Kevin Williamson and National Review Gag on Greene

In an invective that easily could have appeared at Salon or Huffington Post, National Review’s wannabe voice of conscience, Kevin Williamson, refers to the Republican Party as “the yellowest, most timorous, most gutless, grasping, worthless, indefensible, chickensh– political organ the world has ever seen.” It seems, however, that Williamson is condemning the Republicans for something they got right. They refused to expel from their ranks U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s 14th District, someone whom Williamson describes tout court as a “ghastly cretin” and “self-serving malicious dunce.” 

Williamson laces into Greene for “morally” violating the 14th Amendment by being “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” on January 6. He believes this to be the case, even if Greene’s guilt would be hard to prove legally. Although “there are good grounds for treating January 6 as an insurrection under law,” he insists, “apparently Joe Biden’s Justice department does not see things that way.”

Greene, “a shabby grifter,” expressed sympathy for the imprisoned rioters and stands with those zealots who don’t believe that Joe Biden really won the 2020 presidential election. If Biden’s Attorney General decided to prosecute some of the more influential election skeptics as complicit in insurrection, other opportunities would avail themselves for dealing with treasonous Americans. Merrick Garland could investigate troublemakers in the media, e.g., Tucker Carlson, Miranda Devine, Julie Kelly, filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, and American Greatness contributors who share Greene’s skepticism about the 2020 election. Why let any of these insurrectionary skeptics off the hook?

Williamson has been a persistent NeverTrumper, and so it’s no surprise that he should continue his vendetta against those who supported his bête noire. Since the much-noted illegal entry into the Senate building on January 6 is not being elevated as what it supposedly was, namely a full-blown insurrection, the case for disqualifying Greene’s candidacy recently heard by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg (the even more radical sister of Nina Totenberg of NPR fame) has “no firm legal basis.” In this suit, Greene is accused of “engaging in insurrection” by “rhetorically challenging” the declared election results. Williamson must reject that charge since the Biden Administration has sadly not declared the events of January 6 to be a rebellion against our lawfully elected government. Because of the pussyfooting Garland, “a coward who is not up to his job,” Williamson must turn to “the people of Georgia’s Fourteenth District” to vote their congresswoman out of office. Both “patriotism and self-respect” require them to make that decision. 

I wonder (yes, I am being facetious) if Williamson would treat the Summer of Love in 2020 as an armed insurrection. Cities were then pillaged, policemen and shopkeepers of all hues assaulted and killed, and government buildings vandalized and burned. Meanwhile Democratic leaders like Kamala Harris and Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) stoked the fires by publicly defending the rioters. Not wishing to be left behind, Joe Biden’s staff ran to bail out imprisoned vandals, while all Democratic hopefuls deplored the white racism and police violence that allegedly led to these “incidents.”

Would Williamson rage against such black congressional firebrands as Waters, Cori Bush (D-Mo.), or Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), all of whom have said far more provocative things than Greene has said, and did so amid escalating racial tensions? If Greene’s questioning of the 2020 race and her sympathy for those imprisoned indefinitely for the January 6 break-in were “insurrectionary,” how should we process Bush’s entirely unproved allegation that white supremacists shot at her during the Ferguson, Missouri disturbances in 2014? Is inciting racial riots, or making up lies about Trump’s Russia collusion as wicked as what Greene did? If not, why not?

Allow me to answer my own question. Williamson would like to be seen as a no-holds-barred journalist but tries very hard not to step on too many leftist toes. For example, he produced a famous broadside against “white victimization,” in which he avoided mentioning nonwhite welfare recipients among those whom he considers a social burden. Williamson also has no trouble decrying Trump supporters as insurrectionists but avoids pinning that label on leftist congressmen.

For me Williamson’s tear against Greene was truly over the top. He is unfairly slamming a gutsy congresswoman, who was deserted by members of her own party when the Democrats stripped her of committee assignments in 2021. This is the same Congress that allows such morally compromised Democrats as Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Waters to sit on powerful committees undisturbed. 

Despite her isolation, Greene keeps coming after the “fake media” and her hypocritical colleagues with admirable thumos. She behaves like a Democrat in the relentless way she fights. People like Waters, Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have met their match in this embattled Georgia lady. Next to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Kevin Williamson, she is a model of courage, to whom I would gladly give my vote in Georgia’s 14th District, or anywhere else. Fortunately, Greene won’t need my vote because her electorate appreciates her feistiness. The appeasers at National Review admit that with deep regret.

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About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.

Photo: US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, September 24, 2021. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images