House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t think that Ilhan Omar is an anti-Semite—she just isn’t convinced Omar understands that her recent comments about the politicians being expected to show “allegiance” to Israel are anti-Semitic.
On Thursday morning, Pelosi was asked if she thought that “Ilhan Omar understands why her comments were problematic and what happens if this happens again?”
“I don’t think that the congresswoman perhaps appreciates the full weight of how it was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in any anti-Semitic way,” said Pelosi. “But the fact is if that’s how it was interpreted, we have to remove all doubt.”
Pelosi described the anti-hate resolution that the House will vote on later today as a means of speaking out against anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and white supremacy in America. “[...] It’s not about [Omar]. It’s about these forms of hatred,” Pelosi said in her weekly press conference. But characterizing the resolution as an all-encompassing umbrella against bigotry instead of a coordinated attack on Omar’s recent critique of the U.S. support of Israel is an insult to the intelligence of anyone actually paying attention. It also reflects the quick reworking of the anti-hate resolution shortly after its introduction created the divisions in the party, including criticism from the Congressional Black Caucus. (The New York Times reports that after that criticism, Pelosi rewrote the resolution to include “condemnation of anti-Muslim bias.”)
In recent months, at times, it has felt as though Democrats relocated their spines, stood up to Trump and the Republicans when cynics expected them to cave. That’s why it’s endlessly dispiriting to see them revert once again to throwing their own under the bus over bad faith claims.