Punished by Democrats, Greene consolidates support at home

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., goes back to her office after speaking on the floor of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

ATLANTA – Stripped of her congressional committee assignments and causing heartburn for traditional conservatives ahead of next year's elections, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene may actually emerge stronger back home in her deep-red northwest Georgia district.

Greene's long history of incendiary social media posts — expressing racist views, pushing absurd conspiracy theories and endorsing threats of violence against elected officials — caught up with her Thursday when Democrats, joined by 11 Republicans, removed her from two House committees.

Her rhetoric could make her a liability for the Republican ticket in future elections, in Georgia and beyond. GOP control has already been slipping in Georgia, where Democrats won this latest presidential contest for the first time since 1992 and followed with dual Senate victories in January runoffs, made possible in part by a sizable drop in voting in Greene's district after she pushed false claims about voter fraud.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, for one, is likely to face a tough reelection battle in 2022, potentially facing Democrat Stacey Abrams, whose voter registration campaigns put the state in play.

GOP state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, who shares some constituents with Greene, says she's repulsed some educated swing voters who would otherwise vote Republican.

“We need to be a party of ideas, not a party of slogans and sensationalism,” Hufstetler said. “The fringe people push people away and don’t help anybody out.”

Being punished by Democrats, however, is something even Greene's foes in the staunchly conservative district can't let go.

“The people here, the voters, voted for her to be there,” said Lydia Hallmark, a Republican activist in Paulding County. “And I will defend that all day long.”