Patterico's Pontifications

3/7/2019

By A Wide Margin, House Passes Broadly Inclusive “Anti-Hate” Resolution

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:51 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Following up on this morning’s post about the Democrats’ struggle to rebuke one of their own for her outright anti-Semitic comments, Nancy Pelosi admitted after a new resolution passed by an overwhelming majority, that the resolution *was not* about Rep. Omar. This in spite of its original intent to be a rebuke of Rep. Omar. I’m surprised that it’s all rather unsurprising that the Democrats remain unable unwilling to publicly rebuke one of their own over anti-Semitism.

From the Washington Post:

Democrats engineered a broad House vote condemning hatred on Thursday in an attempt to move past alleged anti-Semitic comments by a freshman Muslim congresswoman — a battle that has torn the party apart and stymied their attempts to present a unified agenda.

The 407-to-23 vote capped days of frustration and anger over the comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) that have overshadowed Democratic policies — both legislation and investigations of President Trump — and raised questions about whether Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could keep her fractious caucus together.

Debates over climate change, health care and how the government spends money loom for the House Democratic majority — and are likely to cause fierce internal strife in the coming months.

Even crafting the generic resolution against bigotry proved difficult for Democrats on Thursday, as Latinos, Asian Americans and others objected to an initial version and demanded that their concerns be addressed. The resolution was revised shortly before the vote.

The resolution condemns anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim bias in equal measure, a shift from a draft circulated Monday that rebuked only anti-Semitism. Neither mentions Omar nor her comments specifically.

“It’s not about her,” Pelosi said of Omar at a news conference. “It’s about these forms of hatred.”

So, by this *not* being about Omar and by having received zero consequences for her bad behavior, Omar and the Democratic party have just learned, with their leader’s blessing, that anti-Semitism is now even more o.k. within the party. The slow normalization of it, if you will. Ridiculous resolution notwithstanding. And because Pelosi acted like a defensive mother protecting clueless little Omar by saying she didn’t believe the child understood the full weight of her words, it makes sense that Pelosi declined altogether to include any actual real consequences in the resolution. Additionally, because the adult caved at the very time discipline and correction were called for, the child learned that she was able to get away with bad behavior. This is called bad parenting. I no longer believe Nancy Pelosi is as strong of a leader as she would like us to believe. We’ve seen behind the screen.

I also wanted to point out this interesting contrast:

The resolution posted Thursday indirectly repudiates Omar’s comments, saying that “accusations of dual loyalty generally have an insidious and pernicious history” and noting that such an accusation “constitutes anti-Semitism because it suggests that Jewish citizens cannot be patriotic Americans and trusted neighbors.”

But it also includes language condemning anti-Muslim bigotry “as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States,” and condemns incidents of mosque bombings and planned domestic terrorist attacks targeting Muslim communities.

In response to the resolution’s passage, Omar gave herself a standing “O” for her stance against Islamaphobia and for having courageously started the ever important conversation about hate in America. Apparently the conversation has never been had, and all it took for it to begin was a bit of bigotry provided by a sitting Democratic representative:

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Anyway, Allahpundit addreses the question of whether the resolution could have been worse, because while not explicitly naming Omar, it did focus on the the dual-loyalty accusation:

I agree, it could have been worse (e.g., “all hate matters, the end”). The fact that it identified the particular stereotype she used was welcome, and no doubt a concession to her critics in the caucus. But the resolution evolved within the wider context of Omar’s allies in the caucus running interference for her, even claiming that she was the real victim in this. Many of her allies, starting with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, refused to concede that accusing supporters of the Jewish state of foreign allegiance was necessarily problematic, to borrow a favorite word of the left. And of course, considering that initially punishments were discussed ranging from identifying Omar by name in the resolution to stripping her of her Foreign Affairs seat, in context the watered-down resolution feels more like a ploy to shield her from blame than to reprimand her.

You can read the resolution in its entirety here.

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Me, I’m still scratching my head wondering how the vexing problem of anti-Semitism by an elected representative within the Democrat party managed to become about Islamaphobia and everything else in between…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Democrats Unraveling: James Clyburn’s Unbecoming Contortions To Defend Rep. Omar’s Anti-Semitism

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:35 am



[guest post by Dana]

In the ongoing unraveling that is the current Democrat party, Rep. Omar and her bigoted comments continue to be a wedge in the party of inclusiveness. A mere three weeks ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic tweets, saying:

“Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive,” said Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and other party leaders in a statement. “We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.“

[…]

Pelosi said in a tweet that Monday that she had talked with Omar and the two of them “agreed that we must use this moment to move forward as we reject anti-Semitism in all forms.“

As a result of the rebuke, Omar was compelled to apologize for her comments.

However, after disastrous efforts to draft a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, which resulted in a hard pushback from members of the more progressive wing of the party , Pelosi is now shamefully attempting to rationalize Omar’s anti-Semitism:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says freshman Democrat Ilhan Omar didn’t realize her words about Israel would sound anti-Semitic to some powerful members of Congress.

Omar’s comment that a pledge of “allegiance” to the Jewish state is expected of lawmakers sparked enough outrage to split Democrats and throw their agenda into question. Some Democrats wanted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, while others said that would have unfairly singled out the Minnesota Democrat.

Pelosi told reporters the resolution the House will vote on Thursday will “speak out against anti-Semitism, anti-Islamophobia, anti-white supremacy and all the forms that it takes.”

Of Omar, Pelosi said, “I do not believe she understood the full weight of her words. These words have a history and a cultural impact.”

If she truly believes this, then why did she feel compelled to meet privately with Omar about the tweets, and then proceed to publicly condemn them? And if Omar is as clueless as Pelosi claims, why put her on the Foreign Affairs Committee? How does that even make a little bit of sense?

Anyway, this morning in yet another desperate attempt to defend Omar, House Minority Whip James Clyburn demonstrated just how low the Democrats are willing to go to defend an anti-Semite in their midst by asserting that Omar’s life experience was “more personal” than Jews whose parents and relatives survived the Holocaust:

Clyburn came to Omar’s defense Wednesday, lamenting that many of the media reports surrounding the recent controversy have omitted mentioning that Omar, who was born in Somalia, had to flee the country to escape violence and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before coming to the United States.

Her experience, Clyburn argued, is much more empirical — and powerful — than that of people who are generations removed from the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during World War II and the other violent episodes that have marked history.

“I’m serious about that. There are people who tell me, ‘Well, my parents are Holocaust survivors.’ ‘My parents did this.’ It’s more personal with her,” Clyburn said. “I’ve talked to her, and I can tell you she is living through a lot of pain.”

First, it’s embarrassingly dishonest to equate the violence of the Holocaust with the Japanese internment camps. Second, for Clyburn to be logically consistent, then he should have also included slavery as well, because how long ago did that end??

It’s sad and telling that Phillip Klein was compelled to inform a tone-deaf, partisan-at-all-costs Clyburn why his comments are so offensive – and dangerous:

Remembering the Holocaust, and the oft repeated phrase “Never Again,” is about making sure we’re proactive about combating anti-Semitism before it manifests in ways that lead to mass slaughter.

Apparently Clyburn is unaware that there are an estimated (a/o 2016) “100,000 Jews who were in camps, ghettos and in hiding under Nazi occupation…still alive today.” It’s mind-boggling that anti-Semitism cannot be condemned by the Democratic party. Clyburn’s contorted efforts to defend Omar are not doing her (or their party) any favors. If anything, his absurd defense of her reminds us of what a narrow-minded and bigoted a group the Democrats have become. This, of course, while instructing the rest of us how we should live. Both parties should strive to be equal-opportunity condemners of hate. And both parties should be more than willing demand that their adult members be treated as adults, rather than defend them as clueless children. This isn’t hard, or at least it shouldn’t be.

Clyburn then went on to say that of course Omar will not be named in the new resolution because there are far more influential and powerful bigots to contend with rather than a sitting member of Congress, who also happens to be on the Foreign Affairs Committee:

“She won’t be targeted. We’re going to target those people who had her picture on the Twin Towers,” he continued. “This resolution is going to be inclusive, it’s going to be expansive, and I might just try to add something to deal with that billboard that’s up in Pennsylvania this morning calling John Lewis and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus racists.”

So a sitting member of Congress who has announced her anti-Semitic views to the world will not be targeted, but a private citizen will? Yep, sounds like politics as usual. While the billboard is obviously anything but a conversation starter about race (as its owner claims), the urge of Leviathan to exert its pervasive power over the powerless while ignoring the powerful, cannot and should not be underestimated.

Last night, I made this observation: It’s interesting to note that Nancy Pelosi doesn’t seem to have as much control over her people as we were lead to believe. The very progressive faction of the party seems to have gained traction since being elected, and it makes me wonder if the old guard is going to be constantly rolling over in a last ditch effort to remain relevant within the party? Apparently the answer is, yes, they will.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Have Christians Rejected The “Lesser Evil” By Redefining It As Good?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:25 am



[guest post by Dana]

David French looks at the ease with which today’s Christians have worked overtime to rationalize our current president’s character which only decades earlier would have been easily condemned. Because we all want to be supporting something good:

There are theological implications to Trump rationalizations — especially in a movement so thick with Christian conservatives.

The redefinition of good character that we so often see on the Trump right reminds me of the powerful words contained in the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1998 resolution on the moral character of public officials. At the height of the Clinton scandals, the Baptists rightly declared, “Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment.”

The interesting question is how does tolerance of wrong sear the conscience? The answer lies deep within human nature. It’s easy to justify a one-time event like a vote as a defensible choice between the lesser of two evils, but few people can stomach being a part of a movement that’s simply “less evil.” People want to be a part of something good. We want to be a part of something that we’re proud of, and we’ll go to great lengths to rationalize that movement even when its leaders turn out to be bad — especially when we see no way to purge those leaders and replace them with better men or women.

Older conservatives can’t forget the extent to which many Democrats not only defended Bill Clinton on the legal merits of the claims against him, but also the extent to which they attempted to change public attitudes about sexual morality. Having a mistress was suddenly no big deal, and parts of the cultural elite purported to long for the greater sophistication of the European public — where wives and mistresses could allegedly even know and respect each other. Younger progressives who’ve grown up in the era of heightened awareness of sexual power dynamics would be stunned at the arguments of their parents.

This same impulse is now at work on the Right. Republicans want to be proud of their president. They want to believe their movement isn’t just better than the Democrats, but that it’s actually good and decent and virtuous. And so they rationalize Trump. They make excuses. Make no mistake, there are many, many decent Republicans doing heroic work across the country and who see Trump clearly, but there are also too many Republicans who are busy trying to transform Trump’s vices into virtues. They’re rejecting the “lesser evil” by redefining it as good, and they’re damaging their credibility and Christian witness in the process.

No matter which camp a Christian and/or Republican might find themselves in, it’s always good to never, ever put a mere mortal on a pedestal, especially when it’s an effort to spin said mere mortal into a more palatable light. Obviously the risk of disappointment increases greatly when the recipient of such veneration is the sitting President of the United States. While the individual desperate to spin clearly has their own unaddressed issues to contend with, one can tell a lot by how a person reacts to being put upon a pedestal. The honest one will flat-out reject such efforts because they have faced their demons with a brutal clarity and that freedom allows them to accept their limitations. On the other hand, the shallow and dishonest person who has resisted any such examination of the soul will lap up the adulation because they believe they are deserving of it. This in spite of what lies beneath. And then they will crow about it, making sure that everyone knows how richly deserving of the worship they are. With the latter, it’s a win-win scenario: both parties end up feeling good about themselves and the relationship in which they have entered into with one another. No matter how dishonest it all might be.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana


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