Another one of those wacky, zaney lefties made news over the weekend, and I’m not talking about some Major League Baseball southpaw with control issues or an eccentric habit.
No, the lefty in question was freshman U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib. In an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” the Michigan Democrat said thinking about the Holocaust gives her a “calming feeling.”
I’m gonna stop here for a minute and give you a chance to fully digest that last sentence.
And, yes, if you’re wondering, Tlaib was indeed referring to the Nazi operation that resulted in the murder of more than 6 million Jews.
Here’s her exact quote:
"There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust, and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors — Palestinians — who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people's passports. And just all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away and it was forced on them.”
Now, let’s break this down a little bit.
First, it’s not difficult to imagine Tlaib defenders saying she was guilty of nothing more here than poor word choice, that what she meant to say was thinking about the Palestinians sacrificing to help the Jews and the newly formed nation of Israel after World War II is what made her feel calm, and not the slaughtering of more than 6 million people. Hey, we’ve all said things before that didn’t come out the way we meant.
Problem is, in responding to the firestorm her words created, Tlaib didn’t apologize or say she misspoke. Instead, her office released a statement criticizing Republicans and “right-wing extremists” of spreading lies and saying the GOP had reached a “new low.”
Secondly, as was pointed out in a brilliant piece in the Washington Examiner, her statement isn’t historically accurate.
Arabs had a long record of opposing a Jewish state in the area prior to War War II, and during the war, the Palestinian leader of the era, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Amin al-Husayn, firmly allied himself with the Nazis. After the war, the Arabs did not “try to create a safe haven for Jews.” Instead, several Arab nations launched an invasion of Israel the day after the new nation was declared.
Third, as President Trump pointed out in a tweet Monday, can you imagine the reaction on the left if the statements in question had been spoken not by Tlaib, but by him. The guess here is the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and other liberal media outlets would have just about melted down while trying to express their outrage.
Tlaib’s foot-in-mouth moment is just another embarrassing episode for Democrats that comes courtesy of the new alt-left wing of their party. Its ranks include cow fart fearing Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the freshman U.S. House member from New York who is a cheerleader for socialism, and Ilhan Omar, the freshman U.S. House member from Minnesota who has stirred controversy with some anti-Semitic tweets/statements and who recently referred to 9/11 as “some people did something.”
It’s a group that has little appreciation or understanding of history and little tolerance for those who disagree with their wacky ideas. It’s a group that has little true power now, but one that has made its presence felt.
And moving forward, it’s a group worth watching. Will these newcomers continue to push the Democratic Party further and further toward the extreme left, and eventually assume party leadership, or will more moderate Democrats rise up to keep them on the fringe?
If the answer is the former and not the latter, more and more average Americans may start discovering they have less and less in common with the Democratic Party.
Lew Gilliland is assistant editor of The Daily Home. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.