Remember how frustrating it seemed during school when one of your classmates did something wrong and the whole class was dressed down for the wrong that was done?
And the guilty party basically got off free?
That was the case with U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, last week. The freshman representative's repeated anti-Semitic remarks resulted in — after extended Democratic infighting about the wording — a House resolution generally condemning prejudice against (quick breath) "African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence."
Republicans, Christians or — gasp — Republican Christians weren't mentioned, but Democrats can always say "others" could have meant anyone who feels prejudice these days.
The run-up to the resolution was about Omar, who is Muslim, and her collection of derogatory comments about Jews and her demonization of Israel. It was not about one of her colleagues dishing about Sikhs.
She's been doing it for years. In 2012, she tweeted, "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." In January, she said supporters of Israel were being bought off by Jewish money, tweeting, "It's all about the Benjamins baby." And late last month, she said, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country."
The original congressional resolution was to condemn her, perhaps even remove her from a committee assignment on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. En route to the resolution, though, leaders in her party excused her comments.
"I don't think our colleague is anti-Semitic," said Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California. "I think she has a different experience in the use of words, doesn't understand that some of them are fraught with meaning that she didn't realize but, nonetheless, that we had to address."
C'mon, Madam Speaker. In truth, Omar has been in the U.S. since 1995 since being resettled as a refugee from her native Somalia. She graduated from high school and college in the U.S. She is no neophyte in the language.
Similarly, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont excused her actions, and fellow fringe lefties Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wouldn't criticize her.
Ultimately, the resolution didn't name her, but 407 of 430 House members jumped on it anyway, voting "yes" to be sure their name was linked against prejudice.
Omar herself called the measure "historic," and she and two other representatives said, "We are tremendously proud to be a part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry" and opined that "we believe this is great progress."
One of the few in the House with the courage to label the resolution correctly was U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming.
She called it "a sham put forward by Democrats to avoid condemning one of their own and denouncing vile anti-Semitism." Later, on NBC's "Meet the Press," she said many Republicans could think as she did that there was nothing "objectionable in the resolution," but admitted, "I decided to vote against it because I think it was really clearly an effort to actually protect Ilhan Omar, to cover up her bigotry and anti-Semitism by refusing to name her."
Cheney, unlike most Democrats, practices what she preaches. Earlier this year, she led efforts in the GOP to remove Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, from his committee posts after he made a number of remarks she called "abhorrent and racist."
Unfortunately, we believe she also is correct in stating the resolution enabled Omar. Indeed, Omar may feel empowered by it, thinking her party is not likely to call her out because she is one of only two Muslim women in the House, because others in her party have taken Jewish support for granted (more than 70 percent voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016) and because many privately support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israel's existence that a number of left-wing colleges and universities have embraced.
The Democratic Party that has all but OK'd infanticide and wrapped its arms around socialism now has given its wink-and-a-nod to anti-Semitism from one of its own. Historians say that's all Hitler needed to do with the German people 80 years ago — not become their dictator but convince the "polite middle class" anti-Semitism was acceptable.
But, hey, 407 House members can feel good about themselves for their anti-prejudice vote. Pacific Islanders, among others, are no doubt feeling more secure.