In a Twitter rebuttal, Rep. Ilhan Omar responded to President Barack Obama‘s belief that “snappy” slogans like “defund the police” lose supporters, arguing that it is “not a slogan but a policy demand.”
“You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” Obama explained in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America. “The key is deciding, do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with?”
“We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety,” Omar wrote in reply.
This is indicative of an ongoing debate among Democrats, some of whom are nervous that the more openly radical members like Omar will spook “moderate” voters. “We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger said following the election, for example. “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again. It does matter, and we have lost good members because of that.”
Too late — the Democrat party is already in the grip of the more radical elements, who have only begun to drag the party harder left.
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In March 2019 in Los Angeles, Omar was the keynote speaker at a Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) benefit event titled “Advancing Justice, Empowering Valley Muslims.” Sharing the stage with Omar was CAIR-Florida executive director Hassan Shibly, who rejects the notion that Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations. At the same event, Omar said: “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people [the 9/11 terrorists] did something, and that all of us [Muslim civilians] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” (In fact, CAIR was founded in 1994, not 2001.)
In July 2019, Omar introduced a House Resolution supporting the BDS movement and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. Co-sponsored by fellow Democrats Rashida Tlaib and John Lewis, the resolution called on House members to oppose “unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad,” a reference to resolutions that had been passed in several states to prohibit the granting of government contracts to companies that backed BDS. “We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our first amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” said Omar. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
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