Hammer time

You probably heard the calls for the ritual disembowelment of Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has an unfortunate habit of criticizing Israel in language that reeks of anti-Semitic tropes. The House is now scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, but that sneaky Nancy Pelosi went and turned the resolution into a condemnation of all the many hatreds that have recently infected American politics. How is that even fair? This was supposed to reflect Democrats' DEEP RIFTS over how to deal with the only bigot in America, a single freshman Democrat from Minnesota, not an opportunity to reaffirm so-called American values! Guess maybe Pelosi isn't about to be overthrown after all; sorry, Fox News.

The resolution is a serious, detailed criticism of the rise of hatred in recent American politics, affirming the value of the First Amendment and freedom of religion, then drilling down into the wheareases:

Whereas whether from the political right, center, or left, bigotry, discrimination, oppression, racism, and imputations of dual loyalty threaten American democracy and have no place in American political discourse;

Whereas white supremacists in the United States have exploited and continue to exploit bigotry and weaponized hate for political gain, targeting traditionally persecuted peoples, including African Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, immigrants, and others with verbal attacks, incitement, and violence;

Whereas the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., taught that persecution of any American is an assault on the rights and freedoms of all Americans;

The resolution condemns, in particular, the 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville; the 2015 massacre at Mother Emmanuel Church by a white nationalist who hoped to start a race war; and last October's mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and how is that even appropriate when only Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite? Pelosi explained that maybe some context matters: "The president may think there are good people on both sides, we don't share that view."

The resolution goes on to name and condemn acts of anti-Semitism. Not just the accusation that supporters of Israel have "divided loyalty," but also the far more violent forms of anti-Semitism:

Whereas in 2017 the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported a 37 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews or Jewish institutions and found that attacks against Jews or Jewish institutions made up 58.1 percent of all religious-based hate crimes; [...]

Whereas anti-Semitism includes blaming Jews as Jews when things go wrong; calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or extremist view of religion; or making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotyped allegations about Jews;

Whereas Jewish people are subject in the media and political campaigns to numerous other dangerous anti-Semitic myths as well, including that Jews control the United States Government or seek global, political, and financial domination and that Jews are obsessed with money;

Wait, hold on, that last bit includes great Americans like Trump-loving trolls on 4-chan, how DARE you suggest they're anything but patriots? The resolution even pointedly condemns a few groups by name, like the "Ku Klux Klan, the America First Committee, and modern neo-Nazis." That's really unfair, you know, because this was supposed to only be a resolution condemning Omar, and what sort of monster would smear millions of great Americans by placing anti-Semitism in some sort of "context."

The resolution then moves on to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry, noting that the attempt to smear Muslims as implacable enemies of Jews is also, hey, a stereotype, and that there has been real violence perpetrated by rightwing domestic terrorists:

Whereas anti-Muslim bigotry entails prejudicial attitudes towards Muslims and people who are perceived to be Muslim, including the irrational belief that Muslims are inherently violent, disloyal, and foreign;

Whereas Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim are subjected to false and dangerous stereotypes and myths including unfair allegations that they sympathize with individuals who engage in violence or terror or support the oppression of women, Jews, and other vulnerable communities;

Whereas in 2017, mosques were bombed in Bloomington, Minnesota, and burned in Austin, Texas, Victoria, Texas, Bellevue, Washington, and Thonotosassa, Florida, and mass attacks on Muslim communities were planned against communities in Islamberg, New York, in 2019, Jacksonville, Florida, in 2017, and Garden City, Kansas, in 2016;

The text then says the House condemns all that bigotry and rejects "attempts to justify hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of disapproval or frustration over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere," and calls on law enforcement and government officials to avoid all "conduct that raises the specter of unconstitutional profiling against anyone" based on who they are, unless of course they're vegans.

Not surprisingly, the Usual Suspects are outraged that Pelosi would condemn anything other than Ilhan Omar, the sole practitioner of anti-Semitism in America, according to wingnut media. The rightwing Washington Examiner's headline sniffs, "Watered down: Anti-Semitism resolution will also condemn Islamaphobia, police profiling, white supremacy," as if those were bad things at all. Why, the resolution doesn't even name Ilhan Omar! Stupidest Man on the Internet Jim Hoft suggested Pelosi had allowed Omar to edit the resolution all by herself!!!!!

That story was based on a Breitbart piece saying the resolution would include input from the House Foreign Relations Committee, on which Omar sits, but Hoft was perfectly happy to let his mouth-breathing readers assume Omar wrote the whole thing. In which case: She's a very good writer!

Even Donald Trump got in on the act yesterday, before the text of the resolution was made public today:

We dunno, it sure sounds like a pretty strong condemnation of anti-Semitism. But it's probably all wrong, since it condemns all anti-Semitism, not just the rightwing outrage of the week.

Oh, and Ben Shapiro wanted to know why nobody but him is yelling about David Duke's praise of Omar, because libs are hypocrites, condemning all hatred but not condemning one person's hatred enough. OK, fine, Ben: David Duke is an asshole. So are you. There, both sides.

UPDATE: annnnnd they voted! Ilhan Omar voted to condemn hatred and anti-Semitism (she would!) and Liz Cheney, among others, voted not to.

[San Francisco Chronicle / NYT / Fox News / Washington Examiner]

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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