Democrats livid as Ilhan Omar is ousted from the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Following all the drama and suspense over the past week, Republicans finally ousted Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House foreign affairs committee.

The road to victory wasn't smooth for House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who led the charge.

Republican Reps. Ken Buck (Colo.)Victoria Spartz (Ind.)David Joyce (Ohio), and Nancy Mace (South Carolina) sanctimoniously castigated McCarthy for using a "tit-for-tat" ploy.

Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.), the lone Republican who voted against funding for the Israeli Iron Dome, claimed to be unsure about Omar's ouster.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined the madness, claiming to be "undecided" on the ousting of Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

On top of this, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) was on leave for several weeks due to significant injuries from falling off a ladder.

Since McCarthy abandoned proxy voting upon becoming House speaker, Steube's vote was an impossibility.

The Democrats pledged to vote unanimously to retain all their party members of their committee assignments.

McCarthy could afford only four GOP defections in order to oust Omar, yet there were seven individuals, including the congressman on leave, who were impediments to Omar's removal.

So what happened yesterday on voting day?

As expected, all 211 Democrats, including Jewish House members who claimed that Omar had taken appropriate steps to educate herself about antisemitism, voted to retain Omar on her committee.

How did the GOP do?

Two hundred eighteen Republicans voted to back the resolution condemning Omar for past antisemitic comments and removing her from the committee.

GOP rep. Joyce, who was among those who expressed reservations about ousting Omar, voted present.

So how did McCarthy accomplish this feat?

On Tuesday, Rep. Spartz flipped her vote to yes after a meeting with McCarthy.  They agreed to add a clause to the Omar resolution that gives lawmakers the facility to appeal their removal from committees.

Rep. Massie, who was on the fence, was also convinced to back the resolution.

On Wednesday, Rep. Buck agreed to vote "yes" after meeting with McCarthy about a proposed rule change that would make it harder to kick lawmakers off committees.

On Thursday, moments before the vote, Rep. Mace met with McCarthy and revealed that she had gotten a commitment from McCarthy to develop a better process to remove members from committees; consequently, she agreed to vote "yes." 

The "undecided" Rep. Gaetz finally made up his mind to vote for Omar's ouster.

Did McCarthy give away too much?

Perhaps, but he has a slim majority and very little time.  Remaining steadfast and obstinate would have resulted in failure.  He probably had no choice but to compromise.  Perhaps the last-minute troublemakers can be taught a lesson later.

After the successful vote, McCarthy denied that the House GOP was motivated by revenge and insisted that it was based on national security concerns.  He added that Republicans will allow Omar to serve on other committees.

How did it begin?

In February 2021, House Democrats voted to boot  Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from two committees for tweeting against the Democrats.

A few months later, Democrats moved to censure and oust Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from his two committees.  What was his folly?  Once again, he tweeting against the Democrats.

Also in 2021, then–House speaker Nancy Pelosi unilaterally blocked two of McCarthy's picks, Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), from the Jan. 6 select committee investigating the January 6 riots.

Even if this was an act of revenge, there was nothing wrong with it.  In politics and in life, you must give it as good as you get to send a message to your tormentor.

But beyond that, the GOP had strong grounds to remove Omar.

Omar is a rabid antisemite who supports the notorious anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement and even introduced a BDS bill in Congress.

In 2019, Omar tweeted that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other Jewish donors were paying politicians to back Israel, claiming, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby."

Omar also came under fire when she equated the "United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban."

Omar also trivialized the 9-11 terror attacks by claiming that "some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."

Omar represents a Minnesota district with a Muslim majority.  She arrived in the United States in the 1990s as a Somali refugee.  In 2018, she became one of the first Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress.  The superficial "firsts" are what the Democrats live for.

How did the Democrats react to Omar's ouster?

As expected, they played the religion, race, sex, immigrant, and victim card.

Omar said she was removed because she is a Muslim woman who immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee.

"Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy?" she said, shortly before the vote.

Omar even claims that another death threat had been sent to her office.

The other Islamist in the House, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, bizarrely equated Omar's removal with her being censored.  Despite her time being up, she continued to holler and even appeared to be on the verge of crying.

But the scene-stealer of the day was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AKA AOC.  Despite the fact that it was Omar's moment to claim victimhood and the spotlight, she was outshined by AOC.  AOC is known to gravitate toward any opportunity for publicity, like a rabbit to a carrot.

In just one minute, AOC breathlessly managed to cite all the kinds of victimhood that exist in the Democrat universe.  She seemed unusually animated, almost hopping up and down as she spoke.  It appeared she had consumed copious amounts of coffee or perhaps another kind of excitement-inducing substance.  Obviously, she was reading from prepared notes in a booklet.  When she was done, she slammed the booklet on the table like a petulant child and departed.

Some saw the funny side and added a background score to her performance, making her a figure of fun:

This has been a strong start for Speaker McCarthy.

He began by blocking two fraudster Democrats from the House Intelligence Committee: former chairman Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell.  And now Omar has been ousted from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Some credit goes to President Trump for backing McCarthy as speaker and setting the tone for the assertive new Republican Party.  McCarthy seems to be carrying that spirit forward.

In the coming days, expect the reactions to Omar's ouster to get caustic.

The attacks may not only be restricted to media rants.  House Republicans may be verbally or physically confronted in public spaces.  Hence, they must be careful with their and their families' security.

Perhaps politicized government agencies may begin targeting some of the Republicans, too.

Hopefully, they will stand with McCarthy and remain steadfast.

It would be most unfortunate for any among the Republicans go on the Sunday morning news shows and express regret over or even repudiate Omar's ouster.

Hopefully, this is the beginning of many more wins for House Republicans.

Optimism has no perils.

Image: Twitter screen shot.

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