The GOP is in a real dill of a pickle these days. Try as they might to plow ahead with a bad faith attempt to paint the Democrats as a party of rabid Jew-hating communists, one of the most popular Republicans in the party keeps insisting on being grotesquely antisemitic. Whoopsie! What a conundrum!
The very same day that Republican leaders announced plans to introduce a bill condemning antisemitic violence in the United States to “ensure bigoted thugs who are attacking Jewish Americans face the full force of our justice system,” Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene extended her weekend streak of gleefully equating wearing a mask (good, saves lives!) with being shipped off to Auschwitz (bad, Nazis).
She later insisted that “I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years,” which, hmmmmmmmmmm.
In fact, Greene’s “gold star” comment comes just days after an appearance on a podcast hosted by Real America’s Voice‘s David Brody, in which she proclaimed that “we can look back at 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. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
This brings us to the GOP’s desperately transparent ploy to play partisan politics with bad faith allegations of antisemitism against progressive members of Congress who had the audacity to point out that Israel bombing Palestinian apartment buildings and killing dozens of children is bad, actually. Because, as it turns out, it’s not so easy for the GOP to conflate criticism of Israel with attacks on Jewish people (itself an example of antisemitism) without acknowledging that one of the most popular members of their party is a full-blown, bugfuck lunatic when it comes to Jews.
Which is how you get a mangled, laughably hypocritical statement like this, from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (emphasis mine) :
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.
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.
Sure, OUR team is the one comparing a thin piece of fabric over your mouth to being shipped to the gas chambers in one of the worst state-sponsored atrocities in history, but, but, but….Nancy Pelosi!
McCarthy’s hamfisted “look over there!” attempt was echoed by House Minority Whip Steve “David Duke without the baggage” Scalise, who offered a similarly pathetic example of unfounded whataboutism through a spokesperson, who insisted Scalise “does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust.” Golly, he doesn’t agree? Well then!
The spokesperson continued:
We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party, resulting in an alarming number of horrific violent attacks against Jews.
For the past four years (and honestly, for decades before that) the GOP has incubated and encouraged the worst antisemitic inclinations in America. From Donald Trump’s overt embrace of white nationalism, all the way back to Nixon’s ramblings about “the Jews,” the main thrust of institutionalized antisemitism in the United States has always come from the right. That Republicans now would have you believe they care about antisemitism for purposes other than their own self-interest is a laughably hollow exercise in craven political opportunism. Marjorie Taylor Greene might be psychotic and utterly delusional, but at least she has the good sense to be upfront and honest about her bigotries. If only the rest of the Republican Party had that kind of backbone.