By Jon Dougherty
The House on Thursday passed an “anti-hate” measure though the vote wasn’t unanimous, the resolution took days to get done and didn’t mention the person for which it was offered by name.
As Roll Call reported:
The House on Thursday overwhelmingly — but notably, not unanimously — passed a resolution to condemn anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia, ending days of spirited debate over the appropriate response recent comments from Minnesota Democratic freshman Ilhan Omar.
The final vote was 407-23. All of the “no” votes came from Republicans, including their No. 3, Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Cheney was among the first three “no” votes recorded, and several other Republicans seemed to be following her lead.
Democrats hopped on the bandwagon in criticizing Republicans who failed to vote in favor of the resolution, but one of the measure’s earliest opponents — Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas — explained why: The name-dropping. Literally. Gohmert said the measure should have directly rebuked Omar for her habitual anti-Semitic remarks against Israel, Jews in general, and Republicans who support them.
“Anti-Semitism is a very special kind of hatred that should never be watered down,” Gohmert said, according to Roll Call. “There has never been a persecution of a people like the Jewish people.”
A majority of Democrats and Republicans agreed that Omar’s recent comments questioning “the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country” was anti-Semitic because it invoked a dangerous stereotype about dual loyalties.
However, of course, many rank-and-file Democrats were upset by the resolution for singling out Omar because…President Trump, who they say regularly spews Islamophobic rhetoric.
As such, Roll Call reported, “Democratic leaders, working with the heads of several committees and caucuses, responded to those concerns by updating the resolution with language that rejected other forms of hate such as anti-Muslim discrimination and racism.”
Translation: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved to Omar and her caucus’ other two Muslim women, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and André Carson of Indiana because she’s afraid of being seen by Democrat voters as berating Islam.
The absurdity of it all wasn’t lost on Republicans, especially Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia. During a floor speech on Wednesday, he decried the lengthy process and wondered aloud why it was taking majority Democrats, who claim to have cornered the market on combating “intolerance” and “hate,” nearly a week to craft a formal rebuke.
Roll Call noted:
Collins, in heated remarks, expressed dismay that the resolution consumed the entire week and said its language contained something every member should have learned in kindergarten — “just don’t hate.”
As we reported this week, it’s becoming apparent that a number of freshmen Democratic Leftists — Tlaib, Omar, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — are already wearing thin on Democratic leaders. This week’s business — taking time away from other priorities to deal with an anti-Semite (without really dealing with her) — isn’t going to help endear them to leadership.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10