House Passes Anti-Bigotry Resolution After Anti-Semitism Push Splits Party

Update2: Following days of infighting over the rebuke of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for criticizing pro-Israel politicians, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution on Thursday to condemn all forms of bigotry. 

The final vote tally was 407-23-1.

The bill - crafted shortly after Omar's second such remark in recent weeks, was originally aimed at anti-Semitism. It began to face pushback after several prominent progressives threw their support behind the freshman Rep. from Somalia. 

On Wednesday, three Democratic presidential candidates stood behind Omar; Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

"Anti-Semitism is a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world, said Sanders - adding "We must not, however, equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel.

Harris said that she was "concerned that the spotlight being put on Congresswoman Omar may put her at risk."

And Warren said on Wednesday, "Branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has a chilling effect on our public discourse." 

Meanwhile, Democrats were sharply divided during a Wednesday night closed-door showdown between Pelosi and her anti-Semitism version of the bill, and progressive Democrats - particularly members of the Congressional Black Caucus. As a result, a revamped version of the bill now includes Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans, and several other minority groups. 

We wonder if it covers cultural appropriation, of say, Native American heritage in order to advance one's career? 

In any event, it appears Rep. Omar won the day. Perhaps that's why David Duke mysteriously came out in support of her? He also came out for 2020 Democratic contender Tulsi Gabbard just one month ago, right as she was slamming "neocon" and "neolib" war mongers amid a smear campaign by Democratic operatives to paint her as a Kremlin stooge. 

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Update: The latest version of the resolution condemns bigotry and hatred - invoking Martin Luther King Jr., while knocking "white supremacists" - such as those at Charlottesville. The measure somehow fails to include raging anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, who refers to Jews at "termites" and is frequently pictured with Democrats. 

After a contentious closed-door session on Wednesday among House Democrats who are deeply divided over a resolution to indirectly condemn Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over anti-Israel comments, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) almost got whiplash from pivoting 180-degrees; excusing Omar, while dramatically altering resolution's language from condemning anti-Semitism, to Democratic talking points commonly used against Trump supporters.

When asked if Omar should apologize for saying that supporters of Israel have an "allegiance to a foreign country," Pelosi gave a pass to the freshman Rep, telling reporters: "I do not believe she understood the full weight" of her words, adding that Omar's comments "were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude.

If true, some have suggested that Omar is tone-deaf and not fit to serve on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction of the relationship between the United States and Israel.  

Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that the House hopes to vote on Thursday on a resolution condemning all forms of hate, saying the message would be "we are against bigotry, we are against prejudice and against hate." - which just happens to echo commonly used Democrat talking points about conservatives. 

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As we noted on Wednesday, Pelosi's 180 comes after chaos broke out Wednesday during a closed-door meeting of House Democrats. 

Inside the meeting, according to multiple people present, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to keep her caucus focused on a planned Friday vote on a sweeping campaign and elections reform bill. She acknowledged “internal issues,” according to notes taken by a Democratic aide present, and urged members not to “question the motivations of our colleagues.”

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But moments later, multiple House members stood up to challenge the decision — endorsed by Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership — to move forward with a resolution condemning religious hatred. Initially the measure targeted only anti-Semitism, with some Democrats pushing for a direct rebuke of Omar, but by Tuesday night — facing backlash from members not on board with the plan — leaders decided to expand it to include anti-Muslim bias. -Washington Post

Several Democrats those who took issue with the measure were members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who opposed even an indirect rebuke of Rep. Omar when they should be focusing on how to attack President Trump. 

"I think there’s a big rise in anti-Semitism and racism, and that’s a bigger conversation we need to be having." said Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA). "But it starts at 1600 Pennsylvania. It doesn’t start with one member out of 435 members of Congress."

"Why are we doing this?" asked Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), who said that a resolution would be "redundant and unnecessary," likely referring to the January 11 rebuke of Omar after she accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) of contributing to pro-Israel politicians.

In the end, Rep. Omar seems to have won the day.