Can you feel it in the air? We had the big vote yesterday and Democrats were united in voting to condemn hate in all its forms. As John Ekdahl pointed out, you can feel the change all around you:
America feels better on the first full day without hate
— American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda (@JohnEkdahl) March 8, 2019
Having solved the hate problem it’s hard to see what’s Democrats could do for an encore. Actually, that’s a good question. What will they do for an encore? I’m genuinely curious about what happens the next time Rep. Omar launches into a not-so-subtle attack on Jews and their money and their divided loyalties. Democrats can’t pass the same vague resolution twice, can they?
They better think about it because there’s really not much chance Omar is going to stop. Contrary to Nancy Pelosi’s excuse yesterday that Rep. Omar just doesn’t understand what she’s saying, Politico reports Omar knows exactly what she’s doing:
“I am certainly not looking to be comfortable, and I don’t want everyone necessarily to feel comfortable around me,” she told me, a mischievous smile tugging at her lips. “I think really the most exciting things happen when people are extremely uncomfortable.”…
Just hours before the videotaped comments thrust the congresswoman back into the national limelight, Omar told me that Washington—and especially her Democratic colleagues—should get used to her troublemaking.
“As much as other people are uncomfortable, I’m excited about the change in tone that has taken place that is extremely positive. The insightful conversations that we’re having about money and its influence in Washington. And my ability, I think, to agitate our foreign policy discussions in a way that many of my colleagues who have been anti-intervention, anti-war have been unable to do in the past,” she says. “So, I’m OK with taking the blows if it means it will ignite conversations that no one was willing to have before.”
Keep in mind, she said this after her big apology for her comments in February that U.S. support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins.” This is not someone who sees what she’s said as a problem. She’s happy to take the hits to “ignite conversations.”
The resolution voted on yesterday did condemn claims of dual-loyalty regarding Israel, but that’s as close as it came to mentioning Rep. Ilhan Omar. She made anti-Semitic comments for the third time in as many months and this time she didn’t even pretend to apologize. In fact, she voted for the vague resolution and celebrated it as a success.
Our nation is having a difficult conversation, but we believe this is great progress. pic.twitter.com/gSua9a8mki
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) March 7, 2019
Does this sound like someone who feels they’ve been rebuked or does it sound like someone who thinks they are winning? From National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar:
Make no mistake: Omar and her progressive allies won this battle. Engel, who called on Omar to apologize, will now be dealing with an emboldened member on his committee who escaped any consequences for her behavior. The process offered no incentive for the congresswoman to change. Instead, it exposed the many pro-Israel members of the party as feckless in the face of left-wing resistance. The influence of committee chairs like Engel, Nita Lowey and Jerrold Nadler meant little when compared to the power of a social media-fueled progressive pushback. They all could face serious competition from the Left in next year’s House primaries…
As the controversy over Omar hit a boiling point, three of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential contenders—Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren—put out statements that offered no criticism of the congresswoman’s remarks. They all expressed more concern about the backlash to Omar’s comments than the statement itself.
So what does happen the next time? My guess is not much. The trendline here is away from accountability for anti-Semitic speech. What happened yesterday wasn’t a victory against hate but a retreat in the face of a hater.