Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during at a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing with IRS whistleblowers, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Washington. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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Apparently Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, will help lead the House of Representatives in the joint House-Senate consideration of the nation’s military budget. Greene is not a member of the House Armed Services Committee and has never served in uniform. Reportedly, Greene previously said on Lou Dobbs’ radio show that military service was like “throwing your life away.” What’s thrown away is trash; so apparently those of us who are serving or have served are trash. Oh well, free speech.

But did any Republican in Washington react to Greene’s comment? Did Maine’s own Susan Collins? If so, I didn’t hear it. I know, the House and Senate are separate, independent chambers, and must leave each other alone. But this is not about congressional privileges. This is about the men and women who willingly put their lives in harm’s way to protect our lives. Your life, my life. Every day and every night, including weekends and holidays.

Adult Republicans will reassure us that Greene and her ilk are like children playing in the yard: “Ignore them. They can’t do any harm.” Well, actually they can. In an uncertain world, an image of America being governed by children is itself harm. Serve a day in uniform, anywhere at sea or abroad, and you will sense it. In Aretha Franklin’s breathtaking spelling, it’s called R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Without that, America’s not America.

Stefan Nadzo