Representative Jerry Nadler is one of the bad guys. He’s leading the charge to keep the House of Representatives focused on one thing: Taking down President Trump. But even bad guys do good things sometimes. His singular moment of clarity came yesterday when he rebuked Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of “The Squad” fame for sharing an anti-Semitic cartoon on Twitter.
To keep things in perspective, this isn’t Nadler doing the right thing for the right reasons. His interest is in making sure focus remains on the President and he views his freshmen cohorts as distractions. And even in rebuking them, he did so by first insulting the President with a lie.
The growing anti-Semitism in our political dialogue is repugnant. @realdonaldtrump’s comments about disloyalty are a vicious and dangerous anti-Semitic trope. And the Carlos Latuff cartoon forwarded by @RepRashida and @Ilhan can surely be read for its vile underlying message.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) August 22, 2019
The President’s comments about American Jews being disloyal to Israel if they vote Democrat is not an anti-Semitic trope. In fact, it’s not a trope at all, but since it’s a word that’s often associated with anti-Semitism, Nadler felt the need to invoke it.
As for the cartoon Nadler referred to, it came from a nefarious source:
Oof. Looks like both Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib shared this awful Carlos Latuff cartoon in Instagram stories yesterday. In 2006, Latuff came in second in Iran's International Holocaust Cartoon Contest, which is a thing that exists, in case you thought the TL couldn't get any worse. pic.twitter.com/uwyBPAsz7T
— Batya Ungar-Sargon (@bungarsargon) August 18, 2019
But the real news here isn’t that Nadler went after his own teammates. It’s that the didn’t respond. It’s obvious they’re aware of the rebuke, but both have focused on playing nice on Twitter and have not addressed Nadler at all, at least not in public. This is a departure from their modus operandi as they’re known for striking back at criticism regardless of the source. Invariably, they play the race card and characterize anyone who criticizes them as bigots attacking “women of color.”
Nadler is an older straight white male, which is to say he’s a prime target for the wrath of “The Squad.” Are they suddenly playing nice or are they biding their time? Perhaps they don’t want to draw attention to the rebuke. Whatever their reasoning for not hitting Nadler back, their silence is conspicuous.
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were wrong to share the anti-Semitic trope and Nadler was right to rebuke them. But don’t cheer Nadler’s action too hard. His only concerns are how their bigotry reflects on his party and keeping attention on President Trump.
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