Rashida Tlaib isn’t a typical House of Representatives freshman. That may be why so many of her party colleagues are giving her only tacit approval in the wake of her video broadside last Thursday against President Donald Trump. Rep. Tlaib, D-Mich., a Muslim born of Palestinian immigrant parents, having taken an oath of office only hours earlier, called for Trump’s impeachment in highly vulgar and inflammatory language. Party elders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, offered a rebuke to her statement. But their words seemed more motivated by strategy than by principle. And a likely major explanation for this tacit approval is that Democrats are giving a free pass to Muslims in their nonstop celebration of “diversity.” It’s an attitude that endangers national security as well as coarsens debate.
The 2018 House elections were a windfall for the Democratic Party. Exploiting resentment of President Trump and Republicans generally, the party generated a bumper crop of far-Left freshmen representatives, especially females bent on avenging the unsuccessful attempt by Senate Democrats early last fall to derail the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. House Democrats, outnumbered by Republicans in the last Congress by 236-196 (as of December 31, 2018), now hold a 235-199 majority in the new one. Among the beneficiaries of this voter shift are the preposterously overhyped Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Jennifer Wexford, D-Va., who recently demonstrated her sense of national priorities by hanging a transgender pride flag outside her office.
Difficult as it is to believe, such lawmakers come off as beacons of erudition and wisdom compared to Rashida Tlaib. Now 42, Rep. Tlaib, trained as a lawyer, represents the heavily black and Hispanic 13th District of Michigan, which covers the southern and western portions of Detroit. Tlaib had been edged out by former Michigan state lawmaker Brenda Jones in a special election held this November to fill out the remaining term of longtime Congressman John Conyers, who had retired in December 2017. But in the separate general primary, held this August, she defeated Jones and four other candidates. She then won the November general election, faced only by Jones running as an Independent. Tlaib made clear her ethno-religious leanings on day one. She took the oath of office with her left hand on an English-language translation of the Koran while wearing a thobe, a traditional Palestinian dress (see photo). If only that display of identity politics were the whole story.
Unfortunately, it was not. Tlaib, after finishing her first day in office, capped things off with a celebration at a nearby Capitol Hill bar. In front of a rolling camera, she made the following statement to the cheers of radical activists:
People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says: ‘Momma, look, you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t.’ Because we’re going to go in there, and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.
This comment was outrageous. Granted, many of us (including President Trump) hurl f-bombs now and then. But to speak publicly of a sitting president in such a manner demonstrates a fundamental lack of respect for Trump and the office he holds. And Rep. Tlaib was not the least bit contrite the next day. “I think President Trump has met his match,” she proclaimed in an interview with Detroit’s NBC-TV affiliate. “It’s probably exactly how my grandmother, if she were alive, would say it. Obviously, I am a member of Congress and things that I say are elevated on a national level, and I understand that very clearly.” For good measure, she also set up a hashtag, #unapologeticallyme.
Some ranking Democrats responded with something at least resembling common decency and gravitas. “I don’t really like that kind of language,” said Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in an interview with CNN. “But more to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We have to follow the facts.” The problem with Nadler’s statement is his implicit hope for his committee’s discovery of impeachable offenses. The reality is that former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s unconstitutional special investigation has yet to turn up anything warranting even consideration of Trump’s impeachment, much less impeachment itself.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, by contrast, was reprehensible. On Thursday, in an interview with MSNBC, she prevaricated this way: “I wouldn’t use that language, but I wouldn’t establish any language standards for my colleagues. But I don’t think it’s anything worse than what the president has said.” This is nonsense. Trump may be blunt and even crude at times, but nothing he has said, written or tweeted rises to the obnoxiousness of Tlaib’s comment. The next day, January 4, at an MSNBC-hosted town hall meeting at Washington, D.C.’s Trinity University, Pelosi’s alma mater, the Speaker declared, “I’m not in the censorship business.” This was a straw man. Nobody, in or out of Congress, has suggested that we “censor” Rep. Tlaib. But a reprimand from her colleagues would have been nice. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the leading House Republican, in fact, called upon Pelosi to censure Tlaib.
Congresswoman Tlaib was also in dreadful form yesterday. She sent a tweet indicating her opposition to new legislation (S. 1) designed to protect states that oppose the economic boycott of Israel. Supporters of the bill, sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and James Risch, R-Idaho, she noted, “forgot what country they represent.” She elaborated: “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.”
Actually, it is Rashida Tlaib who needs a refresher course – and not just on the Constitution. It is not a denial of anyone’s rights for our federal government to affirm the right of states to take steps to counteract a boycott. Moreover, Israel, no doubt to Rep. Tlaib’s great chagrin, is a longstanding ally and trading partner of the U.S. The ongoing worldwide Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, as National Legal and Policy Center explained at length in March 2016, is run by people whose avowed goal is the cancellation of Israel’s existence. Perhaps Tlaib, who favors such cancellation, can review her history books and learn that the boycott against the Jewish state has its roots in Nazi-era Germany.
Tlaib managed to win quick support from the nominally Jewish senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. An Independent who caucuses with Democrats, Sanders tweeted his disapproval of the GOP bill last evening. “It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity,” he remarked. “Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government. Let’s get our priorities right.” Of course, if our nation really did have its priorities right, the large groundswell of illegal immigration to our country would not have happened, and the wall demanded by President Trump, which triggered the shutdown impasse, probably wouldn’t be needed.
The hard Left, ever rhapsodizing over the prospect of total diversity in our time in one nation, is positively over the moon that the 2018 congressional elections produced not one, but two new Islamic female members of Congress, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). Omar, like Tlaib, is quick on the draw in telegraphing her punches. In a July 2017 interview with Comedy Central host Trevor Noah, Omar, who owes her election in large measure to the Somalian ethnic population explosion in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, said, “I am America’s hope and the president’s nightmare.” Apparently, none of her Democratic colleagues seem moved to complain. After all, if with more measured language, they, too, want to be Trump’s worst nightmare.
Rep. Tlaib’s f-bomb episode is reprehensible, but even more importantly, it reveals a few clues about where the current House Democratic majority wants to go with impeachment. The effort began a half year ago. Last July, Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Al Green, D-Tex., introduced an article of impeachment (H. Res 438) against the president, claiming Trump had obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey. That effort fell way short, but Sherman plans to reintroduce this resolution very soon. Such lawmakers, whether they admit it or not, are giving reprobates such as Rep. Tlaib a green light. Their rhetoric may be more genteel, but their goal of getting President Trump out of the White House is the same. Regardless of party affiliation, the American people deserve better congressional leadership.