President Donald Trump retweeted a Hill article this week that featured interviews with Minnesota Democrats who are beginning to wonder if they made a grave mistake sending Rep. Ilhan Omar to Congress. Those Democrats have not specifically found a candidate willing to challenge Omar in the 2020 primaries…yet. But the interview certainly made it clear that they are keeping their ears to the ground in the event that Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks turn into an ongoing pattern. Her little portion of Minnesota is home to plenty of Somali immigrants, but it is also home to plenty of Jewish Democrats who see in Omar a threat to their safety.
Omar, of course, is oblivious to all of this. One of the most arrogant twits currently taking up space on Capitol Hill (and that’s saying something), and apparently unable to converse on Twitter without referencing old hip-hip songs, Omar clapped back at Trump with this insightful response:
“I am sorry Mr. @realDonaldTrump. I am for real, you can’t #MuslimBan us from Congress!”
Apologies to Outkast.
Of course, the response is silly on its face, but it is even sillier when you consider that it is DEMOCRATS – not Trump – mulling over the possibility of replacing Omar with a more palatable congressman.
“There’s definitely talk about people wanting someone to run against her,” said Rep. Ron Latz (D-MN).
Because she knows that she’s one anti-Semitic remark away from losing the reluctant support of her own party, Omar has been frantically trying to re-cast her critics as Islamophobes who don’t like her because she’s a proud, black, Muslim woman with a hijab on her head. This counter-attack will probably carry some weight with the kind of people who thought sending her to Washington was a good idea in the first place, but it is unlikely to stir much sympathy from Jewish Democrats who have heard her kind of rhetoric for decades. They know a dangerous zealot when they see one, and they’ve identified one in Ilhan Omar.
So no, Trump neither can nor appears to care about #MuslimBanning Ilhan Omar from Congress. But if she continues to expose the extremist religious bigotry she brought with her to Capitol Hill, the rest of America may wonder if that’s not exactly what we should do.