Marjorie Taylor Greene sucks, but you knew that. She centered her House campaign around QAnon, defended Capitol rioters, echoed bunk election fraud claims, and performatively harassed fellow members of Congress. She’s the human distillation of the aggrieved Trump voter in the post-Trump era. It’s almost impossible for her to take things too far because that’s exactly what people expect from her. But that just means she needs to keep upping the ante.
Greene tweeted the above earlier this morning. It comes just days after she compared House mask mandates to Nazis making Jews wear gold stars. Greene defended those comments by saying she wasn’t comparing it to the Holocaust, but the discrimination Jews faced in the “early Nazi years” as she describes them. The excuse is as stupid and disingenuous as she is. So, naturally, she used it again today. Right wing commentator Ben Shapiro called Greene’s comparison “insulting and insane.” He later qualified his criticism by other sides-ing it, but to Greene the damage had been done. She told Shapiro to “stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me” as if what she said wasn’t utterly batshit. Anyone simply pointing that out is attacking her or fueling the attacks.
It bears repeating that shocking and triggering liberals is what Marjorie Taylor Greene exists to do. Her politics are completely reactionary, a reflexive response to Donald Trump’s flailing administration and eventual election loss. She likely genuinely believes in QAnon and the other absurd conspiracies she tacitly endorsed on Facebook, but it doesn’t even matter if she does or not. That’s because like most conservatives, she revels in freaking liberals out.
Most post-Trump conservative politics boils down to whining about nebulous freedoms, cancel culture, and triggering the libs. It’s the basis of Greene’s entire political persona. She’s willing to take it further than most Republicans are—partially because she believes the crazy shit and partially because she knows this will work. Greene has risen to prominence in an age without political consequence. She’s raised millions of dollars by saying the same ignorant, offensive, and dangerous garbage shes’s been spewing forever. Why on earth would she think a passing Holocaust comment would do anything but help her?
We’ve reached some kind of inflection point in American political discourse. It’s not exactly clear what that inflection is, but there are scores of warning signs everywhere you look. For example, it’s not good that a certain percentage of Republicans think the slightest inconvenience to their physical autonomy or consumption is equivalent to one of the most infamous genocides in human history. It’s also bad that Greene’s down-home stupidity and ignorant bravado is actually what conservative voters want to hear.
These are clear indicators of deep rot, both in the Republican Party and the American political system writ large. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy condemned Greene’s tweet, but what good is condemnation without any further consequences? McCarthy knows how popular Greene is and how well this shtick works. Slapping it away with a wink and a nod isn’t the best he can do—it’s all he can do, because he fundamentally agrees with the approach.
Republicans have used this formula for decades, but it appears to have reached an endpoint. We fall into the same news cycle every single week. There’s no where else for Greene to take this, though she’ll undoubtedly try. Then she’ll backtrack, find some idiotic way to supersede her awful take, and cry about left wing persecution because people are rightfully pissed off at how gratingly stupid she is. Say shocking shit, play the victim, rinse, repeat.