March 07, 2019
This wasn’t how the first three months were supposed to go. After waiting years to take on Donald Trump, Democrats have to be in complete disbelief at the mess they’ve made of the House majority. When they aren’t accidentally exonerating the president, they’re defending infanticide. Their Green New Deal is a joke, but their contempt for half the country is not. And now they’re trying to decide if hating Jews is an acceptable party plank. If this is the Left’s best argument for 2020, bring it on.
“Things have not gone according to plan” is how the New York Times so politely put it. But nothing, they admit, quite compares to the civil war Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) started when she demeaned the Jewish people – and refused to sincerely apologize. Of course, this anti-Semitism is nothing new for Omar, who in 2012 tweeted (and later deleted) that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” and then begged, “Allah [to] awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” This time around, she accused her pro-Israel colleagues – including Jewish Democrats -- of being bought and co-opted by a foreign government.
Across both parties, members were incensed. Dozens of Democrats -- from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) – lined up to demand her apology. “When someone uses hateful and offensive tropes and words against people of any faith, I will not be silent,” Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) tweeted, insisting that her comments were deeply hurtful to Jews, including himself. But there were other, more “progressive” Democrats, who were not so offended. Instead, they did their own share of offending, suggesting that Omar’s suffering is far worse than the Jews of World War II. “There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors,’” House Minority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said. But “it’s more personal with her,” he insisted. “I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”
Others tried to turn Omar’s comments around on the GOP -- because apparently, it’s much easier to criticize Republicans than deal with the hate in their own party. They’re only targeting us, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) said, because “we are Muslim” (a charge so ridiculous that even the Washington Post cried foul). Amazingly, the 2020 hopefuls -- Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) – also kicked their defense of Omar into high gear. Others, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) bucked Pelosi outright, insisting a resolution condemning anti-Semitism wasn’t necessary. “[W]here are the resolutions against homophobic statements?” she argued. Exactly, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) agreed. “We need to have an equity in our outrage.”
So what did Democrats do? In typical fashion, they turned the party’s denouncement of bigotry into a protest of Islamophobia. “What we’re against is hate,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) tried to explain. But what he means is that they’re against hate from everyone else. Most liberals have no trouble maligning Christians or their beliefs. In fact, religious intolerance is the price of admission these days, as Joe Biden illustrated so clearly last week. Now, apparently, bashing Jews is “considered acceptable in the Democratic Party -- as long as it gets subsequently laundered as mere criticism of Israel,” Philip Klein fumes. Even more amazing, liberals seem to be suggesting that not only will anti-Semitism “be tolerated within their party, but the more unapologetic somebody is about their anti-Semitism, the more likely they are to be defended.”
After watching the party excuse everything from racism to infanticide, Americans must be wondering: is there anything Democrats will condemn? Americans are right to be offended, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser of American Islamic Forum for Democracy told Fox News. Omar’s worldview is “incompatible with … [the worldview that] we would hope a congressperson would have.”
“There’s no moral equivalency in western history between anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bias. There isn’t.” As an American Muslim, he says he’s “insulted” that the resolution doesn’t even name Ilhan Omar. “When did congressional office become a deprogramming rehab for radical Islamist ideologies?... They’re treating her like a child. When they did a resolution against Steve King and he was removed from committees, I don’t remember them talking about other forms of hate because he was treated as an adult, as he should have been, who should have been removed from his committee. She should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee.”
But in this age of unbridled extremism, true accountability isn’t possible. The Democrats have carved out such a radical position that there’s no room for humanizing anyone. As they’ve reminded us so many times before, they don’t believe in basic decency or civility – or, life, democracy, capitalism, science, and God. Democrats are on an island of their own making -- and soon, there won’t be space for anyone except the handful of radicals who put them there.
For more on the Omar controversy, don’t miss my conversation with American Values’ Gary Bauer on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch.”
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.