Patrick Parsons –The Modern Face of the GOP September 26, 2021
QAnon? GA first-term GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene? Remember them? After writing two blogposts about them in 2/2021, I thought I would never have to waste more ink and paper on discussing this wackadoodle Congresswoman and the bonkers conspiracy cult she believes in. Wow, was I 10,000% wrong! After the incumbent GA GOP Congressman retired, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from GA’s 14th Congressional District (CD), a QAnon supporter, handily won her 2020 primary, runoff, and general election. Her Democratic opponent even dropped out of the race against her. The GA 14th CD, in that state’s northwestern corner, has a “lobster Red” R+28 Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) and is among the strongest Republican districts in the nation. Trump clobbered Biden here getting 73% of the vote (Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac). QAnon and their supporters believe that Trump is protecting the world from pedophiles who drink the blood of children, a rip off of the anti-Semitic blood libel that has led to the deaths of many Jews over the centuries. The QAnon ideology also subscribes to anti-Catholic bigotry. It argues that tunnels under the White House lead to the Vatican and the Pope. That false smear dates from the time when the first Catholic candidate, NY Gov. Democrat Al Smith, unsuccessfully ran for President in 1928. The tunnel that Smith opened was one connecting NY and NJ (CNN Business, Avlon & O’Sullivan). QAnon members participated in the 1/06/2021 Capitol assault in an attempt to keep Trump in office. Taylor Greene’s also “believes” that various school shooting massacres were false flag operations to push gun control, and that a space laser controlled by the Jewish Rothschild banking family caused California wildfires. She stated that no plane had hit the Pentagon on 9/11, and that Trump won the 11/2020 election. Before she won her congressional election, Taylor Greene expressed support of social media calls to execute high-profile Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (latimes.com, 2/01/21, Jarvie, nytimes.com, 1/31/21, Editorial). Despite knowing about her extremist beliefs, the GOP “leadership” put Taylor Greene on the powerhouse Education and Budget committees. When the GOP refused to remove Taylor Greene from these committees, the Democratic-controlled House stripped her from serving on these committees by a 230-199 vote on 2/04/21. Just 11 Republicans voted with all the Democrats to remove Taylor Greene from all her committee assignments (nytimes.com, 2/04/21, Bloomberg.com, 2/04/21).
Cong. Taylor Greene argued that she “was allowed to believe things that weren’t true (Cohen & Cook 2022 Almanac).” Even without holding any committee memberships, Taylor Greene stayed in the headlines. She pushed procedures to delay House actions and was in the forefront arguing right-wing culture war themes. Taylor Greene became a strong fundraiser for hard-right causes. Her Trumpist GA 14th CD continues to firmly support her. Many of her constituents say she is doing what they elected her to do—stand up and fight. Taylor Greene, like hard right first-term QAnon sympathizer Cong. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and freshman Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) could care less about legislating. What they want to do is just emphasize their right-wing talking points 24/7 and use their congressional positions in a continuous war against Democrats, liberals, and even GOPers slightly to the left of them. Their main objective is to get in front of microphones and create non-stop “media opportunities.”
Congresswoman Taylor Greene’s Chief-of-Staff (COS) is not there to remind her of when to go to her committee hearings since she sits on no committees. He is there to make sure that she is seen making a public political ruckus for her positions whenever she can to promote talking points and raise money. Taylor Greene’s COS was Patrick Parsons. Parsons seemed to be the perfect match for Cong. Taylor-Greene. He spent the better part of this decade in GA raising more than $2 million in donations for his organization, Georgia Gun Owners. This group is a fund-raising group that goes out of its way to deal in outrage, make enemies, and raise money by calling opponents “morons.” GA Democratic state Senator Jen Jordan called Parsons a “fiery activist.” Jordan called Parsons effective because he was “really willing to go after people. Skirt the truth. Say things that weren’t true.” Parsons tangled with Jordan for years, because Jordan tried to pass gun regulations to help victims of domestic violence. He was a social media expert who targeted Jordan with memes and insults in his pro-gun Facebook live videos. Not only did he target Democrat Jordan. Parson often went after GOPers who didn’t obey him. Parsons went out of his way to make sure such GOPers were ostracized both on social media and in GA. Jordan called Parsons a “bully (WABE/NPR Atlanta).” In a 2020 Christmas message to his followers, Parsons called on them to fight for gun owners’ rights in 2021 because with Joe Biden’s election, the “threats to our gun rights in Congress and in Atlanta are only going to get worse… and we’re going to need all hands on deck (georgiagunowners.org/2nd amendment).”
However, even extremist Patrick Parsons has his limits. On 9/24/2021, NBC News reported that Cong. Taylor Greene “instigated a shouting match with a group of House Democrats who were holding an event outside the U.S. Capitol (salon.com, Brigham, 9/25/21).” These Democrats included Debbie Dingel (D-MI), Melanie Stansbury (D-NM), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA). Cong. Taylor Greene screamed that Democrats support “murder” for supporting abortion rights. She muttered that Biden’s key infrastructure program “Build Back Better” is a “joke (salon.com, Brigham, 9/25/21).” Soon after this Taylor Greene incident attacking her fellow Congresswomen, Parsons, her most senior staffer, advised Taylor Greene that he would no longer be working in her office. Parsons hadn’t even worked for her for nine months (salon.com, 9/25/21).
In his resignation statement, Parsons stated that he had expected his job to be temporary. He tweeted, “Greene asked me to come with her to Washington and help organize her office. After eight and a half months fighting the Socialist Democrats and RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) in DC, it’s time to move on.” In this same statement, Parsons praised Greene as an “America First superstar who has become one of the leading policy-influencers in our party today.” He called working for her the “highlight of my professional career (huffpost.com, Papenfuss, 9/24/21).” Cong. Taylor Greene tweeted back,
“I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Patrick Parsons, for helping me take the fight to the Socialist Democrats as I’ve transitioned into Congress.
He’s advised me he will be moving back into the political arena to help elect America First conservatives who can fight alongside me, @mtgreenee (huffpost.com, Papenfuss).”
Parsons may have finally found Taylor Greene’s behavior too rude to support. However, he certainly stands for the positions of the majority of current GOPers— proud members of the Trump “America First” cult. And like Trump and the overwhelming majority of GOP lawmakers and voters, he considers Democrats far left “Socialists” not to be dealt with. They must only be fought with. In addition, any GOPers slightly to the left of Taylor Greene and Parsons are not “real” Republicans, just R epublicans I n N ame O nly” (RINOS). These few GOPers must be drummed out of the true party/cult of Trump and permanently ostracized. Parsons will move back to either his combative gun lobbying group or get involved with a similar group where he can raise funds and threaten Democrats and fellow “non-conforming” GOPers with lies and crude cracks on social media. IMHO, there is little difference between Taylor Greene and her former Chief-of-Staff Parsons.
Although she can be continually re-elected in her blood “Red” district, Taylor “QAnon” Greene remains an irrelevant provocateur, barred from any committees. However, should the GOP take back the House in the 2022 midterms, she will be restored to prominent committees and will be featured more in the media spouting extremist GOP talking points. In order to keep “QAnon” Taylor Greene irrelevant, Democrats have to vote in droves in the 2022 midterms and make sure moderates and independents do so as well. They must add “Blue” seats to the House and Senate. Yes, Democrats can keep attacking GOPers for being anti-democracy Trump rioters, anti-pro-choice, and conspiracy loonies. However, Democrats must deliver on their infrastructure promises or their base will stay home. Swing voters will believe that all Democrats do is needlessly argue and can’t govern. The Governor’s race in VA, which has gone strongly Democratic in the last presidential and local elections, is now too close to call because of Democratic feuding in D.C. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former VA Governor, should handily be winning this race. Instead, the margin between him and ultra-rich GOP Trump clone Glenn Youngkin is neck and neck, because congressional Democrats have been unable to pass Biden’s key infrastructure bill, desperately needed in the Old Dominion (See Martin, nytimes.com, 9/25/21). Progressives and moderate Democrats must stop this “my way or the highway, I won’t compromise” nonsense and pass Biden’s bill. Biden’s ability to get legislation passed will increase his popularity, help McAuliffe and state Democrats win VA, and get Democrats and independents out to vote for “Team Blue” in the midterms. Failure, with the likes of Parsons and Taylor “QAnon” Greene waiting to run our country, is not an option.