STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Marjorie Taylor Greene's 'apology' only shows how dangerous she really is

Article Image

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said that her remarks comparing masks mandates and vaccination passports to the Holocaust were "offensive" and offered an apology for them after visiting the Holocaust Museum. CNN's Ryan Nobles reports.

Posted: Jun 15, 2021 10:40 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2021 10:40 PM

You know there's something deeply wrong with American conservatism when a Republican member of Congress has to go to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and hold a news conference to admit it's "offensive" to compare Capitol Hill mask-wearing rules to the Holocaust.

But that's what Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene did on Monday.

For an elected official to say "it happened" and "the Holocaust is -- there's nothing comparable to it" while offering the shallow apology of "I made a mistake" for making such a disgusting comparison tells you just how low the baseline is here. Rhetoric like that is an ugly and dangerous provocation, at once minimizing one of the most horrific crimes against humanity in modern history and maximally villainizing one's fellow citizens not as political opponents in an adversarial system but as wannabe genocidal murderers.

But that's what the GOP has embraced in Greene, a conspiracy theorist, liar and bigot who nonetheless continues to enjoy her party's support.

Given her stunned post-museum-visit posturing, one has to wonder what, exactly, Greene believed happened during the Holocaust before visiting the museum. She also felt a bizarre -- and perhaps telling -- need to emphasize that those murdered in the Holocaust were "not just Jewish people -- Black people, Christians, all kinds of groups." While it's true that "all kinds of groups" were indeed killed by the Nazis, Jews were the primary focus; members of some Christian sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses were targeted by the Nazis, and many Christians were members of other groups singled out or marked for extermination, but Nazis were not interested in exterminating Christians generally. They were unquestionably motivated to exterminate Jews.

Greene's initial comments about the Holocaust were what necessitated this public relations event in the first place. "You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany," Greene said in May on a right-wing podcast. "And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about." She later tweeted, "Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a gold star." (Jews, it should be said, were not forced to wear gold stars signifying recognition or reward, but yellow stars meant to mark them for ostracization and violence).

And she told rallygoers at an America First event on May 27, "You know, Nazis were the National Socialist Party. Just like the Democrats are now a national socialist party." Tellingly, when asked Monday about this Nazi comparison, Greene did not disavow or apologize for it. She even reinforced her criticism of Democrats: "I'll never stop saying we have to save America and stop socialism." (The Nazis were an authoritarian right-wing nationalist party, and the Democrats are not a socialist party, national or otherwise).

Greene has crossed the line so many times that even a few leaders of her own party finally criticized her comments. But they stopped short of withdrawing their support of her. And while Greene is likely to be the subject of a Democrat-written House resolution that would censure her for her Holocaust remarks, Republican members of the House (and, shamefully, many Democratic ones) are instead focusing their ire on Democratic representative Ilhan Omar for her, in my reading, patently correct (if ineloquently written) tweet about the need to "have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity," whether those alleged crimes are perpetrated by Hamas or the Taliban or Israel or the US. Omar's critics claim she's equating the US with terrorist groups, an accusation that falls apart as soon as one watches the video she included with the tweet, which offers her broader perspective. She also offered a clarifying statement that she had never made "a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the US and Israel."

Omar's tweet was also sent in the context of an ongoing debate about America exempting itself from the International Criminal Court, even as American troops abroad are alleged to have committed serious crimes that could otherwise come under the ICC's purview. The Trump administration went so far as to impose sanctions on the top prosecutor of the International Criminal Court after she launched an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by American soldiers in Afghanistan and the ICC opened an investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel.

The Biden administration lifted those sanctions, but Omar was essentially asking where victims of war crimes are supposed to go to get justice if not the ICC -- and why the US refuses to subject itself to the inquiry of the same institution it trusts to adjudicate war crimes other countries are accused of. The Biden administration has an answer: the US and Israel have judicial systems sophisticated enough to adjudicate these claims themselves (left unexplained was why, if the capabilities are in place, so few of these cases have actually been brought, let alone resulted in justice being done). But that doesn't make it out of bounds for Omar to ask the same question often posed by international human rights organizations and members of the ICC itself.

These two things, in other words, are not comparable: One congresswoman is questioning policy decisions made by her government; the other is comparing Covid-19 restrictions to the mass murder of Jews and the opposition party to génocidaires. And yet it's Omar, not Greene, who Republicans have decided to target for censure.

This hypocrisy, deeply unsettling on its face, is even more troubling at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and American knowledge of the Holocaust seems to be waning, with young people radically underestimating the number of Jews murdered. And while Americans generally are fairly knowledgeable about the basics, fewer than half understand that Hitler came to power via democratic processes, according to Pew. American Jews have also been targeted by waves of anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, from Trump-supporting White supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017 chanting, "Jews will not replace us" before a young woman was murdered to more recent spates of violence from New York to Los Angeles. That makes Greene's comments downright dangerous.

Our elected representatives shouldn't be conspiracy-mongering yahoos; they should be people of solid moral character, intelligence and deep commitment to representing their constituents and making America a better place. Greene does not fit the bill. If only her own party had the self-respect to recognize that and demand better.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Robinson
Mostly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 84°
Indianapolis
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 88°
Casey
Mostly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 85°
Brazil
Mostly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 86°
Scattered Rain, Cloudy Start
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Western Indiana Tour

Image

All You Need to Know for Monday

Image

Monday: Scattered showers, cloudy start. High: 81.

Image

Local Woman's Back to School Drive

Image

Walk to End Alzheimer's

Image

Sunday Evening: Scattered showers and storms.

Image

Sunday: Increasing clouds, hot. High: 90°

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

Saturday: Mostly sunny, unseasonably warm. High: 89°

Image

Casey-Westfield

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1590342

Reported Deaths: 26979
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60937610925
DuPage1031521352
Will865801083
Lake764741056
Kane65399842
Winnebago38682543
Madison37731569
St. Clair34758561
McHenry32773313
Peoria25738361
Champaign25601182
Sangamon24263266
McLean21611205
Tazewell19559326
Rock Island17631342
Kankakee16523233
Kendall15274105
LaSalle14349275
Macon14248233
Vermilion12908182
Adams12589147
DeKalb11542127
Williamson11206156
Whiteside7813176
Boone756681
Jackson756683
Coles7175112
Ogle705385
Grundy693181
Clinton676498
Franklin669694
Knox6528163
Marion6454135
Macoupin636597
Henry610272
Jefferson5981131
Effingham588980
Livingston564394
Woodford549791
Stephenson540089
Randolph522996
Monroe503299
Christian481980
Morgan479995
Fulton479069
Logan473573
Montgomery462876
Lee454956
Bureau423087
Perry411171
Saline399263
Iroquois391171
Fayette387756
McDonough352155
Jersey319753
Douglas303336
Shelby300343
Crawford298930
Lawrence294631
Union293846
Wayne267957
White261530
Richland256852
Hancock253434
Pike252256
Cass247728
Clark244138
Bond242224
Clay233347
Ford233056
Edgar229844
Carroll223937
Warren220456
Moultrie209331
Johnson208922
Washington204927
Jo Daviess203525
Greene199339
Mason196251
Wabash196115
Massac195144
De Witt192730
Piatt188814
Mercer187035
Cumberland174123
Menard155812
Jasper149518
Marshall133721
Hamilton127221
Brown10138
Pulaski97311
Schuyler9608
Edwards94815
Stark76027
Gallatin7285
Scott6895
Alexander66411
Calhoun6382
Henderson63114
Hardin55713
Putnam5414
Pope4725
Unassigned1582432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468