Whether through a Faustian bargain or the unwitting possession of a cursed monkey paw, the Republican Party has taken Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — arguably the most ludicrous lawmaker in an age of pervasive ludicrousness — and awarded her legitimacy.
She now sits on important congressional committees. Her I’d-like-to-speak-with-your-manager voice will be heard, and the questions that lurk in her mind, a place of cobwebs and dust, will be asked. She has become, to the consternation of a dwindling number of “normal” Republicans, the face of the GOP.
Last week, during a House Oversight and Accountability Hearing, she asked U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro how much COVID-19 relief money was used to teach critical race theory. She explained that critical race theory is “a racist curriculum used to teach children that somehow their white skin is not equal to black skin and other things in education,” which sounds like something an ignorant and mildly racist white person would say if you asked them to define critical race theory and they tried, and failed, to make up a definition.
Marjorie Taylor Greene and the mysterious $5.1 billion Illinois school
She then told Dodaro, with great confidence, that one Illinois elementary school received $5.1 billion for “equity and diversity.” I live in Illinois. That figure is more than half the entire state budget for K-12 education, and unless there’s an elementary school with solid gold stairwells and limousine bus service that I’m unaware of, that number is nonsense.
And therein lies the problem. For those who don’t consider algebra a form of liberal indoctrination, Greene’s unerring stupidity and ease with dishonesty are frustrating. How on earth is a person like this being taken seriously?
Republicans have built MTG a pedestal
I’d argue we need to stop asking that question. It’s an attempt to apply logic to something wholly illogical, and it’s an inquiry that will never pierce the membrane of the right-wing bubble Greene inhabits.
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Stop trying to make sense of her, because she lives in a world of nonsense and speaks a language most regular Americans will, thankfully, never understand.
Comparing Tyre Nichols to Ashli Babbitt?
During a House Oversight Committee meeting last week, Republican lawmakers decided to do away with the civil rights subcommittee, because apparently America faces no more civil rights issues.
One Democrat brought up the horrific beating death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers as an example of why the civil rights subcommittee was still necessary.
Greene responded in a way that suggested she had swallowed a Fox News’ Tucker Carlson pill whole: “I’d like to also point something that I’d hope you share with me: There’s a woman in this room whose daughter was murdered on January 6, Ashli Babbitt.”
Preparing for this performative moment, Greene had invited Babbitt’s mother to the meeting. Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by a police officer during the domestic terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She and other members of a mob seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election faced off with police officers near the Speaker’s Lobby. Warned to stop by the police, Babbitt tried to climb through the broken window of a barricaded door when she was shot.
Nichols, on the other hand, was brutally beaten by a group of police officers for no apparent reason.
Reality means nothing to lawmakers like Greene
Greene continued to dissemble about Babbitt: “As a matter of fact, no one has cared about the person that shot and killed her. And no one in this Congress has really addressed that issue. And I believe that there are many people that came into the Capitol on Jan. 6, whose civil rights and liberties are being violated heavily.”
That’s a bunch of pro-insurrection gibberish. Babbitt’s death was thoroughly investigated, the police officer’s action was deemed lawful and, in fact, an internal U.S. Capitol Police investigation said the shooting “potentially saved Members and staff from serious injury and possible death from a large crowd of rioters who forced their way into the U.S. Capitol and to the House Chamber where Members and staff were steps away.”
There is zero equivalence between a Black man getting beaten to death by police officers following a routine traffic stop and an insurrectionist, part of a group that had already beaten several police officers half to death, getting shot because she and her mob were literally attacking the U.S. government.
Anything can make sense if Fox News tells you it makes sense
But in Greene’s world, this is a legitimate gripe. It’s as if she doesn’t speak our native tongue, but spins words and conspiracies embraced as gospel among an insular swath of Americans whose lives are defined by lies and bent reality.
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Feeling exasperated that Greene is where she is, that she somehow overcame Jewish-space-laser comments and an obvious absence of intellect, is a waste of energy. She won’t make sense to people outside that spooky, Fox News-fed world any more than the rest of us will make sense to them.
We are the enemy. We are non–believers. We are Marxist or socialists or communists or woke or whatever the derisive term of the day happens to be.
Stop trying to figure out people like Greene – just give them the derision they deserve
We should mock Republicans like Greene, as they are unerringly mock–able and undeserving of respect. We should fight against their bizarro worldview and invariably white-centric policies and do all we can to elect lawmakers who recognize fact from fiction.
But slapping our foreheads in frustration over the pedestal Republicans built for Greene, trying to figure out how anyone with a pulse could possibly take her seriously? That’s just a waste of time. That requires a deeper understanding of the fever swamps Greene and other likes her call home.
And trust me, you don’t want to go there. You’ll end up dumber, wet and covered in muck.
Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Story Credit: usatoday.com