As we saw with Ralph Northam — Yeah, remember him? Governor Coonman? — the Democrats claim to care about a lot of things that they don’t really care about. Northam was condemned across the board for his racism, right up until the Dems realized that the only way out of that mess was to put the office in enemy hands. It was a comedy of errors: “How about replacing him with this guy? He’s black, so that’ll mean we’re not racist anymore. Wait, no, he’s accused of rape. How about this guy? No, he’s a racist too. Okay then, how about this guy? No, he’s something even worse: a Republican.” So, they just stopped pretending they cared. They dropped the story like a hot rock. They left a racist in office rather than concede any power, anywhere. Why should they care? They’re Democrats.
And now the same process is happening with the Dems’ purported opposition to anti-Semitism. If you haven’t been following along, here’s a quick recap of what just happened in Washington: Ilhan Omar is loudly and proudly anti-Semitic, her colleagues refuse to condemn it, and now, somehow, it’s the Republicans’ fault.
I’m not Jewish, and I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be Jewish. What I do know is that anti-Semitism is a litmus test to decide whether a person is capable of acting in good faith. If you genuinely believe that Jews have hypnotized the world, that anybody who disagrees has been bought off with Jewish money, and that Americans who criticize such rhetoric are more loyal to Israel than their own country — all of which are things Ilhan Omar has said — then there’s just no reasoning with you. You are an insane bigot. I don’t care if you’re wearing a hijab or a MAGA hat, an anti-Semite is an anti-Semite.
But the Democrats in Congress disagree. Yesterday they had a chance to condemn Omar’s anti-Semitism, and instead they decided to make her a victim. Here’s an excerpt from House Resolution 183, which was supposed to be a response to her remarks but ended up being a lot of nonsense like this:
Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponize hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence…
Yes, exactly, white supremacists made Ilhan Omar say all that stuff. And didn’t you know that lots of other people have been hurt as well? What’s so special about the Jews? #AllFeelingsMatter.
It’s just dumb Red vs. Blue tribalism. “Oh yeah? Well… your team is even worse!” It makes smart people say stupid things. Also, it made Paul Krugman say this:
There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes (unless you’re Donald Trump), and persistence of anti-Semitism. But only one brand of antisemitism scares me – and it’s not on the left pic.twitter.com/bvWmFfM945
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) March 6, 2019
Which is weird, because at least one of those guys is a big fan of Omar:
Omar is wrong on many things, open borders for instance, but even most republicans did noting about our borders. But the Muslims did not change our laws , open our gates, or teach our people to hate themselves – The Zionist Occupied Media & Gov did. The Zio Stranglehold must go!
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 7, 2019
That’s because there are no “brands” of anti-Semitism. There’s just anti-Semitism. Hating Jews is bad, no matter what you look like. A bunch of dorks with tiki torches have found common cause with an anti-Semitic member of Congress, and Krugman excuses her because she’s the designated victim. Hey, at least she’s not one of those guys. Go Team Blue!
Nancy Pelosi claims Omar just didn’t know what she was saying. James Clyburn said Omar’s perspective is more valuable than that of her critics because she escaped oppression in Somalia, whereas her detractors didn’t experience the Holocaust for themselves. AOC said… I dunno, it was just a bunch of gibberish. But they’re all defending Ilhan Omar and trying to distract us from her anti-Semitism. If you hold her accountable for her own words, you’re racist and Islamophobic.
In the space of just a few days, our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters have gone from “Punch Nazis!” to “Sure, the Nazis went overboard, but let’s not be too hasty…”
And guess whose fault it is?
Two dozen Republican oppose anti-hate resolution https://t.co/Dc2PL2Lu1n
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) March 8, 2019
Here’s the unassailable logic behind this:
- Ilhan Omar says a bunch of anti-Semitic crap
- Dems respond with a watered-down resolution that only emboldens her
- It’s the Republicans’ fault for not falling for it
Ilhan Omar has the right to be a bigot. Her Democrat colleagues, both in Congress and the press, have the right to circle the wagons around her. And the rest of us have the right to point out exactly what they’re doing and why it’s wrong.