Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Both parties have discrimination issues


March 13, 2019

When is it offensive?

Congressional Democrats stumbled all over themselves and each other last week trying to answer that question.

Then they scrambled to cover any culpability that might result from any answer that may hint that any Democrat anywhere might discriminate in any way against anyone or any group.

Here in my view is what happened:

Democratic freshman legislators in Congress have made a habit of trumpeting points of a far-left agenda that is every bit as offensive to most people as any racially charged statement from Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King.

Over the past couple of weeks, Minnesota freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim, has startled her Congressional colleagues with her statements that question the degree of American support for Israel.

After Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy threatened to take action against Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, another Muslim woman, for criticizing Israel, Omar tweeted that Congressional support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins, baby,” implying Congress members had been paid.

Further, when asked who was making the payments, Omar said, “Aipac,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the U.S.’ most prominent pro-Israel lobby.

Just last week, Omar tweeted, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is O.K. for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” referring to unquestioning support from many in Congress of any move Israel makes.

Omar’s remarks have now been freighted with anti-Semitic implications about Jews and money and “dual loyalty,” a belief that Jews in the U.S. are as loyal to Israel as to the U.S.

Why her remarks are considered anti-Semitic I don’t know. She seems to be implying that Congress members can be bought. That’s not anti-Semitic, that’s anti-Congress, whether or not it is true.

Her remark about allegiance to Israel is a critique of policy that assumes Israel is unassailable. It is not anti-Semitic to think Israel can be criticized.

Omar’s tweets led to a huddle among House Democrats at first designed to craft a resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

Then African American Democrats said, “Hey, what about us?”

It also occurred to Democrats that singling out Omar and Tlaib would be offensive to Muslims and to women Congressional representatives.

Instead of a resolution that would have been a slap on the wrist to Omar for expressing dubiously anti-Semitic opinions, the Democrats ended up with a seven-page resolution with dozens of “Whereas”es that basically says the party deplores discrimination.

Congratulations, Democrats. So does the U.S. Constitution.

That’s the trouble with identity politics. Favoring one group that has been offended is discrimination against all the others.

That knotty problem will complicate Democrats’ efforts to topple President Donald Trump.

On the other hand, many think the GOP has the opposite problem, which is at least as troubling.

To many, substituting the GOP for Mae West in a crude paraphrase of “My Little Chickadee,” the judge asks the GOP, “Are you trying to show racism?”

The response: “No, your honor, I’m doing my best to hide it.”

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a semi-retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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