Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has received fallout from both sides of the aisle — including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence — over tweets widely perceived as anti-Semitic.
Pence is a bigger hypocrite than Trump
By EJ Montini
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a Somali-American, was roundly and justifiably criticized for having suggested in a tweet that a pro-Israel lobbying group had more or less bought off some members of Congress.
She apologized, saying, "My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole."
Naturally, President Donald Trump weighed in: "Congressman Omar is terrible, what she said. And I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee."
Really, what she said is terrible and she should resign? As opposed, say, to what Trump has said?
Even worse, the self-proclaimed good Christian Vice President Mike Pence actually tweeted: "Ilhan Omar tweets were a disgrace & her apology was inadequate. Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress, much less the Foreign Affairs Committee. Those who engage in anti-Semitic tropes should not just be denounced, they should face consequences for their words."
Consequences? Like resignation or removal? Really?
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Let's review: Pence says there should be consequences for a rude remark about lobbyists but ... not for a president who says after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — in which a woman protesting against the Nazi wannabes was run over an killed — that there were "very fine people, on both sides"?
Is there anything more anti-Semitic than making excuses for white nationalists? But no consequences for Trump, right?
And no consequences for Trump when he said the judge ruling against him over his failed Trump University couldn't be fair because of his "Mexican" heritage.
And no consequences for Trump saying on the day he entered the presidential race that Mexico was "sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."
And no consequences for Trump trashing Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, whose son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, was killed in 2004 in Iraq.
Weird how the vice president doesn't believe there should be consequences for such comments. Or for that matter, no consequences for Trump's support of the debunked birther conspiracy against former President Barack Obama.
And no consequences for Trump having said of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, "Why are we having all these people from s---hole countries come here?"
Or, for that matter, no consequences for the times Trump has referred to women as fat or pig or dog or slob, or worse.
And no consequences for Trump's bragging on the "Access Hollywood" tape about trying to seduce a married woman or how "when you’re a star" women will let you do anything, even "grab 'em by the p---y."
Given all that (and more, actually), we might take this opportunity to pause to ask ourselves: Is it the first-term congresswoman or the president who "should not just be denounced" but "should face consequences for their words"?
What others are saying
James S. Robbins, USA TODAY: "Rep. Ilhan Omar said it was 'exciting' that her views are forcing Democrats to finally 'have conversations that we weren't really willing to.' Indeed, Democrats should have an open, honest debate over whether their party is rapidly becoming an incubator for the kind of anti-Semitism that has infected the liberal parties of Europe. Jewish Democrats who think this controversy is only about Israel could be in for an unpleasant surprise."
Isaac Stanley-Becker, The Washington Post: "Both messages were elliptical, relying on innuendo and allusion. One was delivered in a seemingly stream-of-consciousness appeal, the other in its online equivalent: a tweet. The insinuation, in both cases, was that Jews use money to pull strings and sway politics. The contrasting responses to the opinions, offered by then-presidential candidate Donald Trump in December 2015 and Omar this week, speak to concerns about double standards and to the different ways in which the two parties police their own members. (Trump) said much the same about what Jewish donors supposedly expect in return for their money. ... But the candidate’s comment didn’t land him in hot water with his own party, which instead made him its nominee."
The Wall Street Journal, editorial: "Republicans in the House had threatened to offer a resolution rebuking Omar, who was at first indignant but apologized after hearing from party leadership. 'Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,' Omar said, adding that 'I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.' While she’s learning about history, she should also read the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right of Americans to petition their government."
What our readers are saying
Right, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. You seem to hate the Jewish people and then try to deflect by saying President Donald Trump does? One problem with your lies, Trump has Jewish people in his immediate family.
— Tedd French
It is not anti-Semitic to refuse to stand with America's silence while Israel kills defenseless Palestinians and steals land given to others.
— John Bertelson
This is simply amazing. Omar tweets an anti-Semitic message yet she blames Trump. Trump's daughter is a practicing Jew. He can be crude, but the guy is no racist.
— Thomas Patrick Martyn
Omar said nothing objectionable. If she had used the word "shekels," perhaps. Then, maybe, the claim she repeated an anti-Semitic trope might carry some weight. Talk about political correctness run amok — and this from the party of Trump that declared political correctness a mortal sin.
— Mike Bates
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The Republican hypocrisy over Ilhan Omar's comment: Today's talker