Representative Nancy Mace continues to try and fail to cast herself as an underdog warrior of the people.
Mace was one of eight Republicans who voted last week to vacate the speaker and oust Kevin McCarthy, plunging the House into chaos. The chamber is set to vote Wednesday on a new speaker, but the GOP cannot seem to get its act together. Throughout it all, Mace has given the impression that she’s fighting off attacks for having principles.
Her latest attempt was to wear a T-shirt with a red “A” emblazoned on it. “I’m wearing the scarlet letter after the week that I just had last week, being a woman up here and being demonized for my vote and for my voice,” she told reporters Tuesday night.
“I’m here to let the rest of the world know and the rest of the country know, I’m on the side of the people. I’m not on the side of the establishment. And I’m going to do the right thing every single time, no matter the consequences.”
It seems Mace skipped the day in high school English literature when the class discussed The Scarlet Letter. In the novel, Puritan woman Hester Prynne is forced to wear a red letter A because she had sex out of wedlock. The book does discuss themes of female independence, but the A is primarily a punishment.
Mace appears to have taken her interpretation from the first half of the 2010 movie Easy A, which initially portrays the A as a badge of honor but then shows how it can also be isolating. Ironically, the movie also mentions several times how important it is to read the original book.
The South Carolina Republican isn’t exactly a victim here, either. Mace’s colleagues aren’t calling her “disgraceful” or threatening to kick her out of the GOP conference the way they are Matt Gaetz, who led the charge against McCarthy.
Instead, Mace’s actions have actually revealed how hypocritical she is. In January, during the seemingly interminable rounds of votes for speaker that McCarthy ultimately won, Mace criticized Gaetz for fundraising off of the ordeal.
But since voting to boot McCarthy, Mace has aggressively tried to fundraise off of her vote. She even asked for campaign donations while doing an interview inside the Capitol—a violation of House rules.
Mace, an outspoken advocate for abuse victims, has also said she will support Jim Jordan as the next speaker. Mace is apparently content to overlook the allegations that Jordan was aware of sexual abuse complaints against the doctor of the Ohio State University wrestling team, which Jordan coached, and did nothing about it.
“Yeah, I’m not familiar or aware of that. He’s not indicted on anything I’m aware of, and so I don’t know anything and can’t speak to that,” Mace said on CBS Monday.
Her comments highlight not only her hypocrisy, but the fact that she didn’t pay attention in English class: The Scarlet Letter is also critical of men who abuse their positions of power.