According to The Hill, Democrats in Ilhan Omar’s neck of the woods are already regretting their decision to support the woman who went on the become one of the first female Muslims to serve in the United States Congress. After Omar embarrassed her home state of Minnesota and cast the Democratic Party in the worst possible light immediately upon arriving in Washington, it is no surprise that local Democrats would be eager to replace her as soon as possible. The party, which has much to lose if Jewish voters decide to jump ship, is currently under sharp scrutiny thanks to Omar’s repeated anti-Semitic remarks.
That’s why Democrats back home are looking at contenders who can primary Omar in the 2020 elections.
“There’s definitely some buzz going around about it, but it’s more a buzz of is anyone talking about finding someone to run against her than it is anyone saying they’re going to run against her or contemplate it,” state Rep. Ron Latz (D) told The Hill. “There’s definitely talk about people wanting someone to run against her.”
In an even more direct statement, Steve Hunegs of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas said that Omar’s former supporters were fed up with her inability to avoid anti-Semitic tropes.
“Our community is exasperated by Rep. Omar’s unfulfilled promises to listen and learn from Jewish constituents while seemingly simultaneously finding another opportunity to make an anti-Semitic remark and insult our community,” said Hunegs.
Omar has apologized for tweeting “It’s all about the Benjamins” in relation to why the U.S. Congress supports the state of Israel, but since then she has made remarks accusing some in Washington of requiring “allegiance to a foreign country.” Jewish activists say that these remarks are weighed down with decades of anti-Semitism, and Jewish supporters of Omar back home say they have spoken with her multiple times about avoiding these comments. Every time, she pledges to listen, learn, and refrain from engaging in hateful speech. Every time, she goes right back to the well.
Omar still enjoys the support of the Democratic Party organization in Minnesota as well as the labor unions. She also represents a constituency that is largely made up of Somali immigrants, meaning that any primary challenge would have to overcome pretty significant odds. Those odds would surely be improved if the Democratic leadership in Washington were to turn on her, but judging by their cowardice over the past week, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.