Incapable of Not Causing a Commotion ... When She Opens Her Mouth
While the attention of partisans both in the world of politics and journalism are concentrated on the Mueller Report, while liberals are saying exactly what we knew they’d say after the report came out and conservatives are being just as predictable, let’s take a few minutes to consider the words of a celebrity progressive in Congress – because if we don’t do it now, like everything else in our non-stop news cycle, her words will just fade away and our attention will be diverted to something else, until we lose interest in whatever that something else happens to be.
I have in mind Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the Somali-American freshman Democrat, who seems incapable of not causing a commotion every time she opens her mouth.
In a clip from 2013 that just surfaced you can see how she giggles her way through a TV interview as she talks about a terrorism class she took in college.
“The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up,” as if that somehow was an over-reaction to the terrorist organization. “But you know … you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity.” Meaning what? That there’s not much difference, in her mind, between Al Qaeda, America, and England?
And then there are her famous observations about Israel and American Jews.
There was the reference to Israel as “hypnotizing the world,” her accusation that Members of Congress support Israel because it’s “all about the Benjamins,” and her claims that supporters of Israel have an “allegiance” to a foreign country.
Now, we have her latest contribution to the culture wars, her dismissive observation about the attacks on the United States on 9/11, about how “some people did something” to the American people that day.
She was speaking at a fund raiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) about what she sees as post 9/11 bigotry in the United States aimed at her fellow Muslim-Americans.
“Here’s the truth,” she said. “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
Let’s leave aside a factual mistake; CAIR was founded in 1994, long before 9/11. What drew the attention, and ire, of many conservatives, was her glib line about how “some people did something.”
Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted that Omar was the “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.’ Unbelievable.”
The New York Post ran a front-page cover of a World Trade Tower engulfed in flames with the caption: “Here’s Your Something.”
And not unexpectedly, the president seized the moment, tweeting his condemnation of Omar’s remarks to CAIR. But he also added a video, a montage of fiery images from that day, intercut with Omar’s own words about how “some people did something” -- with the caption: “WE WILL NEVER FORGET”
Let’s stipulate that the president didn’t have to show those inflammatory images; let’s acknowledge that his words would have been enough. But if the president and fellow Republicans were angry, so were a lot of left-wing Democrats. But their outrage wasn’t aimed at Omar; it was aimed at Donald Trump.
From Bernie Sanders we got this: “Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won’t back down to Trump’s racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.”
Elizabeth Warren, another progressive running for president accused Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against a sitting Congresswoman — and an entire group of Americans based on their religion.”
Beto O’Rourke said the president’s tweet was “an incitement to violence against Congresswoman Omar, against our fellow Americans who happen to be Muslim.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jumped on the bandwagon, alleging that verbal attacks on Congresswoman Omar amounted to an “incitement of violence against progressive women of color.”
Do any of those progressives, really believe that Donald Trump would not have condemned a white, Anglo Saxon Protestant male Democrat if he had been so flip about 9/11 and uttered the same words as Omar did about how “some people did something”?
Do they really think Donald Trump would just let that slide by without comment? Is his supposed racism and hatred of women and Muslims the progressive answer to everything?
And while we’re here, let’s ask a few other questions.
What if some bigot wrote off slavery with a facile line that “some people did something” -- hoping to downplay any progressive call for reparations? What if an anti-Semite, speaking of the Holocaust, had casually said, “some people did something” in Germany a long time ago -- in an effort to discredit support for Israel today?
What if the president (or any other Republican) tweeted his condemnation of those remarks – and for good measure added hard to watch images -- of black men in chains or emaciated Jews in open graves -- to back up his point? Would progressives see any of that as needlessly provocative and dangerous?
And here’s one more question, one that violates all the rules of our progressive PC culture: Does Congresswoman Omar get a free pass from her fellow Democrats simply because she’s a Muslim, a woman, and black?