(WASHINGTON) — In the face of some harsh blowback, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the firebrand Georgia Republican, has tripled down on her proposal for a “national divorce”– splitting the country according to political ideology into “red” Republican states and “blue” Democratic states.
After the Civil War, the Supreme Court ruled it is unconstitutional for a state to secede, which would make it impossible for her plan to be implemented.
But Greene, who has been touting the idea since 2021 when she wanted to halt “brainwashed” Californians from moving to states like Florida, is gaining new attention for the concept, now that she has become a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
“We need a national divorce. We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government,” Greene wrote in a separate tweet on Presidents Day.
“Everyone I talk to says this. From the sick and disgusting woke culture issues shoved down our throats to the Democrat’s traitorous America Last policies, we are done.”
She’s been invited to explain how she claims it would work on Fox News’ “Hannity” program as well as on other conservative outlets.
“The last thing I ever want to see in America is a civil war,” she told Sean Hannity. “No one wants that — at least everyone I know would never want that — but it’s going that direction, and we have to do something about it.”
On conservative commentator Charlie Kirk’s show on Tuesday, Greene laid out another part of her proposal: allowing red states to block Democrats from voting if they came from a blue state.
“Red states can choose in how they allow people to vote in their states,” Greene said. “What I think would be something that some red states could propose is: well, okay, if Democrat voters choose to flee these blue states where they cannot tolerate the living conditions, they don’t want their children taught these horrible things, and they really change their mind on the types of policies that they support, well once they move to a red state, guess what, maybe you don’t get to vote for five years.”
Her proposition was promptly dismissed by current and former GOP lawmakers, including Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, who told the Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday, “I think Abraham Lincoln dealt with that kind of insanity …”We’re not going to divide the country. It’s united we stand and divided we fall.”
Former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., lambasted Greene on Monday, highlighting the unconstitutionality of Greene’s proposal.
“Our country is governed by the Constitution,” Cheney tweeted. “You swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Secession is unconstitutional. No member of Congress should advocate secession, Marjorie.”
Another former Republican member of Congress, moderate Adam Kinzinger, who, like Cheney, was a member of the Jan. 6 committee and left Congress just over a month ago, asked his party:
“Every Republican elected official needs to be asked and must give an answer: do you support a “national divorce” aka a civil war? One word answer, no misdirect, not ‘this is what the media always does.’
“Do you agree with the leader of the party, MTG?”
McCarthy has not commented publicly on Greene’s proposal.
But the Georgia Republican has remained steadfast, lashing back at some of her most vocal critics.
“People agree with me and not the RINO governor of Utah,” MTG tweeted alongside a news story outlining remarks from Utah’s GOP Gov. Spencer Cox calling Greene’s rhetoric “evil.”
She also argued her “national divorce” idea was not equivalent to a “civil war.”
“People saying national divorce is a bad idea because the left will never stop trying to control us literally make the case for national divorce,” she said in a tweet on Wednesday.
“We don’t want a civil war. We’re not surrendering. We’re tired of complaining with no change and want to protect our way of life,” she said.
In recent years, there have been several succession efforts at the state level, including reorganizing state lines to accommodate outlier counties.
The Idaho House passed a bill in 2022 that would allow a conservative portion of eastern Oregon to join Idaho. Later, some Republican lawmakers in Maryland proposed three of the state’s three counties break off and join West Virginia.
In both those cases, proponents claimed the rural, conservative counties they said desired to secede felt disconnected to their states’ liberal leadership.
But the idea of succession has also been floated around by national leaders in the past.
In California, after Trump withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown discussed furthering the state’s own foreign policy initiatives. During the days of the fiscally conservative “tea party” movement, similar ideas were floated by national figures.
“We’ve got a great union. There is absolutely no reason to dissolve it,” Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry said in 2009, before adding, “But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what may come out of that?”
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