These two have been well trained by progressives since the last time someone in the caucus made an Israel-related mess on the House floor.
Republicans’ desperate attempts to smear @RepRashida & misrepresent her comments are outrageous. President @realDonaldTrump & House GOP should apologize to Rep. Tlaib & the American people for their gross misrepresentations.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 13, 2019
If you read Rep. @RashidaTlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context. They must stop, and they owe her an apology.
— Steny Hoyer (@LeaderHoyer) May 13, 2019
After the Ilhan Omar “dual loyalty” episode, a Twitter pal asked me why I and other righties were so upset by it. Hadn’t the House passed a resolution condemning anti-semitism, even specifically denouncing the sort of loyalty smear that Omar had used? Sure, but to focus on the resolution was to miss the big picture. That episode was the second time in the span of a few weeks that Omar had inflamed her own caucus with a dubious swipe at Israel. The first was in February when she tweeted about AIPAC using its “Benjamins” to supposedly steer U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. Pelosi and Hoyer came down hard on her after that in a written statement; the fact that she got caught questioning the loyalty of American supporters of Israel a few weeks later logically meant that Pelosi would have to come down even harder on her that time, or so everyone thought. The first message, after all, clearly hadn’t been received.
But the left wouldn’t stand for it. They deferred to Pelosi in rebuking Omar over the AIPAC comments but they wouldn’t stand for a second rebuke so soon even though disgust at her “dual loyalty” didn’t fall along strictly partisan lines. Pro-Israel Democrats were upset by it too. Which may explain why progressives were so eager to leap to Omar’s defense in that case: They may have seen the incident as a proxy war within the party for influence over the leadership on foreign policy, with lefties determined to flex their muscle against hawks even if it meant stooping to defend something as disgusting as a loyalty smear.
And they won. Pelosi passed a token resolution about anti-semitism but it didn’t name Omar. The Speaker even took to spinning her loyalty comment on the absurd grounds that it might have been a linguistic misunderstanding by Omar. She hasn’t dared reprimand Omar since. And now here she is going to bat for Rashida Tlaib, the caucus’s other anti-Israel far-left freshman, even though her revisionist history about how Palestinians greeted Jews after World War II was sufficiently ridiculous to have been called out by CNN today.
The message is clear: There’ll be no more reprimands from leadership, no matter how batsh*t things get. In fact, where opportunities to defend Omar and Tlaib present themselves, Pelosi will happily seize them to earn back some progressive cred. Trump left her an opening today with this tweet:
Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
Trump was referring to Tlaib saying she felt a “calming feeling” when she thinks about the Holocaust, but that part of what she said was taken out of context. The “calming feeling” she had wasn’t about Jews being killed, it was about Palestinians supposedly rallying to provide “safe haven” to Jewish refugees from Europe. She wasn’t cheering on the Holocaust — but she was whitewashing Palestinian attitudes towards Jews, egregiously, to keep up the pretense that somehow Jews are “guests” in the Holy Land who betrayed their gracious Palestinian hosts by seizing their land. That’s what Trump should have dinged her for. But since he didn’t, and since Pelosi and Hoyer are eager to kiss a little progressive ass on foreign policy when they can, they punched back at him on Tlaib’s behalf.
Exit question via Adam Rubinstein, reading Pelosi’s and Hoyer’s tweets: “Corbynization … complete?”