Here’s the real reason Republicans hate Ilhan Omar


Representative Ilhan Omar, who was removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is seen after a vote at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on February 2, 2023.

Photo: Ricky Cariotti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

House of Representatives voted 218-211 Thursday to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Why?

According to the resolution, because “Omar, in his own words, has declared himself ineligible to serve on the Foreign Affairs Committee.” It lists four of Omar’s statements and painfully notes that they were all condemned by some of Omar’s fellow House Democrats for being anti-Semitic or anti-American (whatever those words mean in current politics).

Omar spoke for himself yesterday. “The debate today is who can be an American. What opinions must we have to count as Americans? she said. “I’m Muslim. I’m an immigrant. … Is anyone surprised that I’m being targeted?

For her part, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y. said, “One of the things we should be talking about here is … targeting and racism against Muslim-Americans. … It’s about the targeting of women of color in the United States.”

The GOP’s stated argument is obvious nonsense. On the one hand, anti-Semitism isn’t the last thing the Republican Party cares about, because the last things the Republican Party cares about are racism and wealth inequality. On the other hand, anti-Semitism is perfectly fine with the GOP, as illustrated by (among countless other examples) its reaction to former President Donald Trump hosting a fun dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West.

Indeed, you could make an argument that Judaism or something along similar lines is fundamental to conservative politics. They need it to hide what they are really about.

Conservatives cannot accept the obvious reality that modern societies are run by huge corporations and the super-wealthy, because they work for the huge corporations and the super-wealthy. Instead, they are forced to come up with nonsensical explanations for how the world works, which always involves an imagined secret elite. Jews are a perennial favorite, but so could unions, or homosexuals, or an international communist conspiracy, or space lizards wearing ultra-realistic human masks. In the confused minds of the right-wing base, it can be all of these at once, with Jewish unionized gay communist lizards controlling all of the invisible.

Although it sounds a little presumptuous to say it, the explanation Omar and Ocasio-Cortez offer for the GOP’s actions isn’t the whole story either.

It is certainly true that in the past, conservatives would not have been able to abide a white, male, non-Christian in any position of power. But today, the US would be right Totally excited Putting someone with Omar’s background on the Foreign Affairs Committee, as long as he was a passionate advocate of bombing everything. This is actually a small sign of social progress, which we should celebrate.

Omar was closest to the mark when he said it was about a particular question: “What opinion should we have?” In elite US circles it is largely taboo to point out the existence and motivations of the Israel lobby – because you could be called anti-Semitic for noting that Boeing sells joint direct attack weapons to Israel or has the audacity to agree with the Israeli prime minister. Minister you cannot suggest, as Omar did, that the United States should be judged by the same moral standards as others, that because our enemies kill in irrational madness, we have reason. (This squelching of public debate is naturally led by those who declare their vociferous opposition to the abolition of culture and political correctness.)

It is undoubtedly true that America’s anger at Omar is largely due to his failure to be a white, Christian, native-born man. the continued disdain Trump displayed for her — and Ocasio — Cortez in 2019; Rep. Ayna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rep. Rashida Talib, D-Mich. — still dare to read. This can only be explained by the fact that hateful elites are always there for their inferiors when they are moved from their rightful place.

Trump’s tweets were also laughably stupid, as only Omar of the four members of Congress was born in the far-off foreign land of Cincinnati outside the US Pressley.

So for someone like Omar, the Right has a particularly terrifying brand of venom in reserve. White Christian men certainly have a lot of wiggle room to tell the truth, but conservatives are perfectly capable of revving up their giant hate machine against anyone who wants to say something that makes them uncomfortable.

The upshot here is that all of us — who think American politics isn’t dominated by childish lies — are in it together. Omar is a truly brave man who must be protected by everyone who values ​​integrity. Understand, though, that it’s both because it’s the right thing to do and because, if you have a similar passion for reality, you’re on their list, and you better believe they’ll eventually come around to you, too.