If this were really about anti-semitism…

If it were really about anti-semitism, the House would be censuring Rep. Jim Jordan for this blatant smear:

Rep. Nadler is Jewish, and so is Tom Steyer. Notice the $?

If it was about anti-semitism, the House would have censured Dan Quayle, who had a fondness for the 80s equivalent of “globalist”.

Vice-President Dan Quayle made his contribution with his now-infamous frontal attack on the “cultural elite.” Whatever one’s view on the issue, the vice-president’s tone as much as his phrasing made many people uncomfortable, clearly echoing the populist anti-Semitic rhetoric that began in the thirties and would for several decades wrap Hollywood, Jews, and Communism into a neat little anti-American package. Many people simply saw cultural elite as a euphemism for Jewish elite. Addressing a Clinton fund-raising dinner, in fact, director Mike Nichols opened by saying, “We can drop the Republican code for ‘cultural elite.’ Good evening, fellow Jews.” — nymag.com/…

If it were really about anti-semitism, the House would have censured Rep. Kevin McCarthy:


and Rep. Steve Scalise:

Yet, in 2002, Scalise, then a Louisiana state representative, attended and spoke at a convention of the white supremacist European American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by David Duke. You remember Duke, right? The Holocaust-denying former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan who has been described by the Anti-Defamation League as “perhaps America’s most well-known racist and anti-Semite.” — theintercept.com/…

and Rep. Matt Gaetz:

Florida congressman is under fire for inviting a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Matt Gaetz, a first-term Florida Republican, insisted that he gave the ticket to Charles C Johnson only by happenstance, telling the Daily Beast that the notorious alt-right troll just “showed up at my office” on the day of the speech. — www.theguardian.com/…

and Rep. Paul Gosar:

Rep. Paul Gosar, the Republican who represents Arizona’s 4th Congressional District, has claimed that the far-right rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 — at which marchers chanted “Jews will not replace us” — was “created by the left” and led by an “Obama sympathizer.” He has also suggested that Soros funded the event and falsely claimed that the Jewish billionaire “turned in his own people to the Nazis.” — theintercept.com/…

and Rep. Louie Gomert:

Gohmert spun a conspiracy theory about billionaire Soros with no evidence, claiming that the Jewish Holocaust survivor had stolen property from fellow Jews.

“George Soros is supposed to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it from the damage he’s inflicted on Israel and the fact that he turned on fellow Jews and helped take the property that they owned,” Gohmert said Thursday on “Varney & Co.,” hosted by Stuart Varney. — www.huffingtonpost.com/…

and Rep. Steve King. Wait you say, but Steve King was censured? 

No, he wasn’t. The censure resolution was blocked by Democratic leaders. Why? 

House Democratic leaders blocked an effort to censure Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for racial comments, referring the measure to the House Ethics Committee for further review because of concerns that it might set a dangerous precedent for policing members’ speech. […]

“I don’t know that it’s a good thing for us to talk about censure for things that are done outside of the business of the House of Representatives,” said Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American congressional leader. “We should be very, very careful about doing anything that constrains, or seems to constrain, speech.

By doing so, you “open the window for anybody to attack speech, no matter if it’s Democrats or Republicans,” he added in a subsequent interview. — www.washingtonpost.com/…

Yep, that’s right, we wouldn’t want to set off a “dangerous precedent for policing members’ speech” when the members in question are white Republican men who repeatedly cast vile slurs.

On the other hand, if it’s a black Muslim woman, there’s no need to worry about setting “dangerous precedent”. Which is why:

Democratic leaders are still debating whether to mention Omar by name in the resolution, according to multiple sources. Staffers for Pelosi and top Democrats, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), began drafting the resolution over the weekend as the confrontation between Omar and her colleagues unfolded on Twitter.

Two of the House’s most senior Democrats — Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Lowey — called out Omar in public statements, demanding she apologize. — www.politico.com/…

What is the difference?

Is it that Rep. Omar has the temerity to question the US’s bias against equal rights for Palestinians? That’s what Rep. Omar’s Democratic colleague on Foreign Services, Rep. Juan Vargas thinks. He said it’s “unacceptable” to question the US’s lop-sided support for Israel :

Where were the outrage, rebukes and censure resolutions when Matt Gaetz invited an honest to goodness holocaust denier onto the floor of the House?

Why is Rep. Eliot Engel’s outrage reserved for comments about US policy towards Israel delivered by relatively powerless members like Rep. Ilhan Omar? Rep. Jim Jordan is a powerful ranking member of the oversight committee. Why hasn’t Rep. Engel said a single word about Rep. Jordan’s tweet from yesterday attacking his colleague Rep. Nadler by name?

Why didn’t Rep. Engel and Rep. Lowey scream from the rooftops about minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s refusal to apologize for his tweet? Especially when McCarthy made clear, weeks ago, that he would go after Rep. Omar?

Perhaps it’s just less risky to attack a black muslim woman, without seniority or power, rather than go after a Republican who might someday chair a committee you’re on. She’s an easy target, even the Saudis dislike her because she questions the devastation they have wrought on ordinary Yemeni people.

This isn’t about anti-semitism. If it were, the House would have censured powerful Republicans for their anti-semitic comments. Starting with the man in the White House.

Instead, many Democrats are choosing to enable Trump’s attacks on one of their colleagues.

It isn’t even about combatting hate. If it were, Rep. Engel and Rep. Lowey would have said something about the ruling Israeli faction’s alliance with an openly racist party created out of a banned terrorist organization. They have both maintained a studious silence on that.

And it definitely isn’t good politics to give in to the Republican attacks. If the House passes a resolution censuring Rep. Omar, do you believe Republicans will refrain from attacking Democrats as anti-semites in 2020? On the contrary, the ads will say “even Democrats like Rep. Engel, and Rep. Lowey agree, their party has an anti-semitism problem”. It’ll be played over a montage of black and brown faces, some in hijabs. It’s a four for one, an anti-black, anti-muslim ad that seeks to shave off Jewish voters from the Democratic coalition while pulling a cover over the Republican party’s open advocacy of white supremacy. Instead of recognizing and parrying this bad-faith attack on Rep. Omar, too many seem hell-bent upon enabling it.

ACTION: call your representatives and Senators. Let them know you stand with Rep. Omar, and that if they want a house resolution that actually combats anti-semitism (rather than conflate it with criticism of right-wing Israeli policy), it should name these Republicans: Matt Gartz, Steve Scalise, Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Paul Gosar, Steve King, Louie Gomert, Donald Trump.

— @subirgrewal