The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Squad

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've now heard media accounts that tell us, for the 10 millionth time, that Donald Trump is a white supremacist and racist who this past weekend demanded that four first-term congresswomen, known collectively as "The Squad," "go back where they came from." Of course, Trump didn't really use those words, but in his ham-handed and in this case toxic manner, he stated that members of the Squad should travel back to their countries of origin or affinity and fix the myriad problems in those countries, thereby demonstrating that their hard left, socialist agenda would actually work in the real world. Upon their success in those countries, he then invited them to return so they could teach us all how to fix the human rights abuses, the racism, misogyny, bigotry, classism, unfair labor practices, immigrant abuse ... blah, blah, blah with which they characterize the United States on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.

The Squad held a press conference in which they tried to look like reasonable, sage members of Congress. They suggested that they themselves and the Democrats shouldn't take the bait and instead continue to work on creating the socialist utopia they all envision. They then proceeded to take the bait, suggesting that Trump is a criminal and should be impeached.

Members of The Squad include: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has claimed that the United States has set up "concentration camps" on our southern border; Ilhan Omar whose anti-Semitic, anti-Israel vitriol continually crosses into the realm of Jew-hatred; Rashida Talib, a closet Islamist and pro-Hamas sympathizer, and Ayanna Pressley, a hard-Left advocate who looks at everything through a racial lens. The Squad refers to its members as "women of color," thereby creating a figurative force field that they believe will negate any legitimate criticism or argument with their extremist positions. The Democrats trained hamsters in the media swoon over the Squad, never questioning their outright lies, their hyperbolic claims, or their hard-Left ideology. Maybe they do have a force field after all.

The Squad's many admirers and defenders in the media keep emphasizing that all four congresswomen are citizens, elected officials, and 3 of the 4 were born in the USA. For once, the trained hamsters tell the truth. But using their citizenship as a defense to blunt their months and months of noxious statements about their country just doesn't work. Rich Lowry comments:
America has two assimilation problems. One is immigrants feeling only a tenuous connection to America and getting isolated in ethnic enclaves. The other is immigrants like [Ilhan] Omar [a member of The Squad] — and some of her second-generation colleagues — assimilating into the America of identity politics and grievance.

They have learned to speak not just English but the language of oppression. They understand our system — at least no less than the average officeholder — but hold it in low regard. They know our history, as taught by an instructor cribbing from Howard Zinn.

They may be citizens, but they are certainly outraged victims.
On a purely political level, Trump made a stupid and ill-timed political mistake by engaging The Squad. After all, members of the Squad had begun to criticize other democrats, going after House leadership, calling members of the Congressional Black Caucus insufficiently left wing and implying that they were Uncle Toms. The Squad thoroughly pissed off a large number of their colleagues.

Then again, Trump may not be as stupid as he sometimes seems. He has forced all three of the Democratic groups that dislike The Squad to defend them, and in so doing, he ties the Dems to the Squad's outrageous and dishonest criticism of their own country and its allies.

During their strident press conference, members of the The Squad told us many, many times that because they were "duly-elected" they therefore had every right to trash their country and its policies. That's one of the few things they got right. But at the same time, they outright refuse to accept the legitimacy of another duly-elected member of government, somehow suggesting that he has no right to criticize their actions or to suggest that if they don't like it here, they can leave. Despite the prevailing narrative, this had little if anything to do with race or religion and everything to do with a group of duly elected representatives who in words and deeds, don't seem to like their country very much. They were called on that, and the Left really, really doesn't like push-back when it gets too close to home.


Bobby Jindall comments on the increasing craziness and viciousness that has become the hallmark on American politics:
Politics seem more chaotic, polarized and extreme than ever ...

Liberals, including the mainstream media, still can’t believe that Donald Trump emerged victorious from a crowded Republican primary, much less beat Hillary Clinton, who personified the political establishment. Hers was the perfect résumé: Ivy League-educated attorney, first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state. She was safe and predictable; boringness was a virtue in contrast with the bombastic New York developer who had never before mounted a serious run for office. She was a Democrat comfortable speaking to and being paid by Goldman Sachs and other big corporations. She offered to shatter the glass ceiling without threatening the profitable status quo of media, business and government elites.

Mr. Trump’s penchant for personal attacks and undisciplined tweets drives even some of his supporters crazy. They wonder if he is his own worst enemy and hope he doesn’t sabotage his success. Yet many more supporters wanted a disruptive force and view his unorthodox behavior as a positive feature rather than an unfortunate price to pay for conservative judges and lower taxes. Both groups agree the craziness on the Republican side lies in the president’s personality and ego and not in his policies, which are working well in many cases ...

The craziness on the Democratic side lies in its leaders’ policies and the plan they want to impose on America. The party’s inability to condemn anti-Semitism with a unified voice and the current debate on whether America owes reparations to African-Americans and Native Americans are the tip of the iceberg. Democrats like Elizabeth Warren favor a steep wealth tax, even as Europe is largely abandoning such schemes. Others want to abolish the Electoral College and pack the Supreme Court.

Whereas President Obama realized fully government-run health-care was too radical for the American people, many in his party now believe the problem with ObamaCare was that it forced too few people off plans they liked ...

The Green New Deal dwarfs Medicare for All in potential cost and damage to the economy. Its supporters aim to do more than merely eliminate the use of oil, gas, coal and nuclear power—they aspire to rid the country of commercial airline travel and flatulent cows, retrofit every building, and provide a universal federal guarantee of economic security even to those “unwilling to work.” “Socialism” has gone from an epithet used by Republicans to discredit Democrats to a title some of them wear proudly.
But to members of The Squad, all of these proposals and much more are a road map to a socialist utopia that they envision. And when they are criticized, rather than defend these proposals with anything other than vapid abstractions, they regularly accuse their opponents of racism or misogyny. Maybe that why they are widely recognized by all Democrats, but also widely disliked by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.


Of the members of The Squad, only Ilhan Omar is a first generation immigrant. She is also the most vicious in many of her positions and is forthright in her obvious dislike for the United States as it currently is. Charles Cooke dissects Omar:
Legally, Ilhan Omar has exactly the same rights as someone born here. And she should, without exception. Culturally, though, the idea that Omar does not “owe a special debt of gratitude to the” United States is ridiculous, as is the idea that Omar’s views of the United States should not be affected by that debt. Of course she should be grateful! The United States saved her from a warzone, let her stay, accepted her as a citizen, and then elected her to Congress. If one can’t be grateful for that, what can one be grateful for?

Should Omar “temper her critiques of American politics and culture”? That depends. Again: Legally, Omar should enjoy every Constitutional protection available. And, as a matter of course, she should feel able to take part in the political process on the same terms as everyone else. But, culturally, it is absolutely reasonable for Omar’s critics to look at her behavior and say, “really, that’s your view of us?” It’s absolutely reasonable for Omar’s fellow Americans to dislike her and to shun her as a result. It is absolutely reasonable for them to consider her an ingrate — or to believe, as David does, that she is “a toxic presence in American politics.” And it is absolutely reasonable for them to wonder aloud how a person who hails from a dysfunctional, dangerous place built atop dysfunctional, dangerous institutions can exhibit the temerity — the sheer gall — to talk about America in the way that she does. There is a big difference between saying “I oppose current federal tax policy” or “I want more spending on colleges” or “the president is an ass,” and saying that America needs complete rethinking. As this Washington Post piece makes clear, Omar isn’t just irritated by a few things. She thinks the place is a disaster.
Maybe that's why more than a few Democrats think Ilhan Omar is a disaster for the Democratic Party.