Few things will stand out more from yesterday's debate over stripping Marjorie Taylor Greene of her House Committee assignments then Rep. Steny Hoyer's speech. The Democratic Majority Leader from Maryland fully torched the GOP for its commitment to doing absolutely nothing in the face of evil, quoting Edmund Burke more than once in his oratory.
"A great forbearer of legislators, Edmund Burke, famously declared, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' Yesterday the Republican Conference chose to do nothing, so today the House must do something," quoted Hoyer. The moral outrage at being forced into the position of cleaning up the GOP's mess — again — was palpable. He reminded his Republican "colleagues" that they'd had the courage, a mere two years ago, to strip their own conference member, Steve King, of his committee assignments for the much smaller (!!!) offense of open white supremacy.
Imagine that being the less outrageous offense. But Hoyer listed it all from Greene. The lies that continued up until yesterday. The anti-Semitism. The racism. The stalking of children. Blaming the Clintons for JFK Jr.'s plane crash. Noting the complete and defiant lack of remorse or apology from Greene, which received a standing ovation from the Republican conference. And when he got to the political violence and intimidation, he was unstoppable.
Speaking up on behalf of Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talaib, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Cori Bush in a way far too few old white men do, he put up a poster of one of Greene's RECENT facebook posts. It was a side-by-side photo of Greene holding an AR-15 pointed at Reps. Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez, captioned "SQUAD'S WORST NIGHTMARE."
He said, "Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to look at this image. I heard about motherhood today. Two of those women between them have six children, they’re mothers. One of them does not have children and she’s come to this body asking for more housing for people, for more healthcare for people, for more income for people. How awful. And they’re not the Squad. They’re Ilhan, they’re Alexandria, and they’re Rashida. They’re people, they’re our colleagues."
Rep. Hoyer is well aware that removing a person's humanity is the first step towards committing violence against them. He was not about to let that happen.
He wondered if Greene's advocacy for putting a bullet in Nancy Pelosi's head was not worth sanction. He asked if bullying and threatening behavior toward fellow Rep. Cori Bush was not worthy of rebuke. He listed by name, and quoted all the Republicans who wish to have nothing to do with Greene, and want her GONE from the party, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Finally, he quoted Burke once again, who said, "Your representative owes you not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays it instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion." Sadly, only 11 Republicans in the House seem to have done their job, yesterday.
You did Maryland proud, Rep. Hoyer. Thank you.
Transcript of the speech is here.