New analysis of GOP 'heckling' during Biden’s SOTU warns of disturbing change in the party’s direction

New analysis of GOP 'heckling' during Biden’s SOTU warns of disturbing change in the party’s direction
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia in December 2021 (Gage Skidmore)

A new analysis suggests Republican lawmakers' behavior during President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech is a disturbing look intot the new norm in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a new piece published by The New York Times, Karoun Demirjian pointed out some of the most egregious aspects of lawmakers' antics as she noted that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) even warned them from partaking in "childish games."

"The catcallers heckled with impunity, despite a private warning from McCarthy before the speech to be on good behavior and his public promises that the House would avoid 'childish games' during the address," Demirjian wrote. "It was the latest example of the speaker’s struggles to control his unruly rank and file. A vocal subset of ultraconservative Republicans has exacted steep concessions from McCarthy in exchange for supporting his bid for the speakership — and he has demonstrated repeatedly that he is willing to cater to their whims to placate his party’s base."

READ MORE: Ex-GOP congressman: 'Awful' Marjorie Taylor Greene should face 'censure' for heckling the State of the Union

According to Demirjian, the chaos that erupted might be a clue of what's to come as Republicans take over the House of Representatives.

"The display — captured in images of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) her mouth wide-open as she booed and gave a thumbs-down to the president — reflected the ethos that has come to define the Republican-led House, where an emboldened right-wing that styles itself after former President Donald Trump is unapologetic about its antipathy for Biden and eager to show it in attention-grabbing ways," she wrote.

Offering more context into what transpired, Demirjian pointed out a pivotal moment in the night when Greene yelled "liar" at the president.

“If the American people had been on that House floor listening to that speech, it would have been a lot worse names than I called him,” said Greene.

READ MORE: Watch: Proof of Republicans repeatedly calling for cuts to Social Security and Medicare

Although lawmakers have not been reprimanded for their actions, experts warn of how lack of accountability could be problematic in the very near future as it may send a conflicting message.

"Experts worry that ignoring Tuesday night’s heckling could make it difficult to return to an era of more polite dealings — especially given how much more indecorous behavior has graced the halls of Congress in the past," she wrote. "One famous example of how bad things can get comes from 1856, when a House member beat a senator with a cane."

Joanne Freeman, an American history professor for Yale University, also expressed her concerns about Greene's outbursts and what transpired.

“It’s not as though there has never been this kind of violation of behavior,” said Freeman. “This one was extreme, it was repeated, and it was coming from people who have already disrespected the government and the office of the presidency.”

She added, “It isn’t just a few random people yelling something at the president. It’s part of an ongoing attack against national institutions of government and the national political process.”

READ MORE: Ex-GOP congressman: 'Awful' Marjorie Taylor Greene should face 'censure' for heckling the State of the Union

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by