The Heckler In White

Apparently, Marjorie Taylor Greene was trying to emulate a particular “spy balloon”, but she was looking like a wife of an oligarch. And, unsurprisingly, her manners during the State of the Union were far from pristine

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s behaviour at the State of the Union a day ago was one that Trumpers would admire and applaud, and adopt. During President Joe Biden’s 80-minute speech in the House Chamber, Republican hecklers had a field day, but none more out of line and distracting and singularly audible than Ms Greene. An enthusiastic conspiracy theorist, Ms Green, despite looking immaculate, was far from spotless in the way she conducted herself while the president was speaking. She was agitated and annoyed, and she chose to express her disagreement visibly and passionately (we could see her mouth “lair”, even hear her). The film cameras didn’t miss any of the action, in particular her vigorous arm movements and one eager thumb-down. She was all animated and ready to boo.

According to The Guardian, Ms Greene’s US$500 fur-trimmed (real or fake, unknown), knee-length coat is by Overland, the 50-year-old US label that, according to the brand’s communiqué, is “inspired by the American West”. That would, no doubt, suit the Georgia extremist-congresswoman’s conservative aesthetic sensibility. But her coat, purchased in Wyoming, could easily be mistaken for something bought in a Red Square shopping mall. Why the outer was kept on inside the chamber is not know, but The Guardian quoted Ms Greene’s communications director Nick Dyer saying that the coat was picked to “highlight” the president’s no-mention of a recent Chinese spy balloon in US airspace that was shot down. All-white is the incursive balloon and Ms Greene chose the shade (it was ivory, if we were to be precise) to remind the president that a subject was not broached. So passionate she was about the balloon affair that earlier, she loitered in the halls of Congress, carrying a white 气球 (qiqiu) to state her case, but claiming it was “just an innocent white balloon, everybody”, as US media reported.

It was just an innocent white coat too, then. But, even looking as austere and reliable as a nurse, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s behaviour did not reflect the purity associated with the shade she deliberately chose. Her agitation and displeasure would have called up darker and more intense shades. Her demeanour and her countenance were simply not pallid. She was disgruntled, possibly angry—a politician bloated with disdain, yet delighting in her lively display. What treachery did she see? The white coat seemed to say white woman, churlish and a privileged one too. Conservative! As she worked her arms—both of them—like a bidder at a hungry ghost festival auction, her get-up looked less and less impeccable, even undignified. It was tempting to give her outburst a thumb-down. And, like her, do it gleefully. Of all people, she would know what that really means.

Photo: Bloomberg