To hear Kevin McCarthy tell it, Marjorie Taylor Greene was deeply remorseful and repentant about her past intolerant social media posts during a gathering of House Republicans on Wednesday night.
“She said she was wrong,” said the House Majority Leader of the freshman Georgia Republican. “She has reached out in other ways and forms and nothing that she said has been based upon since she’s been a member of Congress … I think everybody should hear that.”
Really? So Greene, who has voiced and supported a variety of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic views as well as publicly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory, just took it all back? And, according to sources in the room, received applause for doing so?
That is interesting! Mostly because there is zero public evidence to suggest that Greene is remorseful – in the least – about, well, anything.
In an interview Wednesday afternoon with the conservative Washington Examiner, Greene sounded a distinctly sorry-not-sorry vibe. Here’s a taste:
“I think Republicans need to get back to who they are, and they need to stop talking and actually doing. And Kevin McCarthy and all these leaders, the leadership, and everyone is proving that they are all talk and not about action, and they’re just all about doing business as usual in Washington. And so, what’s the difference between them and the Democrats? There isn’t a difference.”
Greene has also repeatedly worked to raise money off of all of the controversy. “Expelled today,” read the subject line of an email fundraising appeal she sent out on Wednesday.
“Today’s the day I could be removed from committees, or worse, expelled from Congress,” she wrote. “Why? Because I stood up for President Trump. I stand for America First. I filed Articles of Impeachment against Joe Biden, and I speak the truth.”
And remember that Greene pointedly refused to apologize for her past views during a one-on-one meeting with McCarthy on Tuesday night, according to CNN reporting.
So, yeah, color me skeptical about the idea that Greene has had some sort of revelation about her noxious past views. The truth – for all of us but especially for politicians – is that who you are (and what you say) publicly is what matters most.
As in: Your words and actions have consequences. And if you want to apologize for things you said (or tweeted or liked on Facebook) publicly, the best (and really only) way to do that is to say you are sorry publicly.
In the words of former NFL coach (and noted grocery shopper) Bill Parcells: “You are what your record says you are.”
“These are words of the past,” Greene said in a speech on the House floor Thursday – before the vote that stripped her of her committee assignments. (Eleven Republicans joined Democrats to pass the measure). She also said she had “regret” for liking QAnon posts in 2018. She did not, it’s worth noting, say the word “sorry.”
She also spent much of the 10-minute speech laying blame for her own words (and social media posts) at the feet of the media. In closing, she said that the media was “just as guilty as QAnon” for spreading falsehoods.
So, not sorry then?