How an idiosyncratic GOP representative is trying to impress her party’s base

A year into her congressional career, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace isn’t as doctrinaire as most of her GOP colleagues. There’s no doubt South Carolina is a conservative who very rarely votes with Democrats — no one would think to call Mace a “moderate” — but she has broken with her party orthodoxy a few times.

The day after the Jan. 6 attack, for example, the idiosyncratic congresswoman said Donald Trump’s legacy had been “shattered” by his role in the insurgent riot. Shortly after, she complained, “We allowed QAnon conspiracy theorists to rule us.” Months later, Mace also voted with the majority to enforce a subpoena against Steve Bannon.

Perhaps most notably, after Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert directed anti-Muslim rhetoric at a fellow Democrat, Mace spoke out against the Coloradan’s bigoted smear. This sparked a feud with Georgian Marjorie Taylor Greene, whom Mace called a “bat—clown” via Twitter emojis.

The right-wing Georgian took her worries to trump directly, as if he were the adult teacher helping mediate a conflict between fighting children.

It had a lasting effect: This week, the former president announced his support for Mace’s chief GOP rival. Trump called the incumbent congresswoman “absolutely terrible,” adding that “Mace’s remarks and attitude have been devastating to her community, and not at all representative of the Republican Party to which she has been very disloyal.”

It’s no surprise that Mace, facing the prospect of losing her seat after just one term, is scrambling to improve her standing ahead of her primary race in June. What’s surprising is how South Carolina is trying to salvage his career. The Columbia State newspaper reported yesterday:

A day after former President Donald Trump endorsed one of his top Republican challengers, U.S. Representative from South Carolina Nancy Mace stood outside Trump Tower in New York to make her point . In a video posted to Twitter Thursday morning, Mace defended his political credibility, touted his ties to Trump and questioned Republican Katie Arrington’s ability to deliver for Republicans, even after Arrington won Trump’s endorsement. .

Just to be clear, when the report noted that Mace was standing in front of Trump Tower in New York, it’s pretty literal: the congresswoman went to Manhattan, stood in front of the Trump Organization house, and filmed a video of herself for social networks.

New York City is, for the record, nearly 800 miles from its neighborhood of Charleston.

But the message was just as important as the setting: Mace gushed for nearly two minutes about his love and affection for Trump’s political genius. She bragged about working for Trump’s campaign in 2016, bragged about her support for his 2020 re-election bid and celebrated the former president as a giant of the modern age.

It was a pitiful display. Trump slammed her on Wednesday, so Mace went to Trump Tower on Thursday to pledge loyalty to the former president.

Is this the kind of thing the congresswoman needs to do to save her career in the red state? May be. But a little self-respect goes a long way. We don’t see Rep. Liz Cheney crawling outside Trump Tower, begging for support after the former president endorsed his main challenger.

The moral of the story is that Mace and his team believe the key to success in Republican politics in 2022 is to abandon dignity and stoop on a New York sidewalk. We will know in four months if it was strategically the right choice.

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