As a rule, it's best not to pay too much attention to congressional quarterly fundraising tallies this far from the next election. Indeed, we're only six months removed from the last election cycle, and Election Day 2022 is still 83 weeks away. There will be plenty of time to study the significance of quarterly fundraising reports later.
There are, however, some exceptions. Politico reported this morning:
Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the controversial MAGA firebrand, raised over $3.2 million in the first three months of this year, according to a source close to her campaign. That eye-popping haul came from over 100,000 individual donors, for an average donation of $32.
Politico described this as "a staggering sum of money," which is more than fair. We are, after all, talking about a first-year representative from a largely rural district with no major media markets. If Greene had raised $320,000 in the first quarter, the year before an election year, it would've been a sizable haul.
But she raised 10 times that amount. Greene pulled this off despite -- or more accurately, because of -- her many controversies, bonkers conspiracy theories, and record of unhinged radicalism.
Let's also not forget, however, that House members voted to remove Greene from her congressional committee assignments, in response to her over-the-top extremism. Indeed, it's not altogether clear what the right-wing Georgian does all day, given her limited official duties on Capitol Hill.
The New York Times recently ran a good report on the "new wave" of congressional Republicans who are "more interested in brand-building than lawmaking."
A growing number of lawmakers have demonstrated less interest in the nitty-gritty passing of laws and more in using their powerful perches to build their own political brands and stoke outrage among their opponents. The trend has contributed to the deep dysfunction on Capitol Hill, where viral moments of Republicans trying to troll their colleagues across the aisle ... generate far more attention than legislative debate.
Greene, in particular, celebrated her status as a lawmaker that has very little to do. After boasting that she's been "freed" from having to do actual legislative work, the Georgia Republican added, "If I was on a committee, I'd be wasting my time."
More than 100,000 donors decided to reward Greene for such antics, sending $3.2 million her way in the first three months of 2021.