four meals over two days. The Washington trip came just prior to Greene’s decision to jump from the crowded Republican field in the 6th District, where she lived, and run instead in the 14th District.
Most of Greene’s campaign donations came from small-money donations—under $200—likely people who bought into her “people over politicians” message. Greene wasn’t all that politically-minded until a few years ago, and she used her novice and outsider status to make the case that she is precisely the kind of person who should go to Washington. After all, in Greene’s world, the so-called Swamp—as former President Trump liked to call it—is full of careerists who don’t value patriotism and do absolutely nonsensical things like...allow Muslim lawmakers to pledge their oath of office on the Quran instead of the Bible.
Greene presented herself as a down-to-earth alternative, an average mom-slash-businesswoman-slash-Christian-slash-conservative-slash-patriot who wanted change and didn’t believe in kowtowing to decorum. But nothing says assimilating into the primordial goo of The Swamp quite like bumping elbows with lobbyists and rich donors at the Capitol Hill Club.
Will her supporters give a shit? Probably not. The same people who buy into Greene’s shallow populist rhetoric—and regard The Elite™ as one big group of child sex traffickers—always excuse the rich and those who hobnob with them as long as they find their politics agreeable.
The contradictions are glaring but it’s worth remembering that this is the same woman who opposed additional stimulus funding despite receiving a six-figure Paycheck Protection Program loan from the covid-19 stimulus package in early 2020 and, “coincidentally,” donated $450,000 to her own campaign a couple of months later. Go figure!