Making the click-through worthwhile: Ilhan Oman’s repugnant views don’t mean she should be ‘sent back’; anonymous complaints from a House Democrat; politicians promise. . . and then plan.
Don’t ‘Send Her Back.’ Investigate the Criminal Allegations Surrounding Her.
I suppose we should consider it a small miracle that the crowd at Trump’s rally last night chanted “send her back” and not “send them back.”
For a crowd in the throes of political passion, “send her back” is probably interchangeable with “we hate her” or “lock her up” or “go to hell.” Representative Ilhan Omar’s given a lot of Americans a lot of reasons to dislike her — her demonization of Israel, the “all about the Benjamins” accusation that pro-Israel lawmakers are bought off, the weird and contradictory explanations about her marriages, the violations of campaign finance laws, the contention that U.S. sanctions against the Maduro regime in Venezuela are “bullying,” the insistence that Trump is still “credibly charged” with foreign collusion despite the findings of the Mueller report.
Instead of a smorgasbord of accusations and allegations, her critics would probably be wise to focus upon the worst and most consequential ones. Since entering Congress, Omar appeared at a closed-door fundraiser for Islamic Relief. The Middle East Forum contends Islamic Relief funds organizations that work closely with Hamas and hosted extremist clerics. Islamic Relief contends they are “a purely humanitarian organization, which categorically has no ties to any political group.”
In the Minnesota House of Representatives, she was one of only two lawmakers who voted against barring life insurance payments to beneficiaries of suspected terrorists.
She’s urged compassion and lenient sentencing for Minnesota men who tried to join ISIS. She has argued that the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database is “dangerous.”
She argues we spend too much on defense, pushed for cutting $16 billion from the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations, and argues the U.S. should not have any permanent bases or installations in Somalia.
(The U.S. has 500 to 600 military personnel in Somalia, mostly training Somali army units capable of defeating al Qaeda-linked militants on the ground, but also regularly carrying out airstrikes.)
In a 2013 interview, she contended that terrorism against the United States was driven by the country’s foreign policy: “For us, it’s always ‘I must have not done anything. Why is it happening to me?’ Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”
In that same interview, she discussed the tone of voice and body language of Americans when they discussed terrorist groups:
The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘al-Qaida,’ he sort of like — his shoulders went up,” she said while laughing. “‘Al-Qaida!’ ‘Hezbollah!’”
By contrast, she said, “you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the Army’ with an intensity. But you say these names (of terrorist groups) because you want that word to carry weight. . . When you hear people speaking in Arabic, you know, suspicion arises, people start to pay attention.
Omar may have lied in her legal filing for divorce when she claimed she hadn’t had contact with husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi since June 2011 and that she didn’t know how to reach him; some of Omar’s critics contend Elmi is her brother and that it was an effort at immigration fraud.
It is worth noting that even if Omar committed immigration fraud to help Elmi, this would not repeal Omar’s citizenship that was granted in 2000. So far, no one has shown evidence Omar lied in her own application process for citizenship. If Omar did commit fraud in an effort to help Elmi, she would be charged for violating U.S. law as a U.S. citizen, not face deportation.
Some of what Omar is accused of doing is criminal. It is a crime to lie to help someone else immigrate to the United States. It is a crime to raise money for a terrorist group, although it is fuzzier when a nonprofit is merely “linked,’ “cooperates,” or “works closely with” a militant group. (I like to joke that Representative Peter King of New York spent the 1980s telling Americans to put their money into an IRA. Depending upon who you listened to, Noraid was mostly a charity or mostly the primary funding source of the Irish Republican Army.)
If she violated the law, the proper course is investigation, the accumulation of evidence, indictment, and conviction. (Keep in mind, GOP congressmen Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter won reelection under indictment last year.) There’s nothing stopping U.S. attorneys or other law enforcement agencies from investigating these allegations.
The chant of “send her back” contends that citizenship is conditional, and that someone who became a U.S. citizen in 2000 could have her citizenship repealed because of her viewpoints. This is not how this has ever worked under the law, and, God willing, this country will never work that way. Much like “lock her up,” “send her back” is a chant that reflects how the crowd wishes America worked – that due process could be tossed aside and that those figures deemed most reprehensible in their minds could be punished immediately.
Profiles in Courage in the Democratic House Caucus
If you’re a House Democrat, and you really think that the “Squad” keeps trying to steer the party away from bread-and-butter issues towards an extremist agenda, and that they’re anti-Semites, and a bunch of ingrates who demand loyalty but offer none in return. . . why are you anonymously complaining to Jake Tapper instead of saying so publicly and trying to marginalize what you obviously believe to be a malignant force within your party?
The Winning Playbook: Promise Everything and Figure out How to Do It Later
In 2008, Barack Obama pledged that if you liked your plan, you could keep it, and that if elected, Americans would look back at his election and see it as the moment when America provided “care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” In 2016, Donald Trump pledged to build a “big beautiful wall” and get Mexico to pay for it, to eliminate the entire debt in eight years and that he would “make possible every dream you ever dreamed.”
Now Kamala Harris is insisting that everyone in America can be put under Medicare – including illegal immigrants – without raising taxes on the middle class, a claim so spectacularly outlandish that allies of Bernie Sanders are comparing it to unicorns and magic wands.
America, how many times do you need to be disappointed before you start feeling some skepticism about the latest schmo to come along and promise the moon? Harris was a prosecutor with a quite mixed record, but all along she was sitting on a secret formula to provide government-funded quality health care to everybody in America? A secret formula that has somehow evaded everybody else who’s working on health care policy?
Politicians make these – “we’re gonna cure cancer!” – because they think you’re stupid enough to believe they can do it. And too many among us fall for it, cycle after cycle. They’re politicians, not demi-gods. You would think that if these people had such amazing insight, skill, and management prowess they would have done something else with their lives besides sit in the Senate.
ADDENDA: Great news for Jolt readers in the northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and suburban Maryland area! On September 15, I will be signing copies of Between Two Scorpions and chatting with people at the Barnes and Noble in Mosaic in Fairfax at 1 p.m. The bad news is that this is right around the start time for week two of the NFL season. The good news is that on Sundays the Mosaic district hosts one of the best farmer’s markets in the area; my family and I are regulars. Stop on by!
Ninety-one reviewers on Amazon can’t be wrong! (Okay, theoretically, they could be, but they probably aren’t.)
Scott, Joe, and the great guys at Turn On the Jets gave me the opportunity to rant and rave about the upcoming season. When a team stumbles, how do you sort out problems with the roster from problems in the coaching?