It is absolutely disgusting to see the bad faith right-wing smear campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) continue into its fourth day. Projecting Republicans, eager to whitewash their own discrimination and bigotry, attempted to derail the passage of a resolution ending the United States’ involvement in Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen with a preposterous stunt that predictably failed to accomplish anything at all.
House GOP now forcing a vote on “standing against anti-Semitism in all its forms.” Trying to embarrass Dems over @IlhanMN
— John Bresnahan (@BresPolitico) February 13, 2019
The motion passed unanimously, with two abstentions by Republicans (of course) and the bill itself passed successfully, putting the onus on the Senate to send it on to the president and finally extricate American troops from one of the cruelest and bloodiest conflicts being waged around the world today.
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“This is what’s wrong about this place. They pushed out a [motion] to try to make us look bad, and then they’re forced to vote against their own [motion] after the bill passes,” complained Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) to POLITICO after the vote.
“They were trying to embarrass us. They played a game,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). It confirms the ‘gotcha’ nature. … They were for it before they were against it.”
But the disingenuous cynicism and shameless hypocrisy behind their transparent attack on a black Muslim refugee Congresswoman is exposed by their stubborn refusal to do anything about the naked anti-Semitism that pervades the House Republican caucus from top to bottom.
Earlier today, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) came under fire for a now-deleted tweet that accused three Jewish billionaires of purchasing the 2018 midterm election: “We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA.” wrote McCarthy in an obvious anti-Semitic dog whistle that references tropes of a shadowy Jewish cabal that controls all American politics.
While McCarthy played dumb and insisted it was just about Democrats vs. Republicans, it’s impossible to miss what he’s really trying to say, especially considering how the entire conservative media machine has been demonizing Jewish billionaire George Soros as a liberal boogeyman for years now, with all the implications that accompany it.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to House Republicans. The most notorious anti-Semite among them is Steve King (R-IA), whose committee assignments they were forced to strip away after he came out and openly defended white supremacy and met with a far-right Austrian political party with ties to the Nazis.
The House’s number two Republican, Steve Scalise (R-SC), has previously given a speech to a white supremacy group with neo-Nazi ties. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) regularly hangs out with Holocaust deniers and invited one to the State of the Union. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) publicly accused George Soros of selling out his fellow Jews during the Holocaust (Soros wasn’t even a teenager yet).
While Ilhan Omar’s admittedly poor choice of words is being treated by the right-wing as if it was outright Holocaust denial, no attention is paid to the anti-Semitic conspiracies that one of her fellow Minnesota Representatives, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, has promoted in order to get elected.
Here's a fun fact: There's an ACTUAL antisemite in Minnesota's Congressional delegation, but not the one being ceaselessly attacked by disingenuous Republicans.
— marisa kabas (@MarisaKabas) February 13, 2019
The chairman of the House GOP’s campaign arm, Rep. Steve Stivers, refused to apologize for the use of anti-Semitic dogwhistles in the ads that he ran in Minnesota on behalf of Hagedorn that called him Soros a “connoisseur of chaos.”
It isn’t just restricted to the House, either:
— Amanda Terkel (@aterkel) October 30, 2018
For the Republicans to pull this kind of stunt means they are ignoring a very long track record of naked anti-Semitism on their own side, which makes it clear that this isn’t about anti-Semitism at all and it’s just an excuse to justify a partisan smear campaign against a black Muslim woman, and therefore don’t deserve to be engaged with in good faith on any issue at all.
Don’t throw stones if you live in a house constructed entirely of racism and bigotry.