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SAUNDERS: Marjorie Taylor Greene went after the speaker. Guess who lost?


Last week, House Speaker Mike Johnson defeated a “motion to vacate” his perch pushed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene in a 259-43 vote.

All I can say is: Hallelujah.

Johnson had math on his side. House Republicans overwhelmingly support him. Only 11 GOP members (including Greene) voted against the affable Louisianan.

Of course, her loss won’t stop CNN from airing MTG’s every thought. With that spiteful smile of hers, she is the liberal media’s ideal representative for the GOP.

Greene slammed Johnson’s win as a victory for the “uni-party” — the Georgia lawmaker’s way of saying that without shameless stunts and endless procedural votes, Americans will be doomed to live under one establishmentarian party made up of Democrats and Republicans.

Which ignores the parties’ differences on issues such as immigration, border politics, campus protests, student loan forgiveness, abortion, states’ rights and fossil fuels.

“The most important thing everyone needs to know is that people want a Republican Party that will fight,” the vanquished Greene told Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.

Thus Greene tapped into magical thinking found in some corners of the GOP — that fighting is good in and of itself, so results don’t matter.

To embrace such a principle, you have to believe a slim House Republican majority can dictate policy even though Democrats control the White House and Senate.

One other thing about politics: Compromise isn’t a dirty word. It’s the way you get the most of what you want. Instead of all of nothing.

Greene told Bartiromo that she told Johnson she might reconsider her motion to oust Johnson if he moved to “de-fund Jack Smith,” the special counsel who has charged former President Donald Trump with conspiring to overturn the 2020 election and unlawful retention of classified documents.

Alas, reality intrudes. As Johnson told Politico, “But that’s not something you wave a wand and just eliminate the special counsel as a provision.”

Greene also reportedly wanted Johnson to oppose more aid to Ukraine. To his credit, Johnson supported Ukraine funding because it is in America’s national security interest.

Greene made her bones trashing other Republicans. There’s no better ticket to get on cable news.

Johnson doesn’t bite at that apple.

“I’m a Bible-believing Christian,” Johnson told Politico. “That’s one of the first commands we have. You’re supposed to love your enemies. Nobody in this building is my enemy.”

Greene defended her antics by hiding behind the former president. She told Bartiromo she stands for voters who are “fed up with Republicans that will not defend President Trump.”

Actually, Johnson has a history of backing Trump, including (and not to his credit) Trump’s bogus stolen-election take on his 2020 loss.

You know Johnson has been a Team Trump stalwart because Trump backed Johnson in the speakership fight.

Greene’s most craven hit on the mild-mannered speaker: “Mike Johnson’s owned by the Democrats,” she told Bartiromo.

MTG was a ringleader among the rump of Republicans who would not back Johnson, even though he is a solid conservative. She is a big reason the gavel could not remain with Johnson absent the grudging support of a modicum of Democrats.

So even though Greene failed bigly, expect to see her nightly on the news channels as she shares her views on the Capitol steps with press scrums hanging on her every word. MTG is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving.

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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