Our own North Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Rome, has never seen a camera she didn't like. So there she was last week in Ringgold, Georgia, to thrill anew at the sound of digital news cameras click, click, clicking away. The cameras were there to capture her meeting with the Catoosa County Veterans Memorial Flag Committee as they collected 400 new American flags she "helped them order" in advance of Ringgold's Festival of Flags.
During this fall's always heart-warming biannual flags event, more than 1,900 flags and wooden crosses will be erected throughout the city to honor deceased service members and veterans from Catoosa County. Each handmade cross has a veteran's name and branch of service listed on it. It's a wonderful tribute in the county, and this fall the flags will go up on Nov. 4 and will stay up for at least two weeks, coming down sometime after Veterans Day. They will go up again next year ahead of Memorial Day.
"I'm so proud of the people here and their patriotism," Greene said Tuesday as she took a tour to look at the crosses that have been used during the festival in previous years.
Of course it might also be true that she needs a little voter love.
Seven candidates are challenging her in 2022.
So in Catoosa County, where veteran love is everywhere, she was quick to add that she felt it was particularly important to honor the military this year following the deaths of 13 U.S. service members in Afghanistan in August.
"Those young soldiers shouldn't have died. We need to do everything we can right now to make sure veterans know how much we love them and understand we really appreciate them," Greene said.
No, they shouldn't have died. But here's the thing. Neither should the 81 Catoosa County residents who have died of COVID-19 since May 2020. Likewise, more than 8,060 Catoosa County residents shouldn't have become ill with the novel coronavirus and 289 should not have been hospitalized.
Where are those flags?
When will Marjorie Taylor Greene and her GOP kin stop misleading Catoosa County (where less than 30% of the population is fully vaccinated) and other Georgia voters about COVID-19? Spoiler alert: That "when" was not last week. Or ever.
In case you might have forgotten, here's what Marjorie Taylor Greene said in mid-August about COVID-19 deaths:
"Yes, the waiting rooms get full. But guess what? The waiting rooms are full of all kinds of things, not just COVID... You know, we're human, we can't live forever ..."
Poor MTG. The waiting rooms are where the magazines are. The hospital crises were in the ICUs where beds, ventilators, IV stands and nurses were scarce.
Greene must have missed these headlines from her locale:
* "Kemp deploying more National Guard troops to hospitals"
That was on Aug. 31 when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he would deploy an additional 2,500 Guard troops to hospitals overwhelmed by unvaccinated COVID-19 patients.
"The numbers do not lie: 95 percent of the people in the hospital with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated," Kemp said at a news conference as he announced his plan. Of course, Kemp, too, being a Republican politician, continues to resist mask mandates or to impose any new restrictions on businesses or gatherings. To date only 45% of Georgia's population is fully vaccinated. That puts the Peach State squarely on the bottom 10 list of the nation — right there with Tennessee and the other states that also have the highest per-capita COVID rates.
* "Children have led Georgia's delta-driven COVID-19 surge"
On Tuesday, we learned that children in Georgia had far higher rates of infection with COVID-19 than any other age groups during the surge fueled by the delta variant this fall, according to a new report by the Georgia Department of Public Health.
In the early weeks of school last year, when online attendance was far more common than it is now, the child infection numbers were relatively low: 1,205 cases in a week in late August among kids 11-17, and 413 cases for those aged 5-10. That same week this year, the numbers climbed to 11,908 and 6,640 cases, respectively.
No wonder Georgia is No. 2 in the country — behind only Tennessee — for school closures in just the first several weeks of the 2021 school year.
But don't expect Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents Georgians in Walker, Whitfield, Catoosa and other counties in the northwest corner of the state, to be courting voters about sensible masking or safe and effective vaccines.
After all, this Trump acolyte already has compared mask mandates at the U.S Capitol to the Holocaust. And right after she apologized for that (under censure threats from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress), she tweeted that people don't need "medical brown shirts" knocking on doors to urge them to get vaccinated. It was another Nazi-era comparison referring to the 1920s and '30s paramilitary organization that helped facilitate the rise of the Nazis and Hitler.
No, Greene won't raise a hand to stop the right-wing lies and hysteria over masks or vaccines. In fact, she'll just keep dishing out more misinformation.
While in Catoosa County, she also told reporters what she thinks of President Joe Biden mandating businesses with 100 or more workers to require their employees to get vaccines or be regularly tested for the virus.
"I call it corporate communism. This is where we're seeing Communist-type tactics push through the corporations," she said, according to WDEF.
We'd like to think there's a remedy for Marjorie Taylor Greene. But there seems to be no cure for stupid.