The View devoted 10-minutes today to Rep. Omar and the debate that transpired was like a microcosm of the larger debate taking place in Congress right now. Meghan McCain made the case that Rep. Omar’s comments were anti-Semitic and that she deserves a reprimand. She also made the case that Democrats’ reluctance to call out one of their own was a worrisome sign
“A lot of Jewish people in this country are being asked, with the rise of anti-Semitism in this country is it more important to defend party politics or is it more important to [object to] anti-Semitism,” McCain said. She continued, “In the same way I fear what’s happening with [Labour Party Leader Jeremy] Corbyn in the UK, I fear it’s seeping it’s way over here in the United States and I just present this question which may be an uncomfortable one: If what Ilhan Omar has been saying for the past few weeks were said by a white, Republican male, how would you be reacting to it right now?”
And immediately, just as there has been a divide among Democrats in Congress, there was a divide among the show’s two left-leaning co-hosts. Joy Behar, who never agrees with McCain about anything, replied, “I object to it no matter who says it.” She went on to ask why Omar seemed so focused on Israel out of all the places in the world where there are conflicts. “Why that particular country? It’s very suspicious to me,” Behar said. Without quite saying it, she was clearly suggesting Omar appears to be motivated by anti-Semitism.
And McCain chimed in again to say she “100 percent” agreed with Behar. Again, this is not something you see on the View very often.
But then co-host Sunny Hostin got going and argued that maybe, while the previous comments Omar has apologized for had crossed the line, her latest comment wasn’t so bad. From there she pivoted to an attack on the GOP. “It seems to me that Republicans are trying to use this as a wedge issue,” Hostin said. She added, “I don’t think that the Republicans have moral high ground here.” She got the biggest applause of the segment for portraying Rep. Omar as a victim of the West Virginia Republican party. And suddenly, Joy Behar no longer seemed ready to condemn Omar. Now she was focused, as she usually is, on the evildoers in the Republican Party and Trump in particular.
I really do think this is a microcosm of what has happened this week. There are Democrats who see what Rep. Omar said and know it was anti-Semitic but there are lots of Democrats arguing that condemning Omar would be a win for the GOP and therefore must, by definition, be the wrong thing to do. There are others arguing that condemning a woman of color shouldn’t happen. And those arguments carry enough weight for enough Dems that the actual resolution we’re going to get is a sort of generic grab-bag of victim groups on the left with no mention of Rep. Omar.
The clip below ends with Meghan McCain becoming tearful over what she considers creeping anti-Semitism. I think she and Sunny Hostin are both competing that they have the best emotional grounds for their argument, which isn’t very helpful in my opinion. But I think there’s also a bit of frustration on McCain’s part. Going back to her question, we all know what Democrats including Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin would be saying if Trump or any GOP male had made these comments. This shouldn’t be so hard. But in today’s Democratic Party it is.