'Scary' Ilhan Omar Makes Meghan McCain Cry
We didn't want to write about Meghan McCain twice this week or really at all, but she went and cried on "The View" yesterday, so what choice do we have, really? McCain tearfully warned the world about the threat of global anti-Semitism, as apparently represented by a freshman House member whose every dumb statement is immediately and publicly derided.
(We're going to just refer to McCain as "Megs McCabe" for the rest of this post, so you're not inclined to treat her opinions with more respect than they deserve because her father was someone important. You're probably already thinking, "Why the hell should I care what Megs McCabe thinks?" Exactly!)
Megs McCabe starts her audition for Meritocracy in the Age of Nepotism with a passive-aggressive warning to her co-hosts, who've already had too much of her shit: She's about to discuss an "issue that's very intense" for her and she asks her co-hosts to "bear with" her, as if that's not what've they've done every damn day for the past 17 months.
MCCAIN: First and foremost, anti-Semitism shouldn't be a left or right issue. I don't think we should be politicizing it on either side.
Fair enough. But then Megs McCabe compares a "tiki torch person in Charlottesville saying 'Jews will not replace us'" to "these more dog-whistle moments" from Rep. Ilhan Omar. A woman died in Charlottesville after a white supremacist ran her over in his Nazi-mobile, and the president McCain supports called the marching Nazis "very fine people." Omar -- and not for the first time -- has been clunkily employing what are sometimes straight-up anti-Semitic tropes, for which she apologized, and what are sometimes shortened by bad-faith listeners until they appear to be anti-Semitic tropes. But as Megs McCabe points out, those words are "very scary." Maybe black people will get free speech rights as part of any David Brooks-endorsed reparations package.
We should probably issue a trigger warning for this clip. Proceed with caution.
We're constantly told not to engage in "whataboutism" and ever dare compare Omar's stupid but relatively tepid comments to the scalding shower of bigotry from most Republicans, including the president. Omar must be viewed and criticized in a cultural and political vacuum. It's like considering the character of Thanos without regard to the type of movie he's in. He makes sense for the ones with Black Panthers and Hulks but if he'd snapped his fingers at the end of Green Book, that'd be weird and frankly more satisfying.
Sunny Hostin, who is going to straight-up kill Megs some day, correctly pointed out that Republicans are just using Omar as a political cudgel against Democrats. When Hostin shared that her grandfather was Jewish, Megs looked like she was about to cry again. Her white tears are the weaponized holy water against the liberal vampires surrounding her on the panel.
MCCAIN: Are you comfortable with me speaking now? Are we comfortable with me rebutting now?
Megs McCabe then confesses that she's on the "verge of being a Zionist" herself. Whatever. She also claims honorary Jewishness because her daddy's BFF was Joe Lieberman. This lady name drops more than Tahani on "The Good Place." Also, she and Abby Huntsman both recently chided Elizabeth Warren for daring to claim a connection to a minority group that wasn't her own.
MCCAIN: Just because I don't technically have Jewish family that are blood-related to me doesn't mean that I don't take this seriously ... And it is very dangerous—very dangerous—and I think we all collectively as Americans on both sides—and what Ilhan Omar is saying is VERY SCARY to me and a lot of people and I don't think you have to be Jewish to recognize that.
Yeah, you don't have to be Jewish to recognize that Omar is both black and Muslim. That's scary enough individually, and Omar is both at once. She's practically a Saw marathon. Funny thing about "dog whistles": They are also available at your local right-wing hack emporium. Megs McCabe probably just needs to be educated about the racial baggage of calling a black woman or a Muslim "scary," especially when we don't think she's ever used that word to describe Donald Trump.
Omar isn't so scary, though, that Megs McCabe can't courageously call out her use of social media.
.@IlhanMN retweeting trash like this is beneath a sitting member of Congress, as is her blatantly anti-Semitic rhet… https://t.co/p2f81N9Zq5— Meghan McCain (@Meghan McCain)1552051097.0
The original tweet isn't an "attack" or "trash." It's literally what John McCain said. There's video. Megs McCabe likes to insist that Democrats doing, well, anything is going to help re-elect Trump. We presume that'll be her excuse for voting for the man who repeatedly insulted her father while fellow members of her party laughed. It's unclear how Omar's "blatant" anti-Semitism is going to drive voters into the waiting embrace of a president who, after Charlottesville, claimed there were good people on "both sides." One of those sides contained literal Nazis.
Look, we probably agree that acknowledging Megs McCabe's existence is "beneath" a sitting member of Congress or even someone just sitting on the toilet reading Sports Illustrated. That's what we're here for. We will punish ourselves for the sake of the nation, sometimes even twice in one week. That's patriotism, yo.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).