Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to have done some good lately. After a professed epiphany, she offered what appeared to be a sobering apology for the casually perverse way she conjured up the unique horrors of the Holocaust to support her petty, depraved political points. She then cast a vote making Juneteenth a federal holiday. What’s going on?
When hateful, showboating conspiracy theorists who legislate proudly within Donald Trump’s toxic shadow take an uncharacteristic step toward decency, their aberration must be examined through an electron microscope. While Greene’s recent actions are welcome, there is no indication that they represent a kinder, gentler representative of Georgia’s 14th congressional district.
On the contrary, Greene has already succeeded in impeaching her own credibility with these developments. I understand that Greene, my contemporary, did not attend Hebrew School and learn of unspeakable Nazi atrocities at a tender age as I did. However, Greene did receive an education, she has been around for nearly half a century, and she holds a venerable position as a member of the United States Congress that comes with consequential responsibility.
So, it’s puzzling that Greene suddenly became enlightened about what even Kevin McCarthy called “the greatest atrocity committed in human history” in a recent statement condemning her remarks. On Monday, after visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Greene admitted to “remarks that I’ve made that I know are offensive, and for that I’d like to apologize”—while under threat of House censure for them. “So, I should own it,” she added. “I made a mistake.”
Despite Greene’s attempt to minimize her offense, the fact is she did not make a mere “mistake” that could be handily defused by a full-throated mea culpa. What Greene did was double and triple down as she demanded a moral equivalence between mask mandates aimed at saving lives during a pandemic and Nazi-era Jews being forced to wear badges publicly marking them as creatures worthy of extermination.
Greene’s curiously timed apology for her dangerous behavior, even if sincere, is not enough. The touchstone for determining the sufficiency of Greene’s regret must be whether she tackles Holocaust denial in her speeches, on her Web site, and in the press. It’s time for Greene to amplify and share that illuminating voice of wisdom she claims to have heard on this pivotal subject — and, while she’s at it, confront hate in all forms against all people.
If you’re dubious about any of this taking place, I’m with you. Greene’s rare positive actions inevitably get sullied with top-shelf manure. After voting to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday on Wednesday, Greene told Newsweek: “I’m in support of celebrating important days in American history and the emancipation of slaves is important.” She then ruined the moment: “Plus, any day that we can shut down the federal government is a good day for the American people.” To paraphrase Maya Angelou, this is Marjorie Taylor Greene showing us who she is, and we are wise to believe her.