It’s. On. And maybe not just between Ilhan Omar and Jewish members of the House Democratic caucus, either. I’d missed Omar’s response to the letter from twelve of her caucus colleagues when I wrote the earlier post, but hoo boy:
It’s shameful for colleagues who call me when they need my support to now put out a statement asking for “clarification” and not just call.
The islamophobic tropes in this statement are offensive. The constant harassment & silencing from the signers of this letter is unbearable. https://t.co/37dy2UduW0
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) June 10, 2021
This looks like a classic case of projection, right down to the accusation of shamefulness. After all, Omar has a track record of anti-Semitism established in her first time in the House, for which she narrowly escaped meaningful censure. Omar doesn’t show the slightest sense of shame for comparing the US to Hamas and the Taliban, let alone Israel to either of them — and accuses her colleagues of Islamophobia while complaining about their implied accusation of anti-Semitism.
Well, the best defense is a good offense, I suppose … or maybe just being offensive. As well as incoherent, as Newsweek editor Batya Ungar-Sargon points out:
Omar's response is classic gaslighting: She spent weeks defending Hamas but now calls it "Islamophobic" for colleagues to ask about giving cover to terrorist organizations. She says they are silencing her when they are literally asking her to clarify – i.e. to speak! pic.twitter.com/FIoRjRel4u
— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) June 10, 2021
Anyway, this raises the stakes for House Democratic leadership. It might raise the stakes for Omar’s fellow Squad members, too: do Cori Bush, Ayanna Presley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really want a piece of this fight? (Presumably Rashida Tlaib will be all-in for it.) How hard will media outlets press that question to the progressives in the House and Senate? This seems like a prime opportunity for Akinization, although that usually only applies to Republicans. The more that Omar keeps blowing this up, the more blowback is possible, especially for the vulnerable incumbents in swing districts that give Nancy Pelosi the gavel.
If that begins — I wouldn’t bet on that, but it’s possible — Pelosi will have no choice but to bring Omar to account for her radical, anti-Semitic, and anti-American statements. In the meantime … pass the popcorn.
Update: Omar spokesperson Jeremy Slevin pours gasoline on the fire:
Rep. Ilhan Omar's spox out with a statement this AM accusing her Democratic colleagues of "ginning up… Islamophobic hate against her." pic.twitter.com/Z4p9PbehFQ
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 10, 2021
“And now some of her own Democratic colleagues are ginning up the same Islamophobic hate against her,” Slevin writes in this official statement, “accusing her of ‘giving cover to terrorist groups’ simply for exercising oversight over a criminal investigation.” Er, no. They criticized Omar for her tweet that equated Hamas and the Taliban to the US and Israel, an absurd construction that had nothing to do with “exercising oversight.”
This trainwreck is taking aim almost directly at Nancy Pelosi. She’d better either get ahead of it or find an excuse to get out of its way — fast.