Minnesota Democrats offended at Rep. Ilhan Omar’s repeated foray into anti-Semitism are looking to recruit a new candidate to run against her in next year’s primary.
Some colleagues in her highly progressive district have found Omar’s comments to be so off-putting that they’d like to contest her nomination going forward, The Hill reports.
It is a remarkable move considering Omar is a mere two months into her term. Still, some of these rumblings seem more bluster than action, with no actual challenger having been located as of yet.
“There’s definitely some buzz going around about it,” state Sen. Ron Latz (D) explained, “but it’s more a buzz of is anyone talking about finding someone to run against her than it is anyone saying they’re going to run against her or contemplate it.”
“There’s definitely talk about people wanting someone to run against her,” he added.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 14, 2019
Even if moderate Democrats in her district are able to recruit a replacement, it remains unclear if voters will reject Omar for her antics.
Describing the 5th Congressional District as “a pillar of progressivism that handed Omar a decisive victory in November’s midterm elections,” MSNBC reports that “there has been far less outrage” over her actions.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Israel have consumed Washington, DC. But in Minnesota’s diverse 5th Congressional District, a pillar of progressivism that handed Omar a decisive victory in the midterm elections, there has been far less outrage. https://t.co/FFYVz3trF4 (1/9)
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 13, 2019
One voter in the MSNBC report dismissed the anti-Semitic comments coming from Omar as little more than a distraction.
“If someone wants to criticize an entity — whether it’s AIPAC or the Israeli government or the NRA or the Saudi government — what is the problem?” another said.
Maybe it’s the whole ‘dual loyalty’ smear or saying that Jews are controlled by “the Benjamins.”
Too Little, Too Late
Omar has done nothing but dabble in anti-Semitic tropes since she took office, only to have to apologize for them later.
Her career includes references to Israel as “evil,” comparisons of Israel to Iran, repeated anti-Semitic tropes, and support of the anti-Semitic BDS movement.
In short, she’s a loose cannon. So why worry about replacing her now when the Democrats weren’t worried about her before? She had a rich history of these kinds of behaviors.
Additionally, Jewish leaders in Minnesota approached Omar about a year ago about her anti-Semitic rants, yet Democrats continued to prop her up.
“Tropes, dog whistles — call them what you will,” one state senator recalled. “We explained to her how hurtful, and factually inaccurate, they were.”
Now suddenly, Democrats are concerned she’s damaging their brand. Omar was what she was. Omar is what she is. It’s not changing anytime soon.