DANIEL VAUGHAN: Democrats reap what they sow with Ilhan Omar

 February 3, 2023

Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar is no longer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a committee assignment she loathed to lose. It was also the first major exercise of power by the new Republican House and a successful one. Given Omar's outspoken antisemitic beliefs, removing her from a committee that deals with Israel and other countries was a sound decision by the new Republican majority.

Beyond that, it's also a direct answer to Democrats opening Pandora's box when they stripped Majorie Green-Taylor and Paul Gosar. The Associated Press noted, "Removal of lawmakers from House committees was essentially unprecedented until the Democratic ousters two years ago."

These are the new rules Democrats set. They're fully willing to police Republicans who say or believe idiotic or racist things, but Democrats were unwilling to even slap Omar's hands after one of her Jew-bashing diatribes.

Even Democrats are embarrassed by Omar.

Politico noted after one of Omar's anti-Semitic outbursts, "In her previous two terms, Omar faced intense pushback from some in the caucus over her controversial comments about Israel and Jews, and while some Democrats may have even supported a measure back then to condemn her remarks, one never came up on the House floor. The House instead passed a resolution generally condemning bigotry."

When it came time to stand up to anti-Semitism in their own party, Democrats balked. They'd rather focus on the nutcases on the right - who, ironically, claim they apologized for what they did, too, just like Omar.

What's even more telling, throughout this exercise, is that rank-and-file Democrats can't even defend Omar while they vote to support her. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) could only offer up a paltry defense:

"My vote was not a vote in support of Congresswoman Omar ... Someone with her record of hateful comments does not belong on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. My vote was a vote to protect the institution, for democracy, and for preventing the weaponization of committee selection."

Omar's greatest defenders, the other members of "the squad," cried crocodile tears about the vote being racially targeted. That would make sense if Omar were the only person removed from committee assignments. She wasn't.

McCarthy removes Schiff and Swalwell too.

Kevin McCarthy kicked Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell on the Intelligence Committee. Schiff leaked intelligence to the press for years, and Eric Swalwell has documented ties to a Chinese spy. That Pelosi did nothing about Swalwell alone is a travesty while the country deals with heightened tensions with Bejing.

If Democrats want to make arbitrary rules that Representatives can't serve on committees for political reasons, this is the world they get. You reap what you sow in politics.

Democrats sowed chaos with judicial nominations and reaped a conservative judiciary. Democrats overturned norms with committee assignments, and now they claim to stand on "principles" and "norms" while backing an anti-Semitic Representative.

Some Democrats seem to have realized they messed up. Politico reports: "Some Democrats have since expressed concern about how the Gosar and Greene situations were handled, with Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.), the top Democrat on the Ethics Committee, saying in Tuesday's Rules Committee meeting she didn't think "it was the correct process" when the two Republicans were booted. Wild voted in favor of removing both at the time."

The top Democrat on the Ethics Committee voted on a removal vote regarding Republicans and Democrats. She now "regrets" that past vote. But she voted party-line each time. The only Representative who makes sense in both situations is Republican Rep. David Joyce, who voted present in all the votes over Green, Gosar, and Omar. He made that vote because he's on the Ethics Committee and saw voting on punishment as a conflict since he's also part of the Ethics Committee.

Democrats chose this world.

Joyce has more sense than Rep. Wild, who just now realizes she helped open Pandora's Box. This is the world Democrats created and wanted in Congress. I fully expect Democrats to seek the removal of Republicans from committees the next time they take power. They'll claim retribution for Omar, but they started this.

In politics, escalations are never a one-sided affair. The power grabbed by one faction will get used by the other one. James Madison described this dynamic in Federal 10 because it's a given in politics. It was true before America existed, it's true in our time, and it'll be true when we're all long gone.

This dynamic causes wise politicians to use restraint, both with how they wield power and don't use it. These escalations are the only course for the morons in our politics today, who listen to writers and journalists who know nothing.

Democrats removed Republicans from committee assignments. Republicans had to prove they would use the same power on Democrats to show political strength. Now, the two sides can negotiate the terms of what comes next.

But Democrats can't complain. This is what they want. They reap what they sow.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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