You’d be forgiven if you forgot it, but one of the first actions taken by Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic-led House was to strip Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. Greene has a gross habit of saying moronic and anti-Semitic things.
After that, Pelosi (D-CA) recommended an ethics investigation into Greene (R-GA) when Greene and fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) traded barbs. Pelosi called it “verbal assault.”
It’s interesting, then, that when dealing with anti-Semitism in her caucus, Pelosi loses her interest. This point isn’t a conservative or Republican accusation against a Democrat. Democrats themselves believe there are anti-Semites in their midst. One of the new insider political newsletters in Washington, Punchbowl News, reports:
Remember, the House voted on two separate resolutions in 2019 in response to [Ilhan Omar’s] criticism of AIPAC and support of Israel by American Jews. A number of Omar’s fellow Democrats believe Omar is an anti-Semite, even if they don’t say so publicly.
Democrats are the ones who believe that Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is an anti-Semite. And for those who aren’t familiar with that term, it means Omar is a racist who hates Jews.
The crux of the issue this time is that Omar compared the United States and Israel to Hamas, claiming they’ve all committed the same atrocities. That baseless accusation, which continues Omar’s vile and hateful rhetoric towards Israel, a country with which she has no connection, caused even more Democrats to stand up against her statements.
A group of 12 Democrats released a “soft” statement demanding Omar “clarify” her comments. Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi of New York blasted Omar as wrong in all her views, compared her to Marjorie Taylor Greene, and said Omar represented none of his values.
That Punchbowl report gets a lot of credence, with Democrats feeling freer to hammer Omar and her statements. They’ve declined to come out and say that she is, in fact, an anti-Semite. But there’s more than smoke with these kinds of statements coming out.
Omar received prompt support from her other “Squad”-mates. Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Cori Bush (D-MO) all ran out to defend Omar and her statements and even claimed anyone attacking Omar was Islamophobic.
Their defenses ended up falling flat because Omar’s office issued a “clarification,” claiming she never meant Israel and the United States were the same as Hamas. And before you could blink, Pelosi’s office issued a statement thanking Omar for her “clarification.”
Pelosi’s answer to anti-Semitism in her caucus is to call it a misunderstanding. She pushes aside the growing sentiment within her caucus that Omar and the Squad hate Jews and calls everything just a big misunderstanding. The moral indignation is gone, the call for action is gone, everything gets swept away with statements written by Democratic House Leadership for Omar and Pelosi.
Pelosi didn’t call for committee assignments to get stripped, and she’s not calling for ethics investigations into a person her party believes harbors deep-seated hatred against Jews. She’s also not calling for any of these same actions against other members of the Squad. They cloak themselves in political identitarianism to hide from any criticism.
The problem is that there are many members of Congress with some minority status, and they don’t have the same issues saying anti-Semitic things about Jews or Israel. It’s just the Squad. There’s a reason for that.
Omar is racist. She hates Jews. She’s no different than the anti-Semitic leftists who took over the British Labour Party and destroyed it. The Squad follows right along. If it’s essential to deal with Marjorie Taylor Greene, it’s also vital to deal with the Squad.
Pelosi won’t do it, and that goes on her legacy. Like the British Labour Party, when anti-Semites rushed party leadership, she stood aside. She sets one standard for Republicans but another for Democrats who hold worse beliefs.
Fortunately, this won’t go unanswered. Republicans will eventually retake the House. The Pandora’s box that Pelosi opened by stripping a House Representative of the other party of committee assignments and power will continue.
Republicans can and should answer in kind on the Squad. Suppose they want to strip committee assignments from Omar and the rest of that group, just like Marjorie Taylor Greene. In that case, they can do so and repeat all the same reasons Pelosi gave. And if the Democrats who are speaking out now have the courage of their convictions, they’ll vote for it too.
That’s where we are at this moment. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know Omar will say something about Jews or Israel that will be flagrant and show us who she is. It will be up to those in leadership to answer that call. Anti-Semitism is no joke. Jews were getting attacked in the streets of American cities during the clash with Hamas. The racism is real, as are the people who thrive on the words of the Omars of the world.
Pelosi won’t answer that call. But Republicans likely will, once they retake the House.