BY: Conor J. Kelly
Nobody should be surprised, and yet nobody should pretend it wasn’t a bigoted and partisan attack. In a brazen act of retaliation against Democrats, the House GOP stripped Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mich) from the Foreign Affairs committee, citing her comments on Israeli foreign policy.
The vote, which went entirely along partisan lines, was supported by GOP leadership by Omar’s alleged “antisemitic and anti-American remarks,” which Republicans argued made her unfit to stand on the foreign affairs committee.
Ironically, anti-semitism has not stopped the GOP from supporting the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene. It didn’t stop them from putting her on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, much less the Committee on Homeland Security. Comments about Jewish Space lasers don’t seem to concern the GOP.
The comments by Omar are far from perfect, but when it came to taking responsibility, Omar was willing and ready to apologize for her remarks, crude and inappropriate as they were. Compare that to the haphazard defense and apology that Marjorie Taylor Greene gave to keep her committee, and the distinction becomes clear.
Omar apologized because her tweet, “it’s all about the Benjamins,” was fundamentally wrong. Greene apologized because she wanted to hold onto power.
But in the face of newly established, albeit weak, GOP control, the American public should not be surprised at all that antisemitism has been used and will continue to be used as a tool in a larger political game. It should also not be surprising that one of the first members of congress that said the tool was deployed against was a Muslim woman who the GOP loves to hate.