Nobody in the GOP is inciting violence against Ilhan Omar

The real danger in regard to Democrats accusing Republicans like Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Donald Trump, and outlets like the New York Post, of incitement to violence is that the charge is one of very few that can be used to erase First Amendment free speech protections. It’s no accident that this is the word being used. But it is an absurd accusation.

No Democrat will actually say that Crenshaw, Trump, or the New York Post editors desire harm to come to Omar, because obviously they don’t. And that takes incitement off the table. What they are saying, in classic progressive tones, is that Omar is a member of a vulnerable, marginalized minority, so attacks on her carry an extra threat of violence.

It is hard to know if this is true, but it might be. Omar has been the subject of death threats, including the arrest of one man. Perhaps Omar’s critics should take extra care in framing their attacks. But Omar is a public figure, a politician thrust into vast prominence and influence. She has to be fair game for direct criticism. And her identity cannot be allowed to transform a plain political attack into an incitement to violence.