New Op-ed: Don’t Send Ilhan Omar Back — We Need Her Here
Don’t Send Ilhan Omar Back — We Need Her Here
President Trump said he wasn’t happy with chants of “send her back” raised against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar at his North Carolina rally.
The president is right.
Omar is doing a great job right where she is — center stage, in the spotlight and hogging the mic as a member of Congress.
She’s using her position to propagate anti-Semitic nostrums, pal around with Jew-haters, downplay and blame America for the worst terrorist attack in our history, vilify law enforcement and challenging the morality of anyone who dares question her.
With her white-hot rhetoric and made for TV profile, Omar is getting all the attention she could ever want — and defining the Democratic Party in the process.
No MAGA man or woman committed to the reelection of the president should want to “send her back,” whether to the Minnesota House of Representatives, Minneapolis City Council or anywhere but the TV show with the biggest audience.
Once again, Omar and her Odd Squad™ cohort have dominated media coverage for the entire week.
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren — nowhere to be seen.
Listen closely and you will hear them and the 1,500 or so other Democratic presidential wannabes chanting “send her back” — for it is they who stand to benefit from her absence. Without Omar’s telegenic toxic persona to fill the screen, they might find 15 seconds of precious air time.
That shaky soprano you hear in the chorus belongs to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. No one is more eager to “send her back” to obscurity than the speaker of the House.
Nancy desperately wants her party to hold the majority in 2020 and she knows having the squad as the party’s face makes that job much harder if not impossible.
For Nancy Pelosi understands what that other smart political operator Richard Nixon understood when he helped clear the Democratic primary field of moderate opponents so progressive George McGovern could carry the party’s standard into the general election in 1972.
Nixon romped to a 49 state landslide racking up the widest popular vote margin in the history of presidential elections, a record that stands to this day.
(Footnote to history: McGovern promised a guaranteed minimum income for the poor, a concept some of today’s Democratic candidates are toying with.)
The point is not lost on liberal New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.
He writes that wherever he goes he finds Democrats chanting “send her back” under their breath.
Friedman and these Democrats are not chanting because they are racists, as the media ridiculously accuses the president of being, it’s because they are the other “R” word — realists.
These stone-cold realists fear the far left agenda of banning private health insurance, decriminalizing border crossing and rewarding uninvited newcomers with taxpayer funded goodies from healthcare and food stamps to resettlement stipends is a formula for reelecting President Trump.
The reflex that prevents “mainstream” liberals from criticizing anyone or anything to their left could prove to be Democrats’ Achilles heel. We saw this reflex on display in the debate with all candidates unanimously endorsing the squad’s nuttier policy proposals — and Joe Biden failing to push back.
Democrats could acquire a gag reflex as they’re force-fed socialist gruel by the squad, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that.
Alternatively, they can hope the squad resists the electro-tropism that draws political organisms to television cameras. Long odds there, too.
Barring that, they may pick up the chant now that the MAGA crowd has a new one: “Keep here here!”
-Curtis Ellis is Senior Policy Director for America First Policies.