Ihlan Omar, Congresswoman for Minnesota’s 5th District, is in the news again. This time she downplayed the 9/11 terror attacks and then responded to the inevitable criticism with accusations of racism and “islamophobia”. The Democrats in politics and the media stood by her and accused her Republican detractors of fomenting violence. Remember that according to the media, right-wing speech is violence while left-wing violence is free speech. We are supposed to believe that even the lightest criticism of any left-wing minority is tantamount to lynching.
Representative Omar attempted to defend her initial statement by comparing it to President Bush’s vow to destroy the terrorists who had attacked our nation on 9/11. Despite being entirely nonsensical, the talking heads on the left acted as if this was a stunning rhetorical victory. Having standards is racist, of course. It is probably impolite to ask her if she feels more kinship with the terrorists than with the victims.
John Hinderaker of Power Line has always been an astute observer of politics and culture. I am growing worried, however, that he is straying too close to uncomfortable truths of late and will soon be ostracized by the conservative establishment. Recently he wondered if we are not making a mistake in our evaluation of Representative Omar’s rhetoric:
What is striking about Omar’s tweet is that there is no angle from which it makes sense. She implies that President Bush said something comparable to her “some people did something” riff, but the implied analogy is nonexistent. Bush vowed to destroy the terrorists who attacked the U.S. Omar suggested that the terrorist attacks were of little consequence except insofar as they prompted an alleged backlash against Muslims–by President Bush, presumably. The two statements could hardly be more different.
In fact, the only thing they have in common is that they include the word “people.” Can Congresswoman Omar be so dimwitted that she thought others would see this as a clever parallel?
Yes, I think she may be. There have been a number of occasions when Omar has said and done things that led me to wonder whether she is a person of unusually limited intelligence. Today’s tweet is very much in that category.
It was President George W. Bush himself who spoke of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” If it is racist to disagree with black women like Omar, and fomenting violence to criticize leftists, then what is left? Anything short of enthusiastic approval of whatever half-formed thoughts that leak out of her mouth gets you accused of racism and bigotry. It’s like over-eager parents effusively praising their children’s artwork every time they drag a crayon across a piece of paper. Hinderaker continues:
This afternoon, I happened to talk with someone who worked in the Minnesota House of Representatives during the brief time when Omar represented a district there. He said that she was widely regarded as an “idiot”–that was the term he used–who was unable to understand proposed legislation or to participate coherently in committee proceedings. Then as now, her only shtick consisted of complaining about imagined discrimination against Muslims.
We like to think of America as the ultimate meritocracy; that success in business, media, industry, or politics only comes to those with the most talent who work the hardest. Yet our current political culture values victimhood and intersectionality over talent and hard work. Favored minority groups get preferential treatment in business with special government loans and grants, they get preferential treatment in academia with affirmative action programs, and they get preferential treatment in politics with this insistence on insulating them from real standards or criticism. Merely “complaining about imagined discrimination against Muslims” is enough to qualify someone for high office in 21st century America. It is insane that a woman can escape the chaotic hellhole that is Somalia, come to the land of opportunity, get elected to state office followed by the House of Representatives, and then complain that America is a terrible place for people like her. Imagine this playing out anywhere else. Could I migrate to Japan and make a living complaining about how it is too Japanese?
The decline in American politics is obvious to anyone who reads history or even remembers life before the 21st century. Our European heritage is quickly being replaced by something that resembles the third world. Politics in the third world does not look like the high calling that we celebrate in western democracies. Our heritage is of King John signing Magna Carta, of the French Third Estate proclaiming the Rights of Man, and of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debating deep political issues for hours in front of informed crowds. Yet the parliamentary systems that now exist throughout the world in nations that are barely removed from barbaric tribalism are little more than cargo cults. Political power is based on the mob, which is motivated mainly by handouts. Presidents are routinely re-elected with 99% of a farcical vote. Constitutions exist to provide a veneer of democracy but are either ignored or easily altered at the whim of whomever is in power. Cults of personality flourish. The marketplace of ideas does not exist. In Representative Omar we see a glimpse of America’s future. As Ann Coulter likes to say, “our new country is going to be great!”