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Omar and the outrage factory: The long knives are out for her

Rep. Ilhan Omar
MinnPost file photo by Tony Nelson
Rep. Ilhan Omar

At the risk of stating the obvious:

Rep. Ilhan Omar would have benefited from adding a few more words to her description of the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something.”

She could have, and perhaps wishes she had, said something like: “On September 11, some despicable terrorists, who consider themselves Muslims but who are a disgrace to our religion of peace, committed an unspeakable act of mass murder against innocent Americans against whom they had no legitimate grievance, no matter how much they might despise some of the actions and policies of the U.S. government.”

Perhaps, if she had said that (and it would not have been out of keeping with the rest of her remarks) the Republican outrage factory would have had to find something else to use to inflame their Islamophobia.

She said what she said and it has now entered the outrage factory as if she had said that the 9/11 attacks were no big deal. She did not say anything remotely close to that, at least for me, reading her remarks in their full context.

I suspect you’ve seen it by now, but the full passage went like this:

Here’s the truth. For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. So you can’t just say that today someone is looking at me strange and that I am trying to make myself look pleasant. You have to say that this person is looking at me strange, I am not comfortable with it, and I am going to talk to them and ask them why. Because that is the right you have.

CAIR is the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Omar erred in saying it was founded after Sept. 11, 2001. It was founded in 1994. The event at which she made her remark was a CAIR event. The rest of her remarks were utterly uncontroversial.

Omar must know by now that the long knives are out for her. She is choosing not to shut up nor even to back down. I wouldn’t particularly blame her if she concluded that a policy of hypercaution would amount to surrender.

As for those who are having their fun with this latest excuse to portray Omar as an America-hating Islamic jihadist, I don’t suppose they care about context, and I suppose they would say that Trump-haters take everything unfortunate he says out of context. But I don’t think you have to try too hard, with a president who used to urge the crowd at his rallies to “beat the crap out of” protesters, to portray him as hateful toward those who don’t adore him.

For those who care abouit facts, here is a very good Washington Post fact-check based on the Omar some-people-did-something  controversy.

Here is how Trump’s buddy Sean Hannity chose to use his considerable influence to calm the waters after the Omar talk.

Here is a small collection of instances in which Trump celebrated or incited violence.

Comments (136)

  1. Submitted by Tim Smith on 04/15/2019 - 02:29 pm.

    Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot? Blessed to see some outrage outside the left dem hysteria machine.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/15/2019 - 04:17 pm.

      That statement is appalling.

      Do you really enjoy seeing “outrage” so much that you regard it as “blessed?” Why is “outrage” a good thing?

      No wonder a bully was elected President. Our representative democracy has been turned into a cage match.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/15/2019 - 05:18 pm.

        Outrage can be educational, although I aver directed towards Omar it will have little positive effect.

      • Submitted by cory johnson on 04/15/2019 - 05:59 pm.

        Have you been to a college campus lately? Talk about ground zero for outrage. Especially if someone with an opposing view wants to speak.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2019 - 09:07 am.

          If it weren’t for manufactured outrage, the American right-wing would have nothing.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/18/2019 - 08:04 am.

            Were it not for manufactured outrage, the mainstream media would have nothing to sell. They sold so hard during the last presidential campaign cycle that it became a continuous Trump commercial, ultimately giving him the victory, even though his campaign was outspent by Hillary by a two to one margin.

            The political left will defend their exclusive right to the outrage factory that they built; no squatters permitted!

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2019 - 03:40 pm.

              What is Trump selling if not outrage?

              It’s very convenient for Trump’s enablers to say “outrage” is a leftist phenomenon, but it has all the impact and accuracy of the child on the playground defending himself with a “nunh uh! You are!” It’s just another sign of nothing to say.

              Did you fail to notice the Tea Party? Have you never heard angry conservatives growling about “taking our country back [from whom, exactly?]”? What about the sheer ugliness of Trump’s inaugural address? That you don’t call outrage?

              Yes, the media gave Trump a free platform, because outrage makes for good television. The sight of a mass of angry rightists chanting “lock her up!” is far more compelling than any serious discussion of issues, or of temperament. Why do you think that’s not a bad thing? Why is it just an excuse to snipe at the left, with a neener, neener, we took your thing?

              And don’t give me the rubbish that you’re just pointing out hypocrisy. I don’t believe it, and I seriously doubt that anyone else does.

              • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/18/2019 - 05:38 pm.

                The abundantly evident hypocrisy requires no pointing out. I know you think your examples are spot-on, but they are just more of the same and so tired. The inaugural speech, really?

                The Omar outrage is merely a placeholder for the redacted Mueller Report outrage. That will be fed upon for the next two years. There will be calls for the full report, and of course impeachment. Don’t move on.

                • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/19/2019 - 09:49 am.

                  “I know you think your examples are spot-on, but they are just more of the same and so tired.”

                  Glad to hear you’re moving on from the Obama-Clinton bashing. Really, that was going beyond tiresome.

                  That is what you’re doing, right?

                  • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/19/2019 - 11:06 am.

                    As long as you are way off topic, use your time machine and produce a quote that backs your quote regarding my Obama-Clinton bashing. Perhaps, you are thinking of someone else.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/15/2019 - 06:53 pm.

        What Smith is trying to say is that it’s all about owning the libs.

        That Trumps any discussion of things like policy or income inequality.

        • Submitted by Tim Smith on 04/16/2019 - 09:31 am.

          What I find funny is the obvious system the far left has in place and they they repeat the cycle over and over. Dem party comes up with a few word descritption for the latest hysteria ” rage machine and incite violence” the media, variety show host and 99% of hollywood repeat the same phrases in support over and over and over. that’s journalism? No, its propaganda.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/15/2019 - 09:32 pm.

      Hmmm… No hysteria here, and I’m not a machine. Rep. Omar is receiving death threats due to a poor choice of words. That seems OK to you?

      I read it, and heard it, as saying that SOME people “did something” – knowing that sentient beings among her audience would know what that “something” was that she was talking about – but that ALL Muslim-Americans were being blamed. I’ve watched the video clip several times, and that’s still the way it strikes me. The many are being blamed wholesale for the actions of a few. That is, Muslim-Americans are being victimized by, if not exactly racist, then cultural, stereotypes that, as stereotypes typically do, bear only a faint resemblance to the facts.

    • Submitted by Drew Gmitro on 04/16/2019 - 08:14 pm.

      The women’s a disgrace and those that believe she is flawless, want to pat themselves on the back and believe they hold absolutely no prejudices whatsoever. Hollywood is a perfect example. All a bunch of hypocrites. Omar doesn’t represent most Americans views, thank God. She will continue to make outrageous statements and the left will continue to cover for her unless it costs them votes. Once that happens, they’ll drop her like they always do. She’s another “Avenetti” for the left and you see where he’s at now. Good riddance to Omar. Can’t wait until she’s voted out.

  2. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 04/15/2019 - 03:21 pm.

    “The long knives are out for her…” just think if a member of the GOP had used such violence filled rhetoric! They would be “targeted!”

    Representative Omar has nothing to fear from GOP political attacks – it is the DFL and fellow Dems that she must fear politically.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/15/2019 - 04:24 pm.

      I doubt Rep. Omar fears the Republicans. Time and again, they have showed themselves to be merely verbal bullies, running sniveling into a corner when challenged on their rhetoric (Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying that Trump does not incite violence; Trump conveniently not remembering if he offered to pay the legal bills of any of his lackeys who get arrested). At the end of the day, they are tough-talking cowards–“war wimps,” to use an 80s coinage from a different context. That’s a good thing.

      The real fear is from the goons who are stirred up by what he says. The GOP may conveniently disavow the Paul Hassons of the country, but they are the ones who are inspired by the pugnacious battalogia coming out of the White House. Those are the ones–the ones Republicans would call “deeply disturbed individuals who in no way represent the values of the Republican Party”–who pose the threat.

      Once, it would have been beyond imagination that a President would routinely inspire that kind of criminality. Now, it’s another morning in America.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/15/2019 - 06:56 pm.

      But the GOP has used such rhetoric.

      “…knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously, OK? Just knock the hell … I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise, I promise…”

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/15/2019 - 09:40 pm.

      I certainly hope Mr. Gotzman is correct, and that Rep. Omar has nothing to fear from GOP political attacks. I also note that Mr. Gotzman appears to have read or seen or heard something in Ms. Omar’s remarks that just isn’t there.

      “…just think if a member of the GOP had used such violence filled rhetoric!…”

      I’ve read the text of her remarks several times, watched the video of her making the remarks several times, and don’t see anything in her remarks that suggests violence. “…I am going to talk to them and ask them why…” doesn’t begin to suggest violence.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 04/16/2019 - 11:43 am.

      Would you prefer “the long ties?”

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/15/2019 - 03:55 pm.

    I bet the Trump/Kushner buddies in Saudi Arabia know more about it than Omar.

    And there is this, from Yemen:

    ….new Associated Press reporting from Yemen has laid bare the fact that the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been busy cutting “secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash … hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.”

    Oh, and there is this…

    ….This is in contrast to the words of President Donald Trump before he took office. In a 2015 book, Time to Get Tough, he labelled Saudi Arabia “the world’s biggest funder of terrorism”.

    What is more consequential, word choice of a US Representative, or the financial dependency of a President on a foreign country that is actively undermining the US?

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/15/2019 - 10:12 pm.

      Obviously, what Trump has done is far more consequential. But because Omar can’t seem to talk about anything delicate without putting her foot in her mouth, she gets the attention.

      Omar is a gift to Trump. She gives him cover for his crimes. Every day we are talking about her dumb statements, Trump gets a free pass.

      • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 04/16/2019 - 09:08 am.

        The answer is “don’t let Trump be the black hole of politics” where all issues are sucked into his distortions of time and space.

        “Oh he has a great point and I’m so angry…” is exactly what he is after.

        It is pretty clear from the full speech that the intent of the speech was to indicate how the actions of a few affected the lives of many–victims on site, and victims the era of “Islam = scary”.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 10:43 am.

          Of course that was the full intent of the speech. But her intent was erased because she is such a terrible messenger. When you have to go back and explain what you really meant, when you have to ask people to watch the whole speech, you are losing.

          Omar means well, but she an incompetent politician. Her incompetence undermines her message. It makes her a walking billboard for re-electing Trump.

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/16/2019 - 09:46 pm.

            PT, why do you expect perfect from Omar, put tolerate 95% hog wash from the incumbent? Omar, worst day is still what 2-3000% more accurate and honest than he is! What you fail to realize is, the inhabitant comes from the top of the crust, Omar comes as a refugee, total opposite ends of the spectrum, yet, for some reason you place them at equal footing, what presidential style Ivy League Obama expectations! Despite that convoluted calculation, appears to this observer the inhabitant is threatened, running scared by this refugee immigrant, otherwise why cast a glance? Fear of getting his butt kicked by all the things he despises! The war is not over, the battle wages, support your warrior, if that is your true passion!

      • Submitted by John Evans on 04/16/2019 - 11:56 am.

        Omar’s putting her foot in her mouth? She has said things that can be misunderstood, and has apologized for those comments. Most of the furor is purely manufactured, like the latest, in which propaganda professionals carefully take a phrase out of context and pretend to be mortally offended.

        Steve King, on the other hand, has been in congress since 2002, and Republicans never pushed back on him until 2018. Not once.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 01:46 pm.

          Yes, it is manufactured. And out of context. But its not careful – Omar is so inept she serves it up for them.

          Your Steve King comparison is right on. Someday, like with King, the Democrats will finally tire of Omar.

        • Submitted by Payton Powell on 04/16/2019 - 03:59 pm.

          But she’s a politician, she should know better than to make such sophomoric statements. Ultimately, it won’t matter because her district would vote for her literally no matter what she’s said or done, but it doesn’t mean she will be an effective politician if she isolates herself by having a less than measured approach. That’s the real pitfall that the current crop of young Prog-Dems don’t understand, radical ideas and movements are great on college campuses where the stakes are low, but seasoned politicians should seek moderate compromise and know how to work within the system. She’s just proving that she’s immature.

  4. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/15/2019 - 05:45 pm.

    “So you can’t just say that today someone is looking at me strange and that I am trying to make myself look pleasant. You have to say that this person is looking at me strange, I am not comfortable with it, and I am going to talk to them and ask them why. Because that is the right you have.”

    Words to live by. Whenever we think that someone is looking at us “strange” we need to go ask them why they are looking at us “strange”. This should provide us all with some fascinating conversations.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/15/2019 - 07:00 pm.

    Fomenting fear of Scary Brown People, whether from Islamic countries or “Mexican counties” like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador will continue to mount until November of 2020.

    It didn’t fare well in 2018, and I doubt it will do any better next year.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 04/16/2019 - 12:03 pm.


    • Submitted by Payton Powell on 04/16/2019 - 04:05 pm.

      As one of those “scary brown people” let me tell you that you are drastically underestimating Trump’s/GOP appeal, especially to moderates such as myself. The further and further left the Dems go the more and more alienated people in the middle will become. I don’t care for Trump, but the current trend towards “Socialized Democracy” and the embrace of Critical Theory on the left leaves me little choice in the matter. Recovering from Trump is easy, he’s not that effective of a politician, but the radical changes proposed by those on the left are quite simply asinine.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/17/2019 - 04:44 pm.

        Oh yes, health car for all so scary!

        Why in Germany they a terrified of it.

        • Submitted by Mark Kulda on 04/18/2019 - 05:26 pm.

          In Germany, they have a dual system. Anybody with any sort of job or income don’t ever even get close to the public system because it is so bad. Many people go to private health care providers and pay for it privately, either through private insurance or with cash on their own. The public health system in Germany is a poor example.

  6. Submitted by Joe Musich on 04/15/2019 - 07:36 pm.

    Accurately title tome. Thank you. So much for the twisting of the words by orange finger pointing posters. And of course that crew will deflect without examining one word of their accusatory language. Beat beat pound pound I am going deaf. Radical leftist over and over but not much more sophistication than that. And of course when a piece like this appears here it is immediately seen as a defense of the target causing them to overheat in their enemy of the people rhetoric. Clearly this group would be much more comfortable with no reporting being done at all…

  7. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/15/2019 - 09:14 pm.

    As would be expected, the long knives got to do their hate job. Lets see, hate #1, female, #2 Muslim, #3 African decent, #4 refugee, #5 wears a Hijab, #6 won’t subservient to WASP, #7 Smart #8 Attitude, #9 presents a different life perspective, …..So what’s new, this little what 110 pound lady evidently scares the b-jesus out of “T” and his right wing dictator want to be supporters,.

  8. Submitted by Tim Smith on 04/15/2019 - 09:40 pm.

    She either was unaware of the horror and loss on 9/11… or afraid to let her audience know the truth, either way she and her district should be greatly embarrassed..

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/16/2019 - 09:59 am.

      In many circles, this would be called “willful ignorance” – on your part, not Omar’s. Of course she’s aware of what happened on 9/11/01. That leaves the second part of your response – whatever you mean by “the truth,” that “truth” being not at all obvious in the way you’ve phrased your response. I’d say you’ve used a poor choice of words, much like Ms. Omar did. Does that mean it’s OK for an emotionally-overwrought supporter of Ms. Omar to make death threats to you and your family? I believe Dennis Wagner has pretty much nailed this one, and RB Holbrook’s affirmation seems spot-on.

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 04/16/2019 - 02:29 pm.

        Thankfully I have good comprehansion and we are in very different circles, good try otherwise though.

      • Submitted by Payton Powell on 04/16/2019 - 04:08 pm.

        The continuing series of wrong choice of words by Omar only proves that she’s not mature enough to handle the position that she holds. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter as her district would vote for her regardless.

  9. Submitted by Roy Everson on 04/16/2019 - 02:51 am.

    Were she better spoken and ready for prime time she’d be condemned by the right as a career politician. As it is she’s becoming Trumpism’s latest Big Lie victim. Now what, a sympathetic figure to capture America’s hearts — or a pretext for worse to come from the growing cyst of religious bigotry inside today’s GOP?

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 10:57 am.

      Completely wrong. Basically, you are saying that a politician’s competence is irrelevant.

      If she was better spoken she would have received little or no attention at all. Because she is so poorly spoken, she has instead become a huge help to Trump.

  10. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2019 - 06:19 am.

    As someone who decidedly leans left on most matters political, I can add:

    We have about 512,000 elected office holders in the US. From the President on down to a local Soil & Water commissioner. Omar holds an office that represents the .1% of political attainment: a significant electoral accomplishment.

    Consider this against similar attainment in other areas of professional endeavor:

    A highly successful business person likely spends tens of years working towards increasing levels of responsibility (Well, I must note the Trump/Kirschner exception: just get it from Daddy).

    An academic must devote years to attaining a terminal degree and then considerably more years advancing their expertise in their area of interest.

    The same with a star medical doctor, lawyer, journalist.

    Politicians, sadly, can often parlay a single election victory into a long career and that single victory can be a quirky fluke of the time: Michelle Bachmann failed to make it to the Stillwater school board and later parlayed a State Senate win into a Presidential run. Ilian Omar has followed a similar course: the voting public tired of a 34 year incumbent in Phyllis Kahn and Omar was in the right place at the right time to succeed her. And only a few years later Keith Eliison vacates his CD 5 office and Omar is again in the right place at the right time.

    She is the Michelle Bachmann of the left: unqualified and undeserving of the office she holds, an embarrassment to the process.

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 04/16/2019 - 08:59 am.

      Edward, well stated.

    • Submitted by Robert Lilly on 04/16/2019 - 11:28 am.

      “unqualified and undeserving of the office she holds, an embarrassment to the process.”
      But you won’t say the same about Trump? That’s why 2020 will be a bad year for the R’s

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2019 - 02:21 pm.

        Of course I will say the same and infinitely more about Trump.

        We have thoughtful, smart, progressive new Reps in Phillips and Craig and they get no air because Omar incendiaries always carry the day.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 11:29 am.

      Michelle Bachman of the left. Spot on.

      Omar is going to continue to say dumb things every month or two. She can’t seem to help it. And her apologists are going claim she’s speaking truth to power, even though she is completely ineffective and an embarrassment to the Democrats.

      At some point she will say something really bad and people will figure it out.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/16/2019 - 12:01 pm.

      Can’t argue with any of that.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2019 - 12:30 pm.

      The “qualifications” to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives are to have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and, when elected, to be an inhabitant of that state in which chosen. Any details beyond that are matters for the voters to decide.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2019 - 02:30 pm.

        And the thoroughly red voters of the MN 3rd put up with Bachmann for 3 terms before she saw the writing on the wall and ran for cover before D, .Jim Graves would have likely flipped the district.

        Bachmann pleased the far edge of her party by sticking her finger in the eye of any and all of her political opposites while accomplishing nothing except the “Light Bulb Freedom Act”.

        We’ll see if the thoroughly blue voters of the MN 5 have any higher standards or common sense.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/16/2019 - 03:00 pm.

        If by that, you mean the voters of CD 5 own this sad excuse of a US Representative, I can’t argue with that either.

        Although I bet there are a lot of people in St. Louis Park who are experiencing some voter remorse.

    • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 04/16/2019 - 02:27 pm.

      Stop stop stop. Opinions can be expressed on this matter, but there are limits.

      Ihlan Omar holds progressive and humane values. Because of her lack of experience as a politician, she is prone to phrase things more casually than she should, particularly given that she is the foremost political target of the Right (and of important elements of the establishment). The inexperience critique, in other words, goes to her presentation as a politician, not to her substance (we will need to learn more as to the latter).

      Michelle Bachmann follows the voices in her head and is not capable of forming policy positions that give meaning to our underlying democratic values. As an elected representative, she was a constant source of substantively absurd statements, even though, conversely to Ms. Omar, the establishment media worked tirelessly to bolster her credibility.

      In a world of egregious Both Siderism, equating the two is about as egregiously Both Siderist as one can get.

      • Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 04/16/2019 - 05:00 pm.

        I may have agreed three or four months ago, having voted for her, but no more.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2019 - 05:49 pm.

        Well I think our Michelle would balk a little at being called the darling of the mainstream media. Her ink and air were often proportional to the perceived outrageousness of a comment she would make.

        Remind you of anyone else?

        And besides that, the media you get is the media you want. It ain’t 1968 and you get 3 anchors at 5:30 and that was it. The “establishment media” and the “mainstream media” are figments of the imagination of political fringes on both sides.

        And a common characteristic of those supporting the idea of a MSM effect share the thought:

        “Hey, I’m smart enough to see through this stuff; but, the rest of you brain washed bystanders are just there for the taking”.

        • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 04/17/2019 - 06:17 pm.

          My comment was to the point that Ilhan Omar and Michelle Bachmann are hardly two sides of the same coin. You didn’t reply to that, but instead appear to mock me (I think?) as a smarty-pants for thinking that there is an “establishment media.” My reference to establishment media was a very minor aside, but since you take me to task, I’ll reply (somewhat) briefly.

          First, it hardly matters how Ms. Bachmann views the media, no more than how Mr. Trump does, or purports to. The question is what, in fact, is true of the media and the role that they play.

          Second, certainly there is niche journalism, blogging and aggregating for the left and Right. But there is also NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the BBC, the NYT, the Wall Street Journal, other major city dailies and so on, as well as the pundits, think tanks, PR firms, industry associations, politicians and others that provide them content. These latter, at any moment and over decades, are far more consequential than the niche organs in defining the broad frames in which citizens, most of whom pay very little attention, think about politics and public policy.

          An argument begins with a reasonable hypothesis and follows by examining the evidence. The reasonable hypothesis is that where wealth is unequally distributed in a democracy (where the formal assent of the population is needed), one of the ways that those with wealth will seek to protect their prerogatives (in addition to putting their money into the political process, lobbying for favorable laws, seeking to control technology, &c) is by seeking to frame the civic discourse – what is discussed or not discussed, how it is discussed, and by whom … and that this effort will over time be reflected in media framing. When consistent framing is observed across the realm of large-audience media, and when that consistent framing happens to protect and extend the prerogatives of wealth and power, that accords with our hypothesis and what we expect.

          And we do see it. Characterizing it is of course a much longer subject, but centrally it involves maintaining the illusion of democratic debate in the efficient form of two parties, neither of whom will advance policies that materially undermine the interests of wealth. Both Siderism, the assumed symmetry of left and Right, and of Democrat and Republican, around a “center,” is a core feature of establishment framing.

          Your contention is that there is no phenomenon that can be referred to as the “establishment media,” which I take to mean that all large-audience public discourse flows in some pure objective state, or at least without any consistent framing. This would seem to rest on a hypothesis that those holding the better part of society’s wealth and power don’t care about the ideas that ordinary folks may get in their heads as to how the economy, or national security, or anything else ought to be arranged. You don’t support your position and it certainly seems profoundly counterintuitive.

          We know that Fox and the other organs of the Right are propaganda, aimed at a particular demographic (authoritarian followers). Why would the third of the population who are authoritarian followers be the only demographic susceptible, and therefore subject, to propaganda? Systematic framing, i.e., propaganda, may be more or less subtle, and more or less malign, but it’s still propaganda.

  11. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2019 - 09:33 am.

    The flap over Representative Omar has brought to light the three different shades of Trump supporters.

    The first ones are the obvious ones. They are those who revel in his hatreds. They join with glee on the attacks on a freshman member of the House of Representatives from Minnesota, even though such a person would normally fly under the radar, no matter how provocative her speeches may be. Some of them may take the time to deny it, but in the end, it is about her race and, more importantly, about her religion.

    The second ones are only slightly less obvious. They are the ones who claim that they support Trump not because of his bigotry, but for some other reason, like packing the courts or getting a “tax cut.” They may claim to disapprove of his rhetoric (“You have to look at the bigger picture”), or they may secretly enjoy it as just the “gravy” of the Trump regime. The “gravy” folks may even come up with some specious justifications for the bigotry, but it’s fooling no one who can pay attention.

    The third category is somewhat more complex. They will deny to the heavens that they are Trump supporters; in fact, they probably vote Democratic. At the same time, they are more than willing to blame Rep,. Omar for bringing it on herself. If she just sat quietly and didn’t speak out, none of this would be happening! Why, oh why, can’t someone please control her?

    The third category is enabling Trump. By not giving him and his goons any real pushback, they are tacitly signalling that what they are doing is okay. This is as much support as wearing a MAGA hat and shouting slurs at a Parteitag. Making it alright, and normalizing it, is the first step towards condoning it.

    There still is a certain strain of conservative that takes pride in erudition. You would never know it now, but they are around. One of their favorite authors has long been Edmund Burke, who is often erroneously quoted as having said that “[t]he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” Standing back with disapproving looks, and casting aspersions equally on both sides, is standing idly by in the face of obvious evil.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 10:53 am.

      You could not be more wrong.

      The problem isn’t Omar’s (attempted) message. Its that she is a terrible messenger. She’s an incompetent politician. She can’t deliver a message without putting her foot in her mouth. Whatever message she attempts to send gets drowned out by the stupid words she chooses.

      Ilhan Omar is the enabler of Donald Trump. Every day the Democrats are cleaning up her mess is a great day for Trump. Every day people are talking about her misstatements is a day not talking about his. Omar is the greatest gift the Democrats could have given Trump.

      • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 04/16/2019 - 11:52 am.

        This whole flap is another example of the bizarre times. Yes, she is a wonderful gift to Fox and Trump and they are going to wring every bit of fake outrage over her that they can muster. But the Republicans have had Omar in their sights ever she came on the scene. Every thing she has uttered has been under a political microscope many times stronger than would be usual. They wait. She says something basically innocuous. And they pounce. It appeals to all those people who dislike or hate or have suspicions of someone just because he or she is Muslim. It’s also part of the apparent push to woo Jewish voters.

        As for the “terrible messenger” part; here is our great leader again today. “She’s been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn’t really understand, I think, life, real life. What it’s all about. It’s unfortunate. She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad for our country.”

        Having taught middle school kids for close to 40 years, I continue to be amazed at the simplicity of Trump’s vocabulary, sentences, and complete lack of any complex thinking. He would be the kid hoping to sit in the back of a remedial reading class, yet his message resonates, while Omar gets bashed for poor word choices. And, no, I don’t think he is dummying down because he’s a master salesman. That’s his level of thought.

        And it’s hilarious that this juvenile bully (as long as I’m dredging up memories) states a person who grew up a refugee fleeing war and in poverty doesn’t understand life. Nothing like the spoiled kid of a New York millionaire to understand, you know, “real life.”

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2019 - 12:27 pm.

        One of the biggest rhetorical distractions in American political life is the cliche that “it’s not what he/she said, it’s how he/she said it.” Getting bogged down in tone or choice of vocabulary prevents – whether intentionally or incidentally – a real discussion of the substance of the comments.

        Do you remember the 1992 presidential campaign? And Ross Perot’s gaffe when he spoke to the NAACP Convention? He talked to the attendees about how “you people” are hurt the most by economic downturns. The outrage was swift, and focused on how inappropriate it was to say “you people.” His bigger point – a willingness to discuss racial and economic inequities – was lost in the tsurris.

        It’s the same with Rep. Omar. Turn off the radio, disconnect Fox, log off of NewsMax. Now, what is she actually saying? Anything?

        Let’s stop blaming Rep. Omar for the racism and hatred directed at her. Rep. Omar enables Donald Trump by being a woman, by being Somali, and by being an observant Muslim. President Ananias von Munchausen was always going to tell lies and distort what she says. His fanboys stand ever ready to further her demonization. It’s time to call them out, and to stop limiting our discussion to wishing she would just be quiet.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 01:50 pm.

          You are making my point. If you can’t deliver your message coherently, the message gets lost. And that’s Omar’s problem.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/16/2019 - 03:05 pm.

          One of the biggest rhetorical distractions in American political life is the cliche that “it’s not what he/she said, it’s how he/she said it.”

          Agree completely. In this case, it’s what she said, not how she said it that have outraged Americans.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/16/2019 - 04:09 pm.

            And any valid point she may have been making is lost in the shrieking.

            I don’t understand why you don’t think this is a bad thing on the part of those doing the shrieking.

            • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/17/2019 - 03:12 pm.

              She didn’t make any valid points.

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2019 - 09:07 am.

                So you don’t think anti-Muslim bigotry is wrong?

                You are meeting or exceeding my expectations.

                • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/18/2019 - 01:49 pm.

                  I think providing shade for Muslim terrorists is wrong. That is what she did and most Americans agree.

                  Even most moderate Democrats are already tired of her. It is only the fringe that continue to defend her outrageous remarks.

                  • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2019 - 04:47 pm.

                    But you’re not objecting to a generalized anti-Muslim sentiment. I get it.

                    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/19/2019 - 02:20 pm.

                      A generalized anti-Muslim sentiment isn’t in evidence. We’re discussing tacit support for Muslim terrorists.

        • Submitted by Pat Brady on 04/16/2019 - 07:40 pm.

          RB Holbrook,
          You post is spot on.
          I would only add that it galls Trump endlessly that she is also a US citizen and a member of the House of Repsresentatives.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2019 - 02:25 pm.

        Tell us Pat, when you discuss the Palestinian struggle for sovereignty in the face of Israeli militarism and the experience of being a Muslim in America after 9/11… what words do YOU use? I’m really curious to see how all these experts at messaging express themselves so much more eloquently when THEY discuss the issues Omar is addressing?

        • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 04/16/2019 - 03:57 pm.

          Omar does make mistakes in speaking, but the corporate Democrats who criticize her had no problem when Hilary cackled, “We saw, we came, he died,” on a live interview in 2011 when talking about Gaddafi’s brutal murder. Now Libya is a failed state with open slave trading, which rarely, if ever, is discussed in the mainstream media.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2019 - 10:49 am.

    Oh yeah… I mean if it weren’t for this ONE discussion no one would attacking Omar. Seriously Eric? Omar can have a voice… but only if she uses it to say what you think she should say? Omar’s been getting death threats for months… yeah she knew the long knives were out long before this video emerged.

    Meanwhile, no matter what HRC says, it’s pure genius?

    Is it really THAT difficult to simply issue an unqualified condemnation of death threats and despicable fear mongering?

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/16/2019 - 11:05 am.

    All I can say is some people around here are going to have to get use to Omar’s perspective and hearing her voice. If you think she’s going to tailor her words to meet your expectations you will be disappointed.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 04/16/2019 - 01:44 pm.

      Actually, no they aren’t. Because Omar is such a poor messenger, her voice gets drowned out. And, yes, I am disappointed. I was hoping for an effective representative, and got someone who undermines Muslims and helps Trump.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 04/16/2019 - 02:39 pm.

      I am just hoping she can tailor her words to meet her own expectations.

      I repeat: we have thoughtful, smart, progressive new Reps in Phillips and Craig and Omar sucks the air out of the room with ill-conceived announcements.

      She is not nearly in the class of AOC, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Pressley.

    • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/16/2019 - 03:08 pm.

      lol! Friend, she’s meeting and exceeding the expectations many of us had for her. I hope she continues to use her words at every opportunity.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/16/2019 - 03:14 pm.

      As someone who has actually been one of Omar’s constituents since she ran almost unopposed (after the DFL primary/convention) for State House District 60B, and then unopposed for U.S. House District 5 from MN, I have watched and listened to her as she keeps putting her foot in her mouth.

      Unapologeticly. Repeatedly.

      The woman will not adopt any circumspection in her way of speaking; as with her unscripted speech in late March to CAIR, she “wings” it, not realizing that, as a non-English speaker from birth, she is bound to make mistakes with the vernacular English she tries to employ. She is not comfortable with that vernacular, and thus someone must tell her NOT to “wing it” with English.

      Omar has to be more careful with her manner of speaking. She can say essentially the same thing, but Eric is right: She should have reconsidered the “some people did some things” phrase.

      Despite the fact that Republicans, and especially the hate-filled Donald Trump, attack Omar and are risking her physical life by doing so, can we not demand–as her constituents who want her to be an effective Congresswoman from Minnesota–that she take more care in how she says stuff?

      Omar has to begin taking serious responsibility for her way of putting things.

    • Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 04/16/2019 - 04:29 pm.

      Really? As Brecht suggested, if she is dissatisfied with her constituents’ reactions, she will simply dissolve them and elect new constituents?

  14. Submitted by Misty Martin on 04/16/2019 - 01:03 pm.


    Without even opening it up, that must be a very “small” collection of times when our President seemed to celebrate or tried to incite violence. Seems to me that he does it ALL the time. Tweet, tweet, tweet; blab, blab, blab – or maybe it’s just me, lol.

  15. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 04/16/2019 - 02:30 pm.

    I thought the election of Donald J. Trump meant that “political correctness” was dead. I guess not.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/16/2019 - 03:53 pm.

      Most effective people are circumspect about their way of putting things. They think before they speak.

      Cases in point: Watch Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Or Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

      There are places where there are few consequences for saying what you think without thinking about either how you say it or your audience (there are few, but there are some). A national politician has no right not to think before she speaks.


    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/16/2019 - 06:15 pm.

      No, but ‘correctness’ is.

  16. Submitted by Jim Marshal on 04/16/2019 - 03:23 pm.

    “She could have, and perhaps wishes she had, said something like: “On September 11, some despicable terrorists, who consider themselves Muslims but who are a disgrace to our religion of peace, committed an unspeakable act of mass murder against innocent Americans”…………Eric, after almost 18 years, I think it’s time for our leaders to quit making ridiculous, over-simplified, grandstanding statements like that. Ron Paul, for all of his faults was correct about 9/11. It was blowback due to years of our government bombing, invading and occupying middle eastern countries and propping up brutal, pro-American puppet regimes that terrorized their people using our cash and weapons.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 04/16/2019 - 09:23 pm.

      Both statements are correct.

      • Submitted by Jim Marshal on 04/17/2019 - 08:20 am.

        I disagree. We shouldn’t condemn 9/11 as an act of unmitigated evil perpetrated against an innocent nation. We had it coming for a long time. We only got a small taste of the pain and misery we have been inflicting on the middle east for the past 7 decades or so. We still have yet to learn our lesson and I have no doubt that history will repeat itself.

  17. Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 04/16/2019 - 04:27 pm.

    I have the dismal sense that the president and our congressional rep are becoming symbiotic. Both are contributing to each other’s re-election, much to our national detriment.

  18. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/16/2019 - 08:28 pm.

    Well. well. well, folks scream for diversity, and then when it arrives it is to diverse! Get out of your echo chamber and soak up the message of a diverse representative like a sponge, This is our brothers and sisters real world. Sorry she didn’t do an Ivy league, take some time and understand what you are hearing and what the message(s) are, she is speaking for those without a voice, a real voice , a real perspective, sorry if it doesn’t fit your lexicon, diversity is not suppose to fit your lexicon, that is the moral of the story! Just amazing, what is it you were expecting, Amy K. in a Hajib?

  19. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 04/16/2019 - 09:44 pm.

    I will remind people that Trump bragged about his building being the largest in that part of New York City after the Twin Towers were destroyed. He also grabbed low cost loans designed for small business. He also falsely accused Muslins in New Jersey of cheering for for the terrorists.

    Now he blames an American Muslim for supporting Saudi terrorism, when he personally looked the other way when Saudi state sponsored terrorists murdered a Washington Post journalist. Is this enough reason to think Trumpl has any business dealing anyone what to do?

  20. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/17/2019 - 08:52 am.

    I guess I feel compelled to expand on my earlier comment.
    I’m looking at these more or less constant attacks on Omar I simply cannot avoid the conclusion that what we’re seeing here is a display of prejudice, privilege, and bigotry.

    The ONLY appropriate response to the death threats Omar has received for ANY reason is complete and unconditional repudiation and condemnation of those involved in those threats. If you can’t bring yourself to simply and unconditionally condemn death threats and those who promote them or encourage them in any fashion, you simply have no business proffering public relations advice of any kind. You simply cannot make excuses for death threats or those who promote them and expect to retain any moral or political credibility.

    The absurdity of Eric’s mansplaining to Omar how a Muslim woman and refugee SHOULD have discussed her post 9/11 experience should be obvious. There’s simply no way to describe this expectation that Omar use her voice the way a bunch white “moderates” would use THEIR voices as anything other than white privilege. You expect Omar to use the words YOU would use when she discusses issues and perspectives YOU have NEVER even tried to discuss or represent in your entire lives? Eric, Pat, Connie: when was last any of YOU tried to explain or describe the experience of being a Somali Muslim refugee woman in post 9/11 America? When was the last time any of YOU tried to criticize Israeli militarism or represent the Palestinian perspective? It’s absolutely clear that ONLY way you think Omar can use her voice to your satisfaction… is to not use her voice at all.

    You say: “Oh no… people can criticize Israel, people can have their perspective”, yeah; until they actually say something, then it’s ALWAYS time to “explain” why they’re not discussing it the way YOU think they should, why it’s not the message it’s the messenger. Right, so who is your approved messenger by the way? Pray tell who IS discussing the Muslim or Palestinian perspective the way you think they should? Bullocks on that.

    The more you people attack Omar the more you reveal your prejudice, entitlement, and privilege. That’s not actually a “bad” thing because in the end I think it strengthens Omar and other marginalized voices. You’re demolishing your own credibility, not hers.

    Myself, I think Omar is successful and admirable voice for marginalized Americans, and that’s a voice we desperately need to hear. Nothing Omar has said has ever offended me, or alarmed me, or embarrassed me. I didn’t vote for Omar to be a “centrist/moderate” who would represent my white suburban voice in Congress. I voted for a strong woman who would speak for the marginalized and the voiceless. I voted for a progressive voice, and that’s what Omar has been, and I support her.

    The outrage factory you guys have built is irrelevant at the end of the day and will inevitably collapse along with its bankrupt industry. With any luck the arc of justice will end this reign of systematic marginalization. We can only hope that Omar, AOC, and others are the needle that will finally pop the bubble of privilege that keeps their voices from being heard or legitimized.

    • Submitted by Kurt Anderson on 04/17/2019 - 09:10 am.

      Or perhaps at the end of the day, the Somali (or Muslim, or non-Caucasian, or left leaning, or feminist – the minority of white women who did not vote for Trump) community will try again with a better candidate.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/17/2019 - 02:06 pm.

      “Nothing Omar has said has ever offended me, or alarmed me, or embarrassed me.”

      But to the few (million) who can’t say the same, they should be able to complain and not be vilified for their opinions.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/18/2019 - 09:06 am.

        “But to the few (million) who can’t say the same . . .” Debatable, but hyperbole is not the issue.

        “[T]hey should be able to complain . . .” Yes, certainly.

        “[A]nd not be vilified for their opinions.” Not even close. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to speak without criticism. When we see the comments that are informed or spurred by bigotry, talking back, even unto the point of “vilifying,” is allowed. For some, responding to that kind of hatred might be taken as a moral obligation.

        • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 04/18/2019 - 01:13 pm.

          You hit the nail on the head, friend. Welcome to the fight against bigotry and hate.

          Omar might not like the education we have for her, but she’s getting one anyway.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/19/2019 - 08:59 am.

            “Omar might not like the education we have for her, but she’s getting one anyway.”

            Teach that ***** a lesson, right? She’ll learn her place in this white man’s country.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 04/18/2019 - 05:04 pm.

          President Trump has about half the country against him and half against. Rep. Omar probably has similar numbers since the two are on exactly opposite sides. Half of 350 million is…not hyperbole.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 04/19/2019 - 10:45 am.

            “President Trump has about half the country against him and half against.” If we’re going by the poll numbers, that’s inaccurate.

            “Rep. Omar probably has similar numbers . . .” Since when is there national polling on the approval rating of a freshman member of Congress?

            “. . . since the two are on exactly opposite sides.” Well, okay.

            “Half of 350 million is…not hyperbole.” Perhaps not. Would you accept fantasy? Because I don’t see a lot of basis on reality for your numbers.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/18/2019 - 10:12 am.

        And of course it’s a little comical for those who heap all kinds of vilification upon Omar to suddenly start complaining about vilification. Again, this is about privilege… i.e. “I get to dish it out…” But Mr. Holbrook is correct, simply making an observation isn’t an act of vilification.

  21. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/17/2019 - 10:28 am.

    I don’t think Rep. Omar should be my Congress person. And I don’t really want to spend a lot of time sorting out her language salads and finding excuses for her. But I don’t think it’s worth a lot of effort to unseat her.

    It is interesting, not to mention disturbing, that she is raising so much more money than is being raised in districts that are actually being seriously contended. What are people thinking of?

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/17/2019 - 08:30 pm.

      Gee Hiram, thanks for letting Omar keep her job. I think I’ve told you what people are thinking.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/18/2019 - 10:35 am.

        Hiram, thanks for letting Omar keep her job. I think I’ve told you what people are thinking.

        She works for me. If she wants to work for someone else, she should apply for a different job.

        The job of elected officials is to work for the people who elected them, not to work out some personal life narrative.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/18/2019 - 05:33 pm.

          “She works for me. If she wants to work for someone else, she should apply for a different job.”

          HA HA! Yes Hiram…she works for YOU and YOU alone… no other perspective requires consideration. Talk about privilege.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/19/2019 - 09:22 am.

          By the way, Hiram says:

          “The job of elected officials is to work for the people who elected them, not to work out some personal life narrative.”

          That’s actually very similar to what Sarah Palin said about Obama at the Republican Convention in 2008:

          “My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery.”

          Hmmmm, what are the similarities between Obama and Omar?

  22. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 04/17/2019 - 04:36 pm.

    Well, Paul, Rep. Ilhan Omar is my representative to Congress. I can be disappointed in how she is presenting herself without being a racist, or an undeservedly privileged person. I can criticize her, as my right, when I know that she is not preparing herself properly for that political role and doing herself damage, which includes putting herself really, really out there for the nutjobs on the fringe right who are menacing her life.

    She has to pause and reflect. She has to be careful about using American English slang and clichés (fixed phrases), which I’m not sure she fully grasps the meanings of, or the contexts for.

    She is currently disappointing me, a constituent who expects her to do better.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/17/2019 - 08:37 pm.

      Ms. Sullivan,

      Sure, one COULD complain about their elected officials without being privileged or racist, but:

      “…doing herself damage, which includes putting herself really, really out there for the nutjobs on the fringe right who are menacing her life.”

      This looks a lot like a tacit endorsement of death threats. It’s rather like saying a woman brought a rape upon herself by wearing a short skirt. This level of hostility is far deeper than mere disappointment or political disagreement. And yeah, go ahead, express it… it is your right.

  23. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/17/2019 - 08:45 pm.

    I think Omar acquits herself rather well both in style and substance. Her appearance with Colbert is a good example:

  24. Submitted by Joel Fischer on 04/18/2019 - 08:45 am.

    This is your daily reminder that Trump, while speaking to Jewish Americans, called Benjamin Netanyahu “Your Prime Minister”.

    Still waiting for the outrage…

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/18/2019 - 04:58 pm.

      JF, excellent find, exactly what Omar indicated on Colbert, week or so back, 1 set of expectations, responses for the WASP and another for folks like her. She supported it with GWB quotes. What a breath of fresh air blowing through Minnesota politics!

      • Submitted by lisa miller on 04/18/2019 - 07:27 pm.

        I think she is a breath of fresh air and those threats no matter what she says are racist and need legal action. The issue I have is that it’s all about her, not the issues so much, not what legislation can be passed, not those who elected her, but more about celebrity status. I am tired of all sides and their ‘whatabout’-yeah I get it, Trump is awful and Omar could have said some things a bit differently so as to acknowledge another’s pain. So now what. Show me some action and less Twitter.

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/19/2019 - 06:21 am.

      The question that gets quietly ask about Rep. Omar is, “Is she competent”. No one has ever accused me of being among the sharper knives in the box, but I read the paper, and have for a long time. I know a bit about what anti semitism sounds like, and I know I have to be careful about juxtaposing certain ideas. For all the thousands of years of the diaspora, Jews have been accused of being alien, the other. They have been treated and stereotyped as a homeless, stateless people. Those attitudes have always been a basic building block of anti semitism. Because I know those things, I know that any accusation of dual loyalty or a lack of loyalty express or implied rings of anti semitism. But hey, some people are even dumber than I am. Our president, who I am pretty sure knows nothing of history makes this mistake frequently. So it seems, does Rep. Omar. Does that make them anti Semites? I think that’s a serious and terrible charge, and in neither case, is it a judgment I am inclined to leap to. My tendency is to believe that the folks are just uninformed, lacking in basic knowledge many of us need to negotiate our way through life. But if that’s true, how can such people lead us? Why do we entrust them with political office?

  25. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/19/2019 - 10:43 am.

    “The question that gets quietly ask about Rep. Omar is, “Is she competent”

    Actually I think we can clearly see here that the only people who keep asking that question are Clinton Democrats or “centrists”. And frankly, I think it’s becoming more an more obvious that this hostility towards Omar has little if anything to do with her actual competence. But regardless who asks that question I think the majority of her constituents including myself are quite satisfied with her competence, so the answer is simply: “Yes”.

    Listen, I think we can all observe with a very high degree of confidence that there is NOTHING Hillary or Amy could do or say that could provoke this hostility from “centrist” Democrats. If we were talking about the death threats that HRC or Klobuchar receive we all know that this would be a very very very different conversation. Never in a million years would Eric consider writing a script for Clinton or Klobuchar and suggest that they’d be better off using HIS words instead of their own. None of these “centrists” would ever in a million years use death threats directed at Clinton or Klobuchar as a pretext for attacks and criticism like the ones we’re seeing here. So what’s so “special” about Omar? Does anyone really have to answer that question?

    I can’t say whether or not anyone else is prejudice or racist. I can’t look into anyone’s soul or psyche and make THAT observation. But I do know prejudice behavior when I see it, and if this hostility isn’t driven by prejudice then what IS driving it?

    All we’re seeing here is a group of people who keep pointing to misinterpretations of Omar’s statements (i.e. a reference to moneyed interest in politics and lobbying misinterpreted as a reference to an ancient Jewish financial cabal to control the world) and using those misinterpretations as a pretext to attack Omar. We’re all supposed to ignore the fact that we KNOW this isn’t what Omar actually meant, and pretend the misinterpretations represent her speech.

    I hate to say but Anti-Semitism can be a trope of it’s own and obviously Jews are not in universal agreement regarding Omar and accusations against her.

    This hostility towards Omar and others is a perfect illustration how divisive and toxic Clinton Democrats and “centrists” can be. We saw this in 2016 and it’s been ongoing ever since. When their candidates get on the ballot and win we’re all expected to be “blue blue blue”. Only a scoundrel would dare criticize Clinton or Kobuchar… But when someone they don’t approve gets on the ballot or even tries to get on the ballot it’s attack attack attack. And then they can’t figure out why their Party is so divided and how the nation got so “polarized”?

  26. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/19/2019 - 11:55 am.

    Actually I think we can clearly see here that the only people who keep asking that question are Clinton Democrats or “centrists”.

    That really is because the answer doesn’t matter a lot.I voted for in in 2018 and am fully prepared to vote for her in 2020. despite my firm belief that she isn’t up to the job. She will do the important thing, and vote for Democrats to organize the House. The rest of the nonsense, I am prepared to live with.

  27. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/19/2019 - 04:51 pm.

    “PU, please give us some credit, as one of those Clinton leaning independents!”


    “That really is because the answer doesn’t matter a lot.I voted for in in 2018 and am fully prepared to vote for her in 2020. despite my firm belief that she isn’t up to the job. She will do the important thing, and vote for Democrats to organize the House. The rest of the nonsense, I am prepared to live with.”

    Damn… is it just me or does this look like a resolution of sorts? Group hug? 🙂

    • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/20/2019 - 06:11 am.

      At least on my side, I am not sure why Hillary enters the discussion. While there are many things I admire about Hillary, I am not among her fiercest advocates. And many of the qualities I like least about Hillary are shared by Rep. Omar, particularly the looseness with the truth, and the sloppiness with money. In both cases, in many instances, I wonder how could anyone at that political level, two people who in their lifetimes have donel little other than politics, make such basic mistakes.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/20/2019 - 10:14 am.

        “At least on my side, I am not sure why Hillary enters the discussion.”

        If I might, I’ll answer that question. I’m just noting that by and large Omar’s biggest Democratic detractors tend be Clinton Democrats. I’m make that reference rather than the “centrist” reference just to switch things up once and while. I’m stepping back and looking at the larger context of the Democratic establishments efforts to suppress progressives like Omar (and Sanders in 2016). The Clinton’s had a lot to do with building THAT establishment.

        I’m also noting Minnpost’s pattern of treating Omar differently than Clinton, Smith, Klobuchar, etc. I think Eric’s choices are revealing. Two days before this Omar piece, we get a inane interview that Clinton did with some guy on CNN about immigration; THAT’S presented as by-golly just about the smartest thing we’ve seen in weeks. Meanwhile Minnpost now has a pattern of using de-contextualized misinterpretations of Omar’s comments as a STARTING point for commentary and articles (almost all of the Minnpost coverage of Omar “controversies” share this characteristic). This isn’t done with Klobuchar or Clinton, if they were attacked on the basis of misinterpreted comments taken of context, I think we would see very different coverage. I don’t think Minnpost writers would legitimize misinterpretations of Klobuchar or Clinton comments the way they tacitly legitimize criticisms of Omar. But I could be wrong about that.

        Please know that I’m not “attacking” Minnpost, and I doubt that Minnpost writers are out to get Omar in any way. But I suspect there may be an institutional bias in play here that ties back to the old bipartisan consensus.

        Regarding that bias for instance, what’s with the virtual Sanders black-out? The guy just went on Fox (in violation of the DCC boycott) and ran the table for an hour. He’s clearly the front runner, ahead in the polls AND fund raising… not a peep here on Minnpost. Compare this to the 2016 coverage of Clinton when she was the “probative” front runner even after drawing a tie with Sanders in Iowa.

        I’m not complaining, it’s their website, and Eric can write about what he chooses, and he can ignore whatever he chooses. I think these choices are revealing however, and they create a context for these occasional discussions about harkening back to the days of “objective” or “neutral” styles of journalism.

        • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/20/2019 - 02:55 pm.

          I am not really sure what a Clinton Democrat is. As I have said, there are a lot of similarities between Omar and Clinton. They both have political tin ears, neither is good with money, both are loose with the truth, and both get snippy when called on it. While I am hardly, a Clinton Democrat, I am a suburban Democrat, and I spent a significant portion of the last campaign cleaning up Omar’s messes. Like Clinton, Omar seems to me the kind of Democrat the establishment rams down my throat way more often than it should.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/21/2019 - 08:24 am.

            “I am not really sure what a Clinton Democrat is. ”

            I’m not going to try to define it more than I already have, but I will say for the sake of clarity that I’m not talking about HRC pers se. I don’t mean to tie this to Clinton personally, it’s about the politics and power structure she (and other neoliberal/centrists) represent. I’m not referring to acolytes of Clinton, or her base of supporters, I’m referring to a political mentality. Frankly I’m not sure I would be mentioning HRC at all were it not for Eric’s apparent bias in this case.

  28. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/20/2019 - 08:33 am.

    Just two final comment on my part:

    First, Eric’s entire premise here is actually false. Turns out, as usual with Omar, when you look at her entire discussion you find that when she was talking about “people who did some things” she wasn’t even talking about terrorists, she was referring to Bush administration officials and THEIR responses. Eric should have looked that up before writing a different script for Omar.

    Second, Tom Anderson says: “President Trump has about half the country against him and half against. Rep. Omar probably has similar numbers since the two are on exactly opposite sides. Half of 350 million is…not hyperbole.”

    This isn’t even remotely correct. False equivalency is a primary feature of the “polarization” narrative that ignores the emerging liberal consensus in the US. We know that Trump and his policies are NOT supported by 50% of Americans, his actual support wavers between 25% and 35%.

    Meanwhile, nearly ALL of the progressive policies and legislation Omar is supporting enjoys clear majority support. Sanders actually had a Fox News crowd cheering that agenda a while back. In fact I think the undeniable popularity of the progressive agenda and it champions (Sanders, AOC, etc.) is Omar’s most unnerving feature for “centrist” Democrats. Omar is far more popular than Trump, much to the dismay of her detractors.

  29. Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/20/2019 - 05:32 pm.

    Is “long knives” really appropriate rhetoric to use in a story regarding someone claiming to be receiving death threats? I propose, probably not.

    However, the pseudo historical treachery of long knives has been debunked. Perhaps, it is appropriate in this perpetrator turned victim plot flip.

  30. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 04/22/2019 - 06:21 am.

    “Long knives” invites a comparison to the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler, once in power, jailed and murdered his opposition and people who were problematic to him. With Omar, it’s less personal. Trump wants to frame Democrats as extremist, pro immigrant and Muslim, and Omar is convenient for that purpose. Interestingly, they haven’t focused on some specific problems that have challenged Omar locally, but those are personal and don’t fit the overall narrative Trump wants to establish. Racism is all about what people, not who people are.

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/22/2019 - 08:47 am.

      Hitler’s Night of Long Knives is a comparison to the Treachery of the Long Knives, which was a pseudohistorical massacre of British Celtic chieftains by Anglo-Saxon soldiers at a peace conference on Salisbury Plain in the 5th century.

      Some of the new House members, including Omar and AOC need no help to appear extremist; sadly racism is the only counter to criticism of them. The race card, and it’s derivatives including the misogyny card, are always the last defense and the most desperate in appearance. Regarding AOC, House Speaker Pelosi said that she carried a district where a “glass of water” with a “D” next to it could win. Ouch.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 04/22/2019 - 09:18 am.

        “extremist”? Guess that depends on where one is sitting, Suspect the inhabitant supporters consider him what a moderate? “Race card”? Again suspect that depends on one’s observation point, if you have a life of privilege dosen’t mean you must lose something for others to gain equality to the privilege though many like to frame it as “the race card”. it is a way of continuing the privilege by suggesting others are cheating!

        • Submitted by Steve Rose on 04/22/2019 - 06:59 pm.

          Speaker Pelosi is certainly throwing some shade or water in that general direction. Anyone that has considered the cost to benefit ratio of the new green deal knows that the plan is extreme, its supporters extremists. Privilege is written in a bold font on the backside of the race card – same thing.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 04/22/2019 - 11:21 am.

      Well, anyone who thinks the “long knives” have just come out now is either not a Muslim American or has not been paying attention. Omar’s Mosque was bombed two years ago. Sure this is an unprecedented escalation by the President of the United States, but this hostility has been alarming ever since she got elected.

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