Twenty-three Republicans voted in opposition to a Home decision condemning “antisemitism, Islamophobia, racism and different types of bigotry” that was handed by 407 of their colleagues of each political events.
However few count on the US political and information media equipment to shift into outrage mode over the refusal of so many Republican lawmakers to publicly disavow one thing so abhorrent as plain, old school bigotry and racism.
Republicans who voted in opposition to the decision have been busy justifying their vote on Friday, with some putting their stand in opposition to anti-racism within the context of looking for to deal with condemning Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s criticism of the pro-Israel foyer, which has been labeled by some as antisemitic.
The Home Republican convention chair, Liz Cheney, referred to as the vote “a sham put ahead by Democrats to keep away from condemning one in all their very own and denouncing vile antisemitism.”
Different dissident Republicans additionally took umbrage with the decision not mentioning Omar by title.
However some had totally different concepts, portraying their refusal to sentence bigotry as a protection of white individuals. Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama launched a press release during which he mentioned he couldn’t signal on to a vote that didn’t embody discrimination in opposition to Caucasians and Christians.
“The failure to particularly state opposition to discrimination in opposition to Caucasian-Individuals and Christians, whereas reflective of Socialist Democrat priorities and values, is, by omission, deadly to the invoice,” he mentioned.
Others, just like the New York congressman Peter King, had even much less inclusive concepts about what the anti-bigotry measure ought to have talked about: specifically, cops.
Nowhere in any of their statements had been any point out of the lengthy historical past of bigotry and antisemitism from Republicans, or, certainly the Islamophobia and racism some see mendacity on the coronary heart of your entire Omar ordeal.
The Iowa Republican Steve King, who amongst many different issues in a prolific historical past of racist statements, lamented again in January that “white nationalist” had turn out to be a pejorative, merely voted “current”. King was stripped of his Home committee seats that month after Republicans seemed the opposite manner at his habits for years.
Congressman Matt Gaetz used his time throughout debate on the difficulty of bigotry to defend Donald Trump in opposition to allegations of Russian collusion. Not talked about was his just lately internet hosting a Holocaust denier and notorious alt-right troll on the State of the Union handle as a private visitor.
“It’s an insult to the recollections of these killed within the Holocaust, to their households, and to the Jewish neighborhood to carry to the State of the Union as your visitor a Holocaust denier,” the Anti-Defamation League wrote in a letter to Gaetz on the time.
Nor did any Republicans carry up the president’s personal historical past of racist and antisemitic statements, like saying there have been “very nice individuals on either side” after a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, or his prolonged document of trafficking in Jewish stereotypes and frequent use of dehumanizing references to immigrants coming to “infest” the nation.
Briefly the Republican backlash to one thing seemingly so anodyne and innocent as an anti-bigotry decision revealed to many critics what some Republicans had been truly after: punishing Omar particularly, not merely due to what she mentioned, however due to her ethnic and non secular identification whereas saying it.
However Omar truly voted for the decision condemning antisemitism and different types of bigotry, in contrast to her 23 Republican detractors. One thing that will have turned the entire affair from a Democratic disaster right into a Republican backfire.