The reason for Greene’s press conference—sorry, alleged museum visit followed by press conference—is straightforward. Greene has been sloshing around in some very hot water of late for repeatedly insisting that having to wear a mask during a global health crisis is just like when the Nazis made Jews wear yellow star-shaped badges. Greene is not particularly an outlier here when it comes to Republican rhetoric comparing the slightest of life’s inconveniences to the Holocaust or Naziism in general, but she’s been making House Republican leadership unhappy with a long series of declarations and diatribes and foot-in-mouth moments that make it even more difficult for the Cheneyl-ess team to pretend their movement is anything more substantive than QAnon Weirdo Yells At Cloud, so here we are.
Greene was sent on an afternoon field trip and to write a one-page report on the experience, and every last one of us is going to hear about it.
As for her resulting announced apology for comparing the Holocaust to demands that she not breathe a pandemic death virus directly into other people’s noses, there wasn’t much to it. Let’s go to The Washington Post for the most pithy Greene lines. House Republican Rep. Greene, what did you learn on your field trip?
“The Holocaust is—there’s nothing comparable to it. It’s—it happened, and, you know, over six million Jewish people were murdered. More than that, there were not just Jewish people—Black people, Christians, all kinds of groups.”
Yeah, okay, that’s about enough of that. If I’m trapped in an elevator and the only ways out involve listening to Greene explain the Holocaust or mash myself into a fine paste in an attempt to dribble out the cracks in the elevator doors like a spilled milkshake, I’m choosing Option Two every time.
The most pertinent question here is whether Greene actually learned anything from her alleged trip to the Holocaust Museum or whether she just sprinted from one end to the other in an attempt to gather the knowledge via osmosis. Given the available evidence, it doesn’t look good.
Responding to reporters after her theoretical apology for comparing pandemic safety to the Holocaust, she refused to similarly back down from her comparison of the Democratic Party to the Nazi’s “National Socialist Party.” Instead, she told the assembled reporters that “socialism is extremely dangerous” and “I’ll never stop saying we have to save America and stop socialism.”
Now, one of the surest signs that an American blusterer knows absolutely nothing about the history they are going on about is an inability to explain, even in the broadest terms, what the Nazi movement was. The history of how a genocidal ultranationalist conspiracy-mongering far-right party hitched itself to a party with Socialist in its name is an extraordinary one full of murder, murder, and also murder. It is easily looked up on the interwebs. That Naziism’s avowed enemies were the same socialists, liberals, globalists, and immigrants that Greene herself believes her own movement must now “save” America from is a rather central point to the history Greene allegedly had just wandered through, and yet any such revelation appears to have bounced off her like a bird hitting a window.
Did she even go to the museum? Or did she have her staff drive her to a mall so she could wander around the food court for an hour or so?
Wait—did she … did she go through the Holocaust Museum backwards?
All right, so we’ve established Matt Gaetz’s best redemption buddy still doesn’t know how the Holocaust began, who the Nazis were, why the Nazis singled out the targets that they singled out, or why her relentless singling out of suspiciously similar targets with suspiciously similar conspiracy claims continues to be very, very bad. She issued an apology aimed at only the one specific thing House Republicans were most steamed at her about, but did so while repeating other, closely related tropes only minutes later.
Let’s just say nobody came away much impressed.
If we are going to speculate on just how it came to pass that Greene felt obliged to at least speedrun her way through the Holocaust Museum or, possibly, some random building that her staff told her was the Holocaust Museum—and we are absolutely going to speculate on that, because speculating on things without evidence is all da rage these days, and we want in on it—it seems at least possible that the reason for Greene’s field trip has something pointedly to do with yet another new push by House Republican leaders to declare that actually, it is the Democratic Party that is antisemitic because reasons. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made a “promise” Tuesday morning to remove Democratic Muslim American Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs committee if Republicans regain the majority in the next midterms, on grounds that she has “on numerous occasions been anti-Semitic.”
Might Greene’s seemingly hastily arranged outing and press conference be tied to House Republican leadership’s desire to push new talking points?
Well, she sure didn’t go to learn anything herself. So that only leaves the “was pushed into it for optics” choices.