Monday, November 11, 2019

Continuing Problem

She did it again. Newsweek reports

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has been accused of making a veiled anti-Semitic comment in a tweet about Michael Bloomberg.

While sharing an article on Twitter about Leon Cooperman expressing his support for "fellow billionaire" Bloomberg's possible run for president, Omar commented "I wonder why?" alongside a thinking face emoji.

Cooperman, the billionaire chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors, told CNBC on Friday that he would back the former mayor of New York City for president should he enter the race for the White House. He added that he would also help with fundraising as long as Bloomberg stuck with his moderate policies.

But while some viewed Omar's reaction to the article as an observation about "billionaires sharing similar political views", others believe she is implying that Cooperman's support for Bloomberg is because they are both Jewish—and accused her of anti-Semitism.

This may have been an anti-Semitic remark, a jab at two billionaires, or.... both.

It is most likely the first, though it is open to interpretation. But when seven months ago Representative Omar referred to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 as "some people did something" and President Trump slammed her, David Frum recognized

Against Omar’s propensity to provoke, the Democratic Party seems institutionally almost defenseless. Pelosi was thwarted when she attempted to pass a resolution condemning anti-Semitic expressions by House members. Instead, the House substituted more muddled language in which Jews appeared in a laundry list condemning all expressions of intolerance against “African-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants and others.”

After Trump’s tweeted attack, Omar will become even more internally uncriticizable and unmanageable, without becoming any more careful or responsible. Indeed, the speech by Omar that provided Trump with the sound bite he exploited—“some people did something”—itself exemplifies her carelessness and irresponsibility. . The speech was delivered at a fundraiser in California for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Here’s the full sentence from which Trump took his sound bite: “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.”

CAIR was, in fact, founded seven years before 9/11.... 

Omar acted as Frum suspected she, either irresponsibly- knocking two guys because they're Jewish- or carelessly.  She could have made a reference to the wealth of the two men but failed to do so because she is intellectually incoherent or is congenial to bigotry. Having once tweeted "Israel has hypnotized the world," the anti-Semitic and/or linguistically Omar seems to have changed little.

Either way, the "carelessness and irresponsibility" Frum cited continues and will not go unnoticed by critics of the Democratic Party. However, the congresswoman's remark will not be condemned by Bernie Sanders nor any other Democratic candidate, the one because he has been endorsed by the Minnesota congresswoman, the others from a fear of being accused of slighting a "woman of color."

Rationalizing such remarks by noting that Donald Trump makes worse statements daily would be insufficient, possibly even futile. The very regularity of his incendiary comments renders him almost immune to criticism or shunning by a huge chunk of American voters. It is an extraordinary luxury, one no other American has claimed or can successfully claim, and that includes Ilhan Omar.

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