She isn't contrite, sorry, or chastened. She's taking a victory lap. When the House voted to condemn Steve King earlier this year, perhaps an adviser should have counseled him to put out a triumphant statement about forcing a complicated but essential conversation about Western civilization. Great "progress." Big win. That would definitely have been allowed to fly, right? In fairness, he couldn't have been this brazen because his party stood firmly against him. The GOP didn't demand a slew of whataboutist deflections be inserted into any legislative language, and leadership stripped him of his committee assignments. Omar, by contrast, not only faced no consequence for her latest descent into anti-Semitism, she stirred a partisan rebellion that further empowered her. And she's flaunting it:
Our nation is having a difficult conversation, but we believe this is great progress. pic.twitter.com/gSua9a8mki— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 7, 2019
OMAR SPEAKS:— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) March 8, 2019
“I am certainly not looking to be comfortable, and I don’t want everyone necessarily to feel comfortable around me,” she tells me. “I’m OK with taking the blows if it means it will ignite conversations that no one was willing to have before.” https://t.co/8atQduvFhF
Hey, if she has to make Jews feel "uncomfortable" by trafficking in well-worn anti-Semitic bigotry, so be it. Conversations have been started, after all. Two people who wholeheartedly agree: Virulent anti-semites David Duke and Linda Sarsour, who are delighted by yesterday's "All Lives Matter"-style charade by House Democrats. Nancy Pelosi, who was battered into an embarrassing retreat on the resolution, continues the embarrassment:
By Pelosi's telling, Omar is just a clueless young girl who doesn't understand the words she's using. Plus, let's face it, she's from another culture, another senior Democrat surreally chimed in. Was that more or less surreal than James Clyburn's effective 'check your privilege' slap at descendants of Holocaust victims in the context of defending Omar? You decide. It seems pretty clear that if Pelosi had control of her caucus and a moral compass, she'd boot Omar from the Foreign Relations Committee. But even by the Speaker's own excuse-making standards, shouldn't Omar be reassigned? Pelosi's affirmative defense of Omar is that she's just too slow and confused to adequately comprehend the consequences of her rhetoric, so maybe shuffling her off to some other Congressional panel is in order, no? Here's the problem with that infantilization-reliant framing:
Jewish groups in Minnesota had a meeting with her last year over this kind of stuff. https://t.co/ttIuvz2ISS— neontaster (@neontaster) March 8, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar has been meeting with Jewish leaders in Minnesota since last year. Her comments are confusing them: “She claimed ignorance... I was thinking, wait a minute, she can’t claim that, I met with her.” https://t.co/9VCItFgf7q— Natalie Andrews (@nataliewsj) March 8, 2019
Some Jewish leaders in her home state of Minnesota say Ms. Omar’s comments are becoming too repetitive to be accidental. They have met with her repeatedly and made their views known after statements she has made this year and in the past. Last month, when she apologized for a tweet linking Jews with money, and said she was still learning, that rang untrue to Minneapolis state Sen. Ron Latz, who lives in Ms. Omar’s district. “She claimed ignorance about the impact of what she was saying,” he said. “I was thinking, wait a minute, she can’t claim that, I met with her.”
Following previous anti-Semitic outbursts, Omar has been dragooned into "listening sessions" with Jewish groups, designed to educate her on her apparent blind spots, or whatever. She appears to have emerged from those lessons having learned nothing. Some of the people who met with her, and talked through these exact issues, know for a fact that her continued stereotyping cannot be credibly attributed to ignorance. They've personally worked with her on this issue. She knows what she's doing. She can't help herself. This is who she is. Like Ralph 'Blackface' Northam, she's just doubling down, and it's working out pretty well for both of them.
Meanwhile, since I mentioned the Steve King flap earlier, here's another thought: That vote was nearly unanimous, with just one dissenter: A Democrat who believed the resolution's verbiage did not go far enough in its specificity and severity. Based on similar objections, nearly two dozen Republicans (all of whom voted to reprimand King and denounce racism) voted against the Dems' bill yesterday, including a Jewish member of the chamber. Their message was obvious: The resolution had become a toothless, gauzy, catch-all sham, specifically designed to take the heat off of the member of Congress who'd yet again "accidentally" stumbled into anti-Semitism. But that's not how some intrepid members of the media chose to interpret it:
House Democrats have been under pressure for a week on anti-semitism but House Republicans have bailed them out.— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) March 7, 2019
No 3 house r Liz Cheney, Lee zeldin and Louie Gohmert vote no. Jeff Duncan present.
An embarrassing moment for house gop.
Good grief. Guess who immediately latched on to this moronic spin? Surprise:
Where’s the outrage over the 23 GOP members who voted NO on a resolution condemning bigotry today?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2019
Oh, there’s none?
Did they get called out, raked over, ambushed in halls and relentlessly asked why not?
No? Okay. Got it.
The actual bigot is the victim, you see, and the people angry that she's being given cover for her bigotry are 'pro-hate.' Quite a take. This is the element of the party that's winning and growing its influence. Pay attention, voters. 'Corbynization' is underway. Parting thought: Repeated anti-Semitism may be seen by many progressives as an unfortunate but pardonable offense on the Great March Toward Progress. But is this outrageous heresy forgivable?