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Image: U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene holds news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., addresses a news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5, 2021.Sarah Silbiger / Reuters

Marjorie Taylor Greene latest to see Jan. 6 rioters as victims

I wouldn't say Marjorie Taylor Greene is in good company, but she certainly has plenty of company.

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At face value, the fact that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is defending the Jan. 6 insurrectionist rioters, and opposes the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on the Capitol, is the least surprising story in recent memory. But there is a larger context to this.

Georgia GOP Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene said supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are "being abused" in federal custody as she blasted House calls for a commission to study the insurrection.

"The people that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6 are being abused," the right-wing congresswoman said during remarks on the House floor. As proof, the Georgia Republican claimed that some of those who participated in the deadly riot are being held "in solitary confinement."

As a rule, Greene's nonsense is easy to dismiss, since she's obviously not a serious person. Of course GOP extremist sees the insurrectionists as victims. Of course she's against an independent examination of the attack.

What's more significant is the emergence of a growing Republican contingent that appears desperate to whitewash what transpired on Jan. 6. From just the last week:

  • Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) rejected the idea that the insurrectionist violence constituted "an insurrection," adding that Trump's rabid mob behaved "in an orderly fashion." The Georgia Republican went on to say, "[I]f you didn't know that TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit."
  • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) blasted the Justice Department for "harassing" suspected rioters, whom he described as "peaceful patriots."
  • Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) said, "It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others."
  • "I don't know who did the poll to say that they were Trump supporters," Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) said, adding that Trump shouldn't be blamed for inciting the attack.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) lent his support to his right-wing colleagues late last week, trying to argue that there are worse things than an insurrectionist riot inside the nation's seat of government.

Outside the House, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has also argued that the armed rioters may not have actually been armed, adding soon after that the rioters' patriotism is worthy of praise. In March, Donald Trump, who played a key role in inciting the violence, got in on the game, insisting that the Capitol attackers posed "zero threat," and were merely "hugging and kissing the police and the guards."

Taken together, there's a loud and growing Republican faction that seems eager to rewrite the history the world saw unfold on camera just four months ago.

I wouldn't say Greene is in good company, but she certainly has plenty of company.