Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison is no longer just a backbencher in the House of Representatives and he is no longer just a Minnesota story, if he ever was. As the first Muslim elected to Congress, his ascent to the House of Representatives was covered around the world in 2006. Now he is also the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
I believe that Ellison is a leading indicator of where the Democratic Party is headed. What manner of man is this? I took a look at Ellison’s back pages shortly before his election to Congress in 2006. I noted Ellison’s fraught relationship with Jews and trafficking in anti-Semitism in the Weekly Standard article “Louis Farraknan’s first congressman.”
I returned to the subject upon the publication of Ellison’s memoir in 2014. I found that Ellison had left out all the good stuff. I did my best to put it back in the Weekly Standard article “The Ellison elision” and the Star Tribune column “Ellison remembers to forget.”
Ellison converted to Islam at the age of 19 and remains a practicing Muslim. Nevertheless, during his climb up the greasy pole in radical Minnesota politics, Ellison was a long-time advocate of the Nation of Islam. While the Nation of Islam has occasionally served as a way station to Islam for American blacks, that was not the case with Ellison. Ellison’s personal history with the Nation of Islam, dating back to his days as a student at the University of Minnesota Law School, is something more than a strange interlude.
It is therefore not exactly a surprise that Ellison employed a voluble hater by the name of Isaiah Breen in his House office; Breen served as Ellison’s press secretary. He seems to specialize in vile criticism of the appearance of those he dislikes. Yesterday Breen taunted the prominent Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake as looking like an “anti-Semitic caricature.” In the tweet below New York Times columnist Bari Weiss checked in.
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) September 14, 2017
Adam Kredo covered the story for the Free Beacon. As Kredo tried to sort it out, Breen reverted to form.
what happened is you're a punk bitch and you're even uglier than eli lake eyyyyyooo fuck you https://t.co/rgHhaXVPS6
— Isaiah Breen (@isikbreen) September 14, 2017
Tracing this back to the beginning, I think the caricature to which Bari Weiss referred and which Breen found a fine likeness of Eli can be accessed in the tweet below.
eli i think the picture of you is nice https://t.co/hVZAI6TmIH
— Isaiah Breen (@isikbreen) September 13, 2017
Unfortunately, Breen features much more of his twisted raving on his Twitter feed. He seems to me a representative denizen of the Democratic left. Like Ellison, he signifies. I would like to get Ellison’s take on this, but he long ago blocked me on Twitter.
UPDATE: I should note that Breen describes himself on Twitter as Ellison’s former press secretary. Corresponding with Breen in an exchange subsequently posted on Twitter, Kredo confirmed that Breen “had not been fired for sending the series of sarcastic Tweets.” Calling Ellison’s office today, I was told that Breen was in a meeting. I have asked him by email whether he is still employed by Ellison, as I believe him to be.