On Monday, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene “apologized” for comparing mask mandates to the Holocaust, a sentence that cannot be written without the proper scare quotes. This is to say: While Greene technically uttered the words “I’d like to apologize” and “I’m very sorry” during the press conference, it would be foolish to believe they were genuine.
The press event followed a visit Greene said she made to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C. earlier that day, where she supposedly learned about the gravity of her incredibly crass remarks.
“The Holocaust is—there’s nothing comparable to it,” Greene said later on Capitol Hill. “It happened and, you know, over 6 million Jewish people were murdered.”
This statement is flippant as well as almost hilariously basic, the latter quality leading some to remark with incredulity that it took Greene—a 47-year-old congresswoman—until now to grasp something children learn in school.
But Greene certainly didn’t “learn” anything from her trip to the Holocaust Memorial Museum, which was merely an exercise in political pageantry (and not even a terribly original one). And her purported apology certainly does not represent the “dramatic shift in tone” CNN claims it to be.
Greene knew exactly what she was invoking when she likened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask policy for members of Congress to “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, during an interview on a conservative podcast. “And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.” (She went on to make similar remarks about vaccine passports on Twitter.)
Greene made these comparisons because of their shock value, knowing full well the historical significance of the event she was referencing—that was the point. Perhaps she miscalculated the precise extent to which she would piss everyone off, failing to foresee that members of her own party and even Ben Shapiro would condemn her for the comments. But this fall-out is probably the only thing she finds truly regrettable about her actions.
In order to believe Greene possessed even a modicum of sincerity—in order to believe she had learned anything at all—I would have to think that she would never say such a thing again. And we all know that’s not true.