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Pity the Democrats

April 15, 2019

Once again, Republicans are attacking the Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, who is Muslim. Once again, they are helping split the Democratic Party.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialThis time, it started after Omar spoke to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. This what she said. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. … Here’s the truth. For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it.”

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittThe NY Post, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal — all entities tied to the Republican Party — then jumped Omar. They used her words — “some people did something”— to claim she was diminishing the significance of the World Trade Center and other terrorist attacks on 9/11, which she sure seemed to be.  

It quoted Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a Navy Seal who lost an eye fighting in Afghanistan, who tweeted: “First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something.' Unbelievable.”

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialRepublican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel followed. “Ilhan Omar isn’t just anti-Semitic — she’s anti-American. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives to Islamic terrorists on 9/11, yet Omar diminishes it as: ‘Some people did something.’ Democrat leaders need to condemn her brazen display of disrespect.”

Next up was Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York at the time of 9/11, who echoed McDaniel. “Democratic leaders in Congress should have the courage to denounce [Omar] for her outrageous and ignorant comments,” he said.

Giuliani was accompanied on his tweet by Bernie Kerik, who was police commissioner at the time and whom Giuliani has generally avoided since Kerik subsequently ended up serving four years in federal prison on fraud charges.“As the police commissioner of the City of New York on September 11, 2001,” Kerik added, “I oversaw the NYPD’s response, rescue, recovery, and investigative efforts of that “something” that “some people did.”

Even President Trump piled on, retweeting a video of the attack and interposing it with images of Omar. A Trump supporter was subsequently arrested for threatening her.

Lost in all this is that Omar has a point about Muslims losing access to civil liberties. Nowhere was this more apparent than in New York City, where Kerik’s successor, Ray Kelly, sent NYPD Intelligence Division detectives not merely into Muslim mosques in the city but up and down the east coast, searching for terrorist plots.

On the other hand, Omar, a 37-year-old Somali refugee who came here with her family in 1992, seems naive in failing to understand the fear of all Americans following the 9/11 attacks, something never before seen or even imagined. She and her family were granted political asylum in 1995 after spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. She became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

 As for the anti-Semitism charges, last month Omar apologized for what many perceived as an anti-Semitic tweet. She wrote that “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby” saying that the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee lobbies Washington to take pro-Israel positions.

Last week, she attacked Trump adviser Stephen Miller, one of the architects of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, as a “white nationalist,” although she said nothing about his Jewish ancestry. That didn’t stop Long Island Republican Lee Zeldin from charging she was “targeting Jewish people.”

So far, the most vocal defenders of Omar have been those on the leftist edge of the political spectrum, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

But where are the Democratic moderates? After her “Benjamin” line, Speaker Nancy Pelsoi allowed a vote on the house floor that repudiated Omar. More recently, Pelosi criticized Trump for his retweeted video but said nothing about Omar’s latest remarks.

It doesn’t look good for Omar. It doesn’t look good for the moderates. It doesn’t look good for the Democratic party.

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