I’ve posted before about how Congressman Cline’s membership in the far-right House Freedom Caucus puts him in some unsavory company.
I was rather surprised to find at least one of Cline’s fellow House Republicans agreeing with me.
Writing about the prospect of a Republican majority in Congress next year, CNN’s Melanie Zanona observes:
[M]embers of the Trump-loving House Freedom Caucus are preparing to flex their muscles in the next era. Under the new leadership of Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, the group is hoping to use its hardline tactics, connections to Trump and friendlier relationship with GOP leadership to bend their party to their will and put their MAGA-like stamp on the conference.
But the prospect of a bigger and more emboldened House Freedom Caucus means some of the group’s loudest MAGA firebrands, such as Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Paul Gosar of Arizona, will also be elevated. And that could pose a potential governing challenge for Republican leaders, who have so far struggled to rein in the GOP’s fringe elements.
The party’s most prominent provocateurs have even earned a private new nickname from some of their colleagues: “the trending caucus.” That’s because on any given day, it seems this extremist crew is making headlines — and creating headaches for GOP leadership — with their behavior. Last week alone, they drew unwanted attention to their party for heckling President Joe Biden during his State of the Union address, attending a conference organized by a known White nationalist and being the lone “no” votes on measures to make lynching a federal hate crime and to express support for Ukraine amid its war with Russia.
If Cline is embarrassed by any of this, he hasn’t let on.
Zanona quoted an unfortunately anonymous House Republican:
“If you’re Mark Green or Jeff Duncan or Ben Cline, do you really want to be associated with either Marjorie Taylor Greene or Gosar? I wouldn’t think so,” said the House GOP lawmaker, name-checking some of the more mild-mannered members of the Freedom Caucus.
Mild-mannered though Cline may often be, that doesn’t make his devotion to Trump and the MAGA cult any more palatable. And as far as I can tell, he has no problem being associated with the most outspokenly extreme and dangerous members of his party.
We can help Cline avoid any possible dilemmas by working to keep a Democratic majority in the House– which means, among other things, defeating him in the 2022 election.