Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) made waves early on Thursday for a scathing new op-ed piece she published in The New York Times entitled, “It Is Not Enough to Condemn Trump’s Racism.”
First, of course it was published by The Times.
Second, it seems the only way for freshman congresspeople to get any attention these days is to go after President Donald Trump. And this is not about debating him over policy issues; it’s about attacking him personally, about attacking the “Trump brand” and what they insist he stands for, in their minds.
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And third, she charges the president with racism with no proof whatsoever — but never acknowledges her own highly questionable and troublesome actions and comments that fall into this category. This is not rare for her; when reporters come up to her and ask her questions on Capitol Hill or elsewhere, she often glides right on by and pretends not to see them. She has not answered many questions about her own background, her own activities, her own comments.
“Nobody fact-checks her,” noted White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Thursday, in comments to the Fox News program, “Outnumbered Overtime.” Conway also said it was “very disappointing” that The Times published Omar’s piece. “They’re giving a person a platform [yet] never fact-checking her,” she said.
In her broadside against Trump on Thursday, Omar — one of the four young Democratic “squad” members who continually speak out against the president and want him impeached — said that “the only way to push back is to be unequivocal about our values.”
She wrote, in part, “Throughout history, demagogues have used state power to target minority communities and political enemies, often culminating in state violence.”
“Today, we face that threat in our own country, where the president of the United States is using the influence of our highest office to mount racist attacks on communities across the land.”
She declared that “democracy is under attack once again.”
Omar went after the president for his words at a Make America Great Again rally last week in Greenville, North Carolina — when many in the crowd of supporters began chanting, in reference to her, “Send her back!”
During that rally, Trump slammed the four young progressives who call themselves the squad — Omar as well as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.). He’s been sparring with these House Democrats ever since they decided a tweet he sent out recently about them was “racist.”
“If they don’t love [our country], tell them to leave it,” Trump declared in Greenville about the lawmakers, all of whom were elected during the 2018 midterms.
Omar wrote of that rally incident, “It reminds us of the grave stakes of the coming presidential election: that this fight is not merely about policy ideas; it is a fight for the soul of our nation. The ideals at the heart of our founding — equal protection under the law, pluralism, religious liberty — are under attack, and it is up to all of us to defend them.”
She also charged Trump with “weaponizing division.”
She said he’s set religious minorities against each other in order to distract from more important issues.
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“If working Americans are too busy fighting with one another, we will never address the very real and deep problems our country faces — from climate change to soaring inequality to lack of quality affordable health care,” she insisted.
She also declared that “democracy is under attack once again.”
It’s so easy to attack, insinuate, charge, say almost anything without background or proof in an effort to get attention — but it’s so much harder to get actual work done for the benefit of the American people.
Yet isn’t that why people are elected to Congress?
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