The politics of the Democrats’ “anti-hate” resolution

Yesterday, the House passed a meaningless, vacuous resolution condemning hate in many of its forms. House Democrats were unable to bring to a vote a specific anti-anti-Semitism resolution and never seem seriously to have contemplated a resolution condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar, who caused the fuss with her blatantly anti-Semitic remarks.

The anti-hate resolution was a pathetic response. If a Republican congressman had made anti-black comments, would House Democrats have responded, as they did Omar’s remarks, with a generic resolution condemning nearly every form of group animus under the sun? Of course not. They would have condemned racial bias and the offending Republican.

House Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the anti-hate resolution. Even Ilhan Omar and her fellow openly anti-Semitic caucus members were able to vote for it.

On the other side of the aisle, 23 Republicans voted against the resolution. Good for them.

Some Democrats and their media cheerleaders are claiming that, because of the nearly two dozen GOP “nay” votes, Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. John McCormack at NRO cites some of this commentary.

I’d be surprised if the commentary is correct. There may be a few congressional districts in which a “nay” vote on the anti-hate resolution might require some explaining. I doubt that any of the 23 legislators who voted “nay” represent such districts.

Will Democrats be able to use those 23 votes to launch a more general attack on the GOP as a party that is okay with “hate”? I don’t think so.

Indeed, it’s unlikely that the Democrats will pursue this line of attack. Doing so would put the focus back on Omar’s comments and the inability of Nancy Pelosi to line up her party in favor of a straight vote condemning anti-Semitism.

As Scott might say, the Democrats would be happy to “call the whole thing off.” But it’s far from clear that passing the generic anti-hate resolution will enable them to do so.

I agree with McCormack that for those bothered by anti-Semitism, Omar’s remarks, the attempts of Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn, and the 2020 Democrats to defend Omar, and the unwillingness of Democrats to pass a simple anti-anti-Semitism resolution remain the scandal here. Many Democrats (albeit a decreasing number) and Independents are bothered by anti-Semitism. The principled vote of 23 GOP members against the cop-out resolution is unlikely to change this dynamic.

More broadly, Democrats face the real possibility of fratricidal conflict over the radicalism (of which anti-Semitism is but one manifestation) of members like Rep. Omar and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Tim Alberta discusses this danger at Politico.

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