Can Ilhan Omar's GOP Challenger Steal Her Seat Like She (ALLEGEDLY) Stole 279 Items From Target?
Republicans consider Rep. Ilhan Omar the greatest threat to democracy since fair elections. They've accused the Minnesota congresswoman of hating Jews, America, and Irving Berlin songs about America. We expect that they'll do everything in their power to unseat Omar in 2020. They're bringing out the serious, heavy artillery. Meet Omar's Republican challenger, Danielle Stella.
So, obviously, something's a little off about Stella and not just in the "I believe in trickle-down economics" sense. We're not going to drag her too mercilessly. She's not some common Megs McCabe. Stella is a special education teacher (that's nice!) whose policy positions include loving on Donald Trump, defending the rights of conservatives to say whatever bigoted crap they want online without consequence, and Second Amendment fetishism. Predictably, she opposes abortion rights and believes "choice starts in the bedroom." She doesn't specify where in your home choice ends. We'd guess the laundry room. There's only so much you can do there.
Stella's campaign website claims she's running because it's "her duty and privilege to stand up and speak for the forgotten American citizens in [Minnesota's 5th Congressional District]." She likes to spend her time sharing wackadoodle predictions on Twitter about Trump carrying 50 percent of the black vote in a 2020 landslide. She also "owns" apparent liberals with paranoid tweets containing the hashtag #WWG1WGA. That stands for "Where we go one, we go all," which is both gibberish and the motto of the Internet conspiracy group QAnon.
Reading her Twitter feed, it's hard to believe Stella's a real person and not an Internet troll created on a laptop in Moscow. But she actually exists and has the criminal record to prove it. She was arrested twice this year in Minneapolis for alleged shoplifting. Her big score was somehow lifting (allegedly) 279 items worth more than $2,300 from a Target. The $40 worth of goods she's accused of stealing from a grocery store is less impressive. She recently decried Prince's home town as the "crime capital of our country." That carries more weight now that we know she's a primary source.
STELLA: I am not guilty of these crimes. In this country I am innocent until proven guilty and that is the law. If I was guilty of crimes, I would never run for public office, putting myself in the public eye under a microscope to be attacked by all political sides.
Yeah, Stella would have to be pretty stupid to run against a prominent congresswoman if she'd gone full Winona at a local Target. This is a variation of the Basic Instinct defense, which is actually not a valid defense. We were just distracted at the time by all the naked Sharon Stone.
Republicans probably realize that Ms. Sticky Fingers doesn't have the best chance of defeating Omar. So now they've resorted to just begging Omar to leave the country voluntarily. Rand Paul suggested that Omar "go back" to Somalia so she could see firsthand how bad it is compared to America. We think an actual Somalian refugee fully comprehends the country's challenges. Paul graciously offered to pay for Omar's ticket -- coach only! -- back to Somalia. He thinks she would "appreciate America" more by the end of her trip. He's not just a bad senator. He's a hack film producer pitching a romantic comedy starring Omar and the United States. The working title is How Ilhan Got Her Nationalistic Groove Back.
Not surprisingly, Stella quickly shared Paul's stupid comments on Twitter. Maybe if she can beat these charges like Rocky, she'll consider a Senate run. The Republicans aren't known for their high standards these days. Just look at the current White House squatter.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."