Omar the ungrateful
After defending Rep. Ilhan Omar on credible and repeated accusations of Jew-hatred, Democrats were floored to see Omar return the favor by charging back at them, blasting President Obama for being a killer with "a pretty face," ultimately not at all different from, horrors, President Trump.
Here's what she told Politico:
Omar says the "hope and change" offered by Barack Obama was a mirage. Recalling the "caging of kids" at the U.S.-Mexico border and the "droning of countries around the world" on Obama's watch, she argues that the Democratic president operated within the same fundamentally broken framework as his Republican successor.
"We can't be only upset with Trump[.] ... His policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies. They just were more polished than he was," Omar says. "And that's not what we should be looking for anymore. We don't want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile."
Where the heck did that blow in from?
Her backtracking since that was just as weird, given its complete dishonesty.
"Exhibit A of how reporters distort words. I'm an Obama fan! I was saying how [President] Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics," she tweeted, referring to an interview published earlier in the day by Politico Magazine.
We can all see what she actually said.
Vanity Fair's Tina Nguyen thinks it's something to be seen in the broad context of the Democrats' new congressional vanguard, who are sucking up all the air in the press, moving away from even the Obama legacy. She's probably to some extent right.
But I think it's augmented by the Democrats' excusing-making for the woman, a "beat me, beat me" philosophy, which invites such attacks. It's why you don't make excuses for the inexcusable if you know how human nature works. Democrats just caved in on a resolution in Congress to explicitly condemn Omar and her anti-Semitic remarks as a substitute for throwing her off the Foreign Affairs Committee, which, as Rep. Steve King's case illustrates, is the precedent. After that, they caved in more by taking her name off the resolution. Not good enough, they caved in more still by making the whole thing a meaningless, anodyne resolution on hate groups, which Omar, the original anti-Semite who triggered the affair, hailed on her Twitter account as a victory. Obviously, the more the Democrats cave, the more they are expected to cave.
It's not politically correct in her case to say so, but that's a sort of terrorist dynamic at work. When people wonder why the heck they are committing atrocities against either harmless or otherwise sympathetic people, experts explain that it's a bid to amass power through repeated strikes and blows, confident that the cave-in dynamic will be the response, as historian Paul Johnson has noted. Politically speaking, this attack by Omar on the Democrats' favorite Democrat has the look of that dynamic, too, politically correct or not. You don't go striking at your allies if you are a normal person. You have to be a pretty bitter and angry person to get into that, particularly after the political machine being attacked just rescued your scandal-pocked career. It's an amazing deficit of gratitude.
She has since seemed to recognize that that was overreach and that she was about to lose her allies. The supply of politicians willing to defend her had apparently been all used up. And of course, the entire attack would offend the Congressional Black Caucus, which was instrumental in watering down that congressional resolution. Sounds as though she lashed out at the wrong people and recognized the lunacy of it.
But her absurd denial of what she said doesn't erase what she said the first time. They heard her. One wonders if that attack is going to be enough to keep her allies defending her politically — it might be, given her usefulness to them. But the rest of us can see that this person seems congenitally incapable of gratitude — not just for the America that rescued her, but now even for the political apparat that rescued her again.
Image credit: Lorie Schaull via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.