President Donald Trump, again, shows an uncanny knack for taking the spotlight off of the anti-semitism of U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and puts it back on himself with an inane comment.
The press coverage of Israel denying access to the freshman congresswomen has been dismal already since 1. it was entirely deserved since they support the anti-semitic BDS movement and denying them entry complies with Israeli law, and 2. they did permit Tlaib entry to visit her grandmother which she declined.
Who declines visiting a grandmother to make a political statement?
Some members of the media deemed the move unprecedented, putting the fact that the Obama administration denied a visa to Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben Ari in 2012 down the collective memory hole.
So when asked about Israel’s action on Tuesday, President Trump said, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat – I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge, or great disloyalty.”
First, not every Democrat supports Tlaib and Omar. Unfortunately, the party has been utterly inept to condemn these two and their anti-semitism outright, but not everyone in the party approves. An anti-BDS resolution that passed overwhelmingly in the U.S. House of Representatives is a testament to that.
Second, trying to shame voters is utterly stupid. It’s stupid when Democrats do it. It’s stupid when Republicans do it. It never works, it always backfires, and it makes the person doing it look like a jerk. A vote for a Democrats does not mean Jewish people are uninformed or “disloyal” (which I take to mean disloyal to Israel). I may or may not understand their vote for certain politicians, but statements like these will not convince people to vote differently.
So what’s the upside?
Now instead of talking about the anti-semitic bigots, Trump allowed the media to pivot and talk about his stupid comment which I’m sure will be framed as anti-semitic.