Donald Trump’s attacks on Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) make little sense when one considers the fact that she’s a freshman Congressman who has not yet had a chance to prove herself with any kind of signature legislation that would make her an actual threat to the GOP, but makes complete sense once one realizes that she offers the president an opportunity to target an immigrant, Muslim, woman of color, inciting the xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist, and racist elements of his base in one fell swoop.
The fact that Omar has been inundated with death threats has done nothing to stop Trump’s hateful rhetoric and his sharing of a vile video that implicitly blamed Omar for the 9/11 attacks has only made matters worse for her. This morning, the president once again took a potshot at the Democratic Congresswoman and managed to go after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the process.
Trump claimed that Pelosi has “lost all control of Congress,” which really just feels like him projecting his own insecurities over the fact that much of the GOP, even those who hold their noses to cooperate with him, have very little actual respect for him. Pelosi on the other hand successfully led the Democrats to retake the House and has proven herself more than capable of using her new majority to stop the president’s agenda in its tracks.
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He also accused her of “getting nothing done” which is, of course, an absurd statement since Republican control of the White House and Senate makes it nigh impossible to pass any kind of legislation given the reality the Republican and Democrats have diametrically opposed goals. Republicans want to waste money on a Mexican border wall, cut workers’ rights, overlook the destruction of the environment, and completely dismantle Obamacare. Democrats want to stop that.
Trump then accused Pelosi of overlooking “anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful” statements made by Representative Omar. What he really means is that he wants the Speaker to join the bad faith dogpile on Omar. While a few of the Congresswoman’s statement were interpreted as problematic by some and she should be more careful in her wording in the future, there is no justification for attacking her in such incessant and dangerous fashion. Furthermore, the idea that the party which shelters white nationalists like Rep. Steve King (R-IA) cares one iota about bigotry of any kind is laughable.
A few careless remarks don’t make her an anti-semite, but the president’s targeting of her is undeniably rooted in his often-expressed bigotries. The “ungrateful” part of Trump’s tweet is particularly telling, as it’s a trope often used by white racists to describe people of color who they deem to be acting out of line.
Trump ended the hate-filled tweet by saying that Omar is out of control and that she is controlling Pelosi, an utterly nonsensical line of reasoning. Pelosi is in full command of her party and has proven herself to be as shrewd and effective a leader as always. Her refusal to throw Omar under the bus in the face of the overwhelming Republican onslaught is admirable, and proof yet again that she is the right leader for this moment in time.
Before Nancy, who has lost all control of Congress and is getting nothing done, decides to defend her leader, Rep. Omar, she should look at the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful U.S. HATE statements Omar has made. She is out of control, except for her control of Nancy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2019