They’ve been one of the Democrats’ most reliable constituencies, but there are probably a lot of Jewish Americans who went to bed last night with some deep misgivings about the party they call home. For years, the only way this community has survived the Left’s growing anti-Semitism was to ignore it. But after the betrayal of this past week, it’s clear to everyone: that’s no longer an option.
Americans have seen some incredible things out of this new House majority – but Thursday’s resolution beat all. A party that’s tried to make tolerance its calling card couldn’t bring itself to deal with the blatant prejudice in its own ranks. As a result, what was supposed to be a resolution against anti-Semitism became just another example of the Democrats’ incredible hypocrisy. The party’s extremists made sure of that, watering down the language to be just another one-size-fits-all anti-hatred statement. “What makes this so dangerous,” Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) warned on the House floor, “and the reason I will vote against this resolution, is because we came here because of an anti-Semitic remark, and we came here to condemn anti-Semitism, but this resolution… now condemns just about everything.”
Except, of course, the offending party – Muslim Rep. Ilham Omar (D-Minn.), who emerged from the controversy – not chastened, but emboldened. Far-Left PACs are already using her prejudice as an actual fundraiser, insisting Omar’s Jewish hostilities makes her a “progressive rock star.” That ought to tell you everything you need to know about the House majority. After years of sitting on their political high horses on issues like racism and bigotry, the party of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) proved it doesn’t traffic in anything but.
The reaction from Jewish Democrats (and there are 34 in this Congress) has been scathing. Even the media, who’s spent decades running interference for the Left, is drawing the line at this. Outlets like the CNN, Washington Post, and Politico can’t believe the party is legitimizing hate. “It says something about the progressive movement today that it has no trouble denouncing Republican racism, real and alleged, every day of the week but has so much trouble calling out a naked anti-Semite in its own ranks. This is how progressivism becomes Corbynism… It’s how self-declared anti-fascists develop their own forms of fascism. Why are they afraid of open debate? And what about all the bigotry on their side?” That’s not from the Federalist – it’s from the New York Times!
The Democrats aren’t just dividing their party, they’re dividing their allies. In a scandal where everyone from Meghan McCain to Chelsea Clinton is aligned, this is no ordinary bump in the political road. This could be a major detour, rerouting the party to an unknown destination. “The rift emerging around Ms. Omar is easily the most serious since Democrats swept to House control in November,” the New York Times warns. And the woman in question is only making matters worse. Yesterday, she actually accused her critics – which include a good number of the 34 Jewish members of Congress -- of “faux outrage.”
Those aren’t the comments of a penitent woman. And if I’m a Nancy Pelosi, I have a sickening feeling that this isn’t the last time her anti-Semitism rears its ugly head. The speaker can play off the deep rift of her party all she wants, but this is no ordinary family squabble. This strikes at the core of the Democrats’ very viability. “If you say the bacon is not crispy enough,” Pelosi quipped about the press, “they’ll have an article about this unrest and unease in the Democratic Party.”
Meanwhile, she has hard-core liberal leaders – including party bosses, committee chairmen, and DNC strategists – demanding to know about a lot more than breakfast. “Why are we unable to singularly condemn anti-Semitism?” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) asked. “Why can’t we call it anti-Semitism and show we’ve learned the lessons of history?” The simple answer? House leaders are scared of the Green Deal-infanticide-open borders-socialists trying to take full control of the party. They’ll sweep anything under the rug to avoid a challenge from the radical wing the caucus.
Her problem is: most everyday Americans will not. In a country where some Democrats are already asking, “How far is too far Left?” the consequences of this kind of scandal are astronomic. As Pennsylvanians have been warning Washington, “Mr. Trump is in the White House in large part because of the crumbling in 2016 of three so-called blue-wall states, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which had not voted for a Republican presidential candidate in more than two decades. ‘Someone’s got to take the Democrats into the real world,’” said one Democrat who voted for Trump. But in a world where the party’s “Big Tent” is now a Mini-Cooper, there seems little hope of that. If Pelosi wants to win the battle for the soul of the Democratic party, she first has to prove it has a soul left.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.