Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar has long since worn out her welcome with the rest of America, but it looks like her hometown newspaper has had enough of her act, too.
The freshman congresswoman is best known for making light of the 9/11 attacks, obvious, unapologetic anti-Semitism and a bizarre personal life that features allegations of criminal and ethical violations as well as a loose — to put it charitably — interpretation of the idea of marriage.
And for the editorial board of the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune, it’s time the lighting-rod “squad” member left the stage.
In an endorsement published Wednesday, the Star Tribune chose Omar’s opponent in next week’s congressional primary for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (Minnesota’s weird iteration of the Democratic Party).
That opponent, mediation attorney Antone Melton-Meaux, is apparently just as “progressive” as Omar — any candidate in a Minnesota DFL primary is going to be on the left end of the American political spectrum.
But he’s not carrying anywhere near the baggage of a Democratic congresswoman whose public statements are so inflammatory she once inspired an entire congressional resolution to denounce bigotry. (Some might remember the resolution started out condemning anti-Semitism, but was edited after Democrats apparently couldn’t bring themselves to do something so decent as calling out Jew hatred by itself.)
The Star Tribune referred to Omar’s embarrassing collection of scandals with kid gloves. Liberal Minnesota newspaper editors probably don’t like the idea of having their offices burned out by “mostly peaceful protesters” any more than most people.
So Omar’s outrageous, repeated anti-Semitism, the allegation that she claimed her own brother as a “husband” to skirt immigration law, and the fact that she funneled campaign money to a consulting firm run by her current husband (who is almost certainly her formerly adulterous lover) were largely glossed over or ignored entirely.
Here’s the editorial’s most critical paragraph about Omar, and it’s not exactly scathing. (When newspapers attribute a politician’s behavior to “missteps,” it’s pretty much a free pass.)
“Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight as the first Muslim woman and first refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues. Interestingly, the DFL Party has chosen to make an issue of Melton-Meaux’s finances, filing a late complaint that his campaign used ‘shadow’ companies for his bid, a step the campaign told supporters was necessary because the Democratic Party blacklists companies that work for the challenger to an incumbent.”
But the newspaper’s endorsement of her opponent is still a sign that even in woke Minnesota, Omar’s antics are lacking in appeal. (To be fair, the Star Tribune endorsed an Omar opponent in the 2018 primary, too, and didn’t endorse Omar for the general election in 2018 either.)
Two of her fellow “squad” members, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, were endorsed by The New York Times and the Detroit Free Press, respectively. (The Times editors even wrote that AOC “may be the most talented young politician in the country.” Never let it be said The Times doesn’t know what side of the bread its liberal butter is on.)
In the internet world, it’s questionable how much power newspaper endorsements still hold — or whether readers influence a newspaper more than a newspaper influences its readers. (The Times’ craven decisions to change front-page headlines because of liberal outrage have made it clear what that relationship is, at any rate.)
But there’s no question that the editorial board of the most influential newspaper in Minneapolis considers Ilhan Omar deserving of being ousted from her office after only one term tells the rest of America how much it should respect her opinions.
On many fronts — as a lawmaker with an apparently cavalier approach to obeying the law, as a refugee who took advantage of the opportunities this nation afforded her and her family only to repeatedly spit on it in public — Rep. Ilhan Omar is a disgrace, an embarrassment to Congress and to her adopted country.
The sane parts of America have been aware of that for a long time. It appears that her hometown newspaper knows it, too.