02 February 2023

Varieties of Antisemitism

So, in the first stroke of political correctness in the New McCarthyism, Ilhan Omar has been removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee because remarks that she apologized for almost immediately purportedly demonstrate antisemitism. At the same time, McCarthy has thrown two previously-serving Democrats off the Intelligence Committee as purported "security risks" (when everyone watching agrees it's because they both adopted not just rhetoric, but actions, declaring the unfitness for office of the assigned resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from 20 Jan 2017 through 20 Jan 2021).

Fine. So he's a vindictive, hypocritical jerk. That's nothing we didn't already know, and he's got a lot of company in the House (on personal knowledge at least 29 at present, and probably more). But perhaps some sauce for the gander might be appropriate; consider the antisemitic implications of a member of the House Oversight Committee who declares that that US "must" have a Christian government, controlled by the church (specifically meaning conservative evangelical Protestantism) — which rather definitely leaves all Semitic peoples, both Jewish and Muslim, out of the conversation. In doing so, she wrongly claims that separation of church and state comes only from a nonofficial 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson… while ignoring both the First Amendment's prohibition on "establishment of religion" and, more to the point, in the core of the document:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

U.S. Const. Art. VI cl. 3 (emphasis added). This predates Jefferson's letter by fifteen years, and That Representative swore to support and defend it with her oath of office. No doubt it was like a consumer contract — one that she didn't read before getting on with important things like using her new made-in-China smartphone and committing abuse of power through Christian Nationalism (which by its very nature is antisemitic… however aligned it is, in the political present, with one or more theocratic governments in the Levant).

This isn't "whataboutism" — it's a demand that the same standards of "danger" be employed regardless of factional preferences. One wonders what will happen to McCarthy Junior's own committee assignments when the Democrats next take the Speakership (which, after last month's follies, may not require a majority… especially if an odd number of actual independents were to be elected… and wouldn't that be fun!).