Once upon a time the Democratic Party went out of its way to claim the high moral ground in opposing hate in all its forms, though seasoned political watchers have long known that the party never did oppose all hate — just certain forms of hate that were politically expedient to oppose as it sought to ingratiate itself with key demographics.
You might even say that the Democratic Party is the ultimate identity politics party, having years ago abandoned the large majority of white, middle-class voters in its pursuit of a majority governing coalition built with various minority groups.
But practicing identity politics is risky business because ultimately, if you try to stitch together too many minority groups that have too many disparate social, cultural, and political objectives and priorities, someone in the coalition will get their toes stepped on.
Since the election of a group of Muslim women in the 2018 midterms, Democratic leaders have had an increasingly tough time keeping a lid on their obvious and bigoted attempts to disparage Jews — those living abroad, mostly, but also American Jews. One of the worst offenders has been Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), whose serial anti-Semitism rose to crisis level last week.
The final straw was Omar’s overt suggestion that many members of Congress had a stronger allegiance to Israel than their own country, a blatantly inappropriate insult that understandably drew a loud and bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers and offended Jewish and pro-Israel groups.
Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Omar’s remarks amounted to a “vile anti-Semitic slur” and called on her to apologize immediately. (Related: It’s time for radical, Israel-hating Leftist Ilhan Omar to resign from Congress for racist attacks on Jewish people.)
“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” said the New York Dem, who is Jewish.
“Her comments were outrageous and deeply hurtful, and I ask that she retract them, apologize, and commit to making her case on policy issues without resorting to attacks that have no place in the Foreign Affairs Committee or the House of Representatives.”
Not satisfied with her rather lame apology, POTUS Donald Trump called Omar out on Twitter.
The president said it was “terrible” what Omar said, adding: “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. What she said is so deep-seated in her heart.” He also said he believes her apology was “lame and she didn’t mean a word of it.”
Whether it was or not, House Democratic leaders found themselves boxed in, needing to do something to at least make it appear that they were upset with Omar while sending a message that, you know, all hate is hate and it shouldn’t happen, yada, yada, yada.
The result: A watered-down resolution that condemned “anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia,” according to Roll Call — though the resolution was prompted by Omar’s anti-Semitism, not someone else’s “racism” or “Islamophobia.” What’s more, the resolution didn’t even mention Omar by name.
But that wasn’t the only folly. As The National Sentinel reported:
The absurdity of it all wasn’t lost on Republicans, especially Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia. During a floor speech on Wednesday, he decried the lengthy process and wondered aloud why it was taking majority Democrats, who claim to have cornered the market on combating “intolerance” and “hate,” nearly a week to craft a formal rebuke.
The watered down ‘anti-hate’ resolution should have been a specific rebuke of anti-Semitism by a specific lawmaker. But instead, the Democrat Party whiffed on the condemnation, making it now, officially, the party of Jewish hate.