“Wrong and honestly evil”: Even Republicans are trashing MTG’s “treasonous” call for secession

The tweet alone should "disqualify" Greene from sitting on the Homeland Security committee, ex-GOP lawmaker says

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published February 21, 2023 9:03AM (EST)

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at a news conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill September 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at a news conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill September 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., drew backlash from all sides after calling to divide states down party lines on Presidents' Day.

Greene, who has repeatedly floated the concept of a "national divorce" in the past, on Monday called to separate the country "by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government."

"Everyone I talk to says this," she tweeted. "From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat's traitorous America Last policies, we are done."

Greene's comments came as she and other far-right Republicans criticized President Joe Biden's surprise visit to Ukraine, which the Georgia congresswoman called "incredibly insulting."

"Impeach Biden or give us a national divorce," she wrote.

Though many Republicans have tried to avoid commenting on Greene's long history of inflammatory rhetoric, a growing number of conservatives pushed back on her secessionist call.

"This rhetoric is destructive and wrong and—honestly—evil," tweeted Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican. "We don't need a divorce, we need marriage counseling. And we need elected leaders that don't profit by tearing us apart. We can disagree without hate. Healthy conflict was critical to our nation's founding and survival."

Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., sought to remind Greene of "some of the governing principles of America."

"Our country is governed by the Constitution. You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution," she wrote. "Secession is unconstitutional. No member of Congress should advocate secession, Marjorie."

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va., who served as an investigator for the House Jan. 6 committee, also lashed out at Greene's "ludicrous statement."

"I would think that this alone would disqualify a sitting member of Congress from serving on the Committee for Homeland Security," he wrote.

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson reminded the congresswoman that the "confederates already lost once, Marjorie."

"We just went through an election where the American public decided [they'd] rather stick with Democrats than crazy Republicans, and MTG doubles down on 'hey, let's break up the country' and has Speaker McCarthy standing by her side. FFS.  These people want to lose," Erickson fumed.

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Conservative writer David French also condemned Greene's tweet but warned that her support for secession is widespread among many on the right.

"The dangerous thing about this tweet is not that an individual member of Congress is this radical (there are always at least a few crank members of Congress), it's that she speaks for a very real part of the right," he wrote. "I hear that same sentiment all the time."

Legal experts also reminded Greene that secession did not work out well in the past.

"In case you forgot, the Supreme Court ruled on your idea more than 150 years ago. Hint: they didn't rule in your favor," wrote national security attorney Bradley Moss.

"The last time some states decided to 'separate' from the Union, the Civil War made clear for all time that we are indivisible.  We're all in this together," tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. "Advocating for the dissolution of the United States is treasonous and un-American."

Some Democrats wondered if Greene's home state still qualifies as a "red state" after electing two Democratic senators and re-electing Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., just months earlier.

"Georgia acted like a blue state in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 federal elections. And Georgia grows woke kale," tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

"You are a danger to the country and you only want to divide us," wrote Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif. "You are literally calling for secession, which is pretty on brand for traitors like you."

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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