By her own account in a press availability today, Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been “bothered for a couple of weeks” by the “mistake” she made in comparing mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the Holocaust. This happened after she toured the U.S. Holocaust Museum earlier in the day and apparently learned that there is “nothing comparable” to a catastrophe in which “six millions Jewish people were murdered,” along with “Black people, Christians, and all kinds of people” whom the “Nazis didn’t believe were good enough.”
Now to be clear, Greene’s apology was abject and unconditional, and that is a good thing. But she is not some random “normal person.” She is a United States representative. It is more than a bit astonishing that it took a trip to a museum for her to grasp the nature and unique horror of an event that literate people understand as the most catastrophic occurrence of the century in which she was born. After all, she was widely condemned, by Jewish groups and even the leaders of her own congressional caucus, for her remarks on May 22. Yet she doubled down on them in an equally ignorant statement identifying Democrats with Nazis, while whining about being blindsided by her Republican critics.
After her presser today, New York contributor Ben Jacobs asked Greene about that bizarre and offensive comparison, and she responded with a pure word salad:
Now perhaps Greene is contrite about some aspects of her recent remarks, but she’s not much better educated — willing to admit a gaffe but not her general ignorance. If she thinks the Holocaust (as opposed to the slavery and Jim Crow systems of the country, region, and state she calls home) killed a lot of Black people (as opposed to Roma, LGBTQ people, and, yes, socialists and communists), she didn’t spend enough time at the museum to justify a public statement, which was both too shallow and far too late.
Greene actually has a lot to apologize for in her brief and unaccomplished political career. So far, unless I’ve missed something, she’s apologized for promoting QAnon madness, for doubting the reality of school shootings, and now misappropriating the memory of the Holocaust. She’ll probably say five more things that are offensive and howlingly uninformed before she retracts the last one. I profoundly hope her most questionable comment in the apology presser was: “I’m very much a normal person.” If that’s true, we’re all in deep trouble.