Monday, March 4, 2019

Last Call For Both Sides Against The Lady

Everyone is coming down hard on Rep. Ilhan Omar, who pretty much gets accused of being anti-Semitic if she gets up in the morning.  Apparently House Democrats, or the powers that be around them, are sick of her and Nancy Pelosi is giving her a stern warning.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats will take floor action Wednesday in response to controversial remarks by Rep. Ilhan Omar about Israel, the second such rebuke of the freshman Democrat from party leaders in recent weeks.

Pelosi and other senior Democrats have drafted a resolution to address the controversy, which ballooned over the weekend following a public clash between Omar and senior Jewish lawmakers.

The resolution, which began circulating to members Monday night, comes after a backlash from top Democrats who accused Omar of anti-Semitism for referring to pro-Israel advocates’ “allegiance to a foreign country.”
The draft measure is four pages that largely details the history and recent rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S. but does not specifically name Omar, which had been an internal dispute among Democrats.

Instead, it condemns the "myth of dual loyalty," using the same language as top Democrats, like House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey, who have condemned Omar in recent days.

If the House moves ahead with the vote on Wednesday as planned, it would be an unprecedented public rebuke of Omar, who was sworn into office just over 60 days ago. Omar's office declined to comment about the Democratic resolution on Monday.

Yet these efforts by Pelosi and other Democratic leaders won't be enough for Republicans, who want a more serious punishment for Omar.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other senior Republicans are considering offering a censure motion against Omar, according to GOP sources. Republicans may also formally demand that Democrats strip Omar of her seat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, a move that Pelosi and other senior Democrats won't take at this point.

It's the "at this point" that gives the game away.   House Republicans saw Steve King stripped of his committee assignments six weeks ago for his decades-long white supremacist views, since Omar is a Muslim woman Democrat who wears a hijab, she gets about 1% of that time before she becomes the trade-off that Democrats have to accept for Steve King, and for doing far less.

The Washington Post of course immediately yells BOTH SIDES DO IT not just once from Henry Olsen...

Omar is right that it is entirely legitimate to criticize U.S. policy towards Israel, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is her repeated suggestion that support for the current policy toward Israel is the product of Jewish money buying support and/or Jews who are more loyal to Israel’s interests than they are to those of the United States. Those claims are false and bigoted.

Republicans learned the hard way with King that where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire. His repeatedly bigoted statements about immigrants were condemned but otherwise ignored by House Republican leadership. Clearly, they hoped that they were aberrations, or that the congressman would come to his senses and keep whatever bigotry he harbored in his heart to himself.

But that approach proved too lenient. Earlier this year, King finally made indisputably clear what many had long suspected during an interview with the New York Times, in which he said: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” He had finally crossed the line, and Republicans — who could not expel him from their caucus under party rules — removed him from all committee assignments. (King has argued that the quote was mischaracterized.)

Democrats need to do the same thing with Omar. They might hope that she will straighten up, but as the GOP learned with King, bigotry can be a deep-rooted plant.

...but twice, with Dana "Dick Whisperer" Milbank.

What does Rep. Ilhan Omar have in common with President Trump? Sadly, more than you would think.

The Democratic freshman from Minnesota is perhaps the most prominent victim of the anti-Muslim hatred that Trump spews. The president appeared to be referring to Omar, a Somali American, when he told a conservative audience Saturday that certain members of Congress “hate our country.” She has also been the target of regular death threats and vile displays such as a poster at a GOP-sponsored event in the West Virginia Capitol on Friday linking her to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Yet Omar herself is doing something akin to what her disgusting opponents are doing to her:
She has suggested that Americans who support Israel — by implication, Jews — are disloyal to the United States. At an event in Washington last week, Omar said, in the context of the pro-Israel lobby, that “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

The NY Times on the other hand asks the correct question, which is the exact point which has been lost in the screaming racist Islamophobia here: AIPAC does have a lot of influence in Congress in a way that almost no other lobbying organization has.

But the swirling debate not only around Ms. Omar but also around broader currents buffeting the Middle East has forced an uncomfortable re-examination of the questions that she has raised: Has Aipac — founded more than 50 years ago to “strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship” — become too powerful? And with that power, has Aipac warped the policy debate over Israel so drastically that dissenting voices are not even allowed to be heard?

Those questions have grown louder with the controversy around Ms. Omar and will grow louder still in the run-up to this month’s annual Aipac policy conference — a three-day Washington confab that is expected to draw more than 18,000 people, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and leaders of both parties in Congress. To critics, Ms. Omar had a point, even if it was expressed with unfortunate glibness. Aipac’s money does have an outsize influence.

And let's not forget that Israeli PM Netanyahu has been indicted on criminal charges and is currently facing his own massive scandal involving bribery and corruption back home.

Omar is being made an example of, and it pisses me off that the Democratic leadership is playing along.

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