After multiple efforts, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene finally managed to wring some tepid condemnation out of the so-called leaders of her party on Tuesday after yet another comparison of COVID-19 vaccination and masking to the Holocaust. As a measure of just how offensive Greene managed to be, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even used her name in condemning the comments.
Greene is chasing clout, as usual, so I’m not going to link her directly here. “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she tweeted in a comparison as incoherent as it is offensive. “Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable.”
”Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling,” McCarthy responded. Then he moved on to the attempt to shift blame onto Democrats, adding, “At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
Because nothing says “opportunity to condemn my political rivals for ignoring antisemitism” like having taken several days to criticize one of your own for an actual Holocaust offense.
“Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust,” he concluded. “Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
Okay. Does the House Republican Conference plan to do anything about the fact that one of its members keeps spouting that language? Kevin McCarthy is pretty much the one person in a position to take action against Greene, but he won’t even offer up words against her without taking a pause to attack Democrats. And that’s clearly the official Republican talking point, because House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, a.k.a. David Duke without the baggage, offered the same, with a spokesperson saying Scalise “does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust. We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party.” For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell briefly condemned Greene for “once again an outrageous and reprehensible comment,” but used his Senate floor remarks to attack Democrats for daring to criticize Israel.
She is theirs. The Republican Party owns Marjorie Taylor Greene—or, increasingly, Marjorie Taylor Greene owns the Republican Party. She’s setting the course in the House, and Kevin McCarthy barely dares speak out no matter how offensive her comments. Yeah, he got around to “Marjorie is wrong” and “the House Republican Conference condemns this language,” but her original comments were last week and she had defended them between then and Tuesday’s tweet.