A Look At The GOP From Inside A Matt Gaetz Marjorie Taylor Greene Rally

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the freshman lawmaker from Georgia who once suggested the Parkland shooting was a false flag operation, will headline the Hillsborough County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner in August.

The local party sent out a “save the date” email for the event to its supporters on Friday afternoon (her name was misspelled in the message as “Talor Green”), along with a bio for Greene that says the Republican is “doing exactly what she said she would do on the campaign trail: fighting to Save America and Stop Socialism.”

Greene’s record of inflammatory remarks about Muslims, Black people and Democrats and her embrace of conspiracies has quickly made her into one of Congress’ most divisive members. In February, Democrats, joined by 11 Republicans, voted to strip her of her committee assignments after videos surfaced of her supporting the assassination of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, questioning the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and blaming California wildfires on a space laser.

Yet, her unwavering support for President Donald Trump and his nationalist policies have elevated her among the party faithful. She has nearly 250,000 followers on Twitter and has spent much of 2021 traveling the country with embattled Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz to rally conservatives behind their “America First” movement. The two recently appeared at a well-attended event in The Villages.

In choosing Greene, the Hillsborough GOP continues its embrace of Trump’s most contentious insiders. The organization recently promoted a Bradenton event that featured Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and recently said a Myanmar-style overthrow of the government “should happen here.”

The Lincoln Day Dinner is traditionally the party’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It was just six years ago that the state’s once-popular governor Jeb Bush, who helped build the modern Florida Republican Party, headlined the event, leading to one of the most successful money-making events in the organization’s history.

Like Greene, the Hillsborough County GOP has promoted the discredited QAnon conspiracy. The organization’s leader, Jim Waurishuk, also pushed unfounded claims that the election was stolen and he has suggested that dark liberal forces masquerading as Trump supporters were behind the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Under Waurishuk, the local Republican Party has become one of the most pro-Trump organizations in the state, energizing the party’s pro-Trump faithful. However, the approach has led to a loss of financial support from many local Republicans and the GOP has lost significant ground in local elections.

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