‘Beyond parody’: Outrage after Marjorie Taylor Greene briefly handed Speaker’s gavel by Kevin McCarthy

Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene took the helm of a House session, prompting outraged comments as she was handed the Speaker’s gavel.

Ms Greene called the chamber to order on Wednesday and the House clerk read a proclamation from Speaker Kevin McCarthy, naming her his understudy for the day.

“The Speaker’s Rooms, Washington, DC, March 8th, 2023. I hereby appoint the Honorable Marjorie Taylor Greene to act as Speaker pro tempore on this day. Signed, Kevin McCarthy, speaker of the House of Representatives,” House Reading Clerk Susan Cole said in a prepared statement on the House floor.

A clip of the moment quickly went viral on social media as Twitter users said it was a free campaign ad for Democrats that the majority party handed the gavel to a far-right member of the party.

“‘The honorable’ Marjorie Taylor Greene, said no one sane,” Scott Dworkin tweeted.

Craig Newman said there was “nothing honorable about any of this”.

“Fire all the script-writers. The story has become unbelievable,” Brett Pransky added.

The former editor of the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, Marc Jacob, who states in his Twitter bio that he’s “now allowed to have opinions”, wrote that “Marjorie Taylor Greene sitting in the House speaker’s chair. This ought to scare the s*** out of all of us”.

Attorney Aaron Panas said, “Kevin McCarthy just appointed the real Speaker of the House. Absolutely despicable to reward her”.

Amanda Carpenter, a former staffer in the office of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, said it was a “free campaign commercial for Democrats”.

“Democrats please use this in advertisements. This is not a serious political party,” Molly Jong-Fast tweeted.

Helen Kennedy, previously at the New York Daily News and the Boston Herald, noted that Ms Greene “went from barred from committee assignments for making incendiary calls for violence against other members to presiding over them holding McCarthy’s gavel. What a joke”.

Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel at the Department of Defence, tweeted: “This is a bellwether moment. Speaker McCarthy is empowering an extremist faction, antithetical to American democracy, equality, and truth-based discourse in the institutions of government.”

How The Right Lost Its Mind author Charlie Sykes said the moment was “beyond parody”.