House Republicans Better Put up or Shut Up

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

This is usually the part where our Republican leaders make us wonder why we ever voted for them. But perhaps there is reason for hope this time around.

House Republicans and Democrats are locked in a battle over the prospect of censuring Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). Both sides are gearing up to push for punitive actions against the lawmaker on the other side of the political aisle.

Republicans seek to censure Omar and to strip her of her position on the Foreign Affairs Committee for comparing the United States to Hamas, a radical Islamic terrorist group whose aim is to eliminate Israel as a Jewish state. Democrats want to censure Greene because of absurd comments she made comparing a requirement to wear a mask in the House chamber to the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. She recently held a press conference in which she apologized for her remarks.

NBC News reported: “Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., is expected to unveil a resolution Wednesday that would censure Greene, of Georgia, for remarks last month comparing House mask rules to the Holocaust.”

Schneider also led the group of House Democrats who pilloried Omar for her comments about the U.S. and Hamas, accusing her of giving “cover” to radical Islamic extremists and claiming her statements reveal a “deep-seated prejudice.”

Omar clarified her comments after receiving a backlash from people on both sides of the aisle. Schneider indicated that he was satisfied with her clarification. However, Republicans aren’t buying it.

NBC News reported:

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., is leading an effort to craft resolution to censure Omar. It will also censure other members of the so-called squad, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for “defending terrorist organizations” and blames the trio for recent antisemitic attacks in the U.S., according to a Banks spokesman. He is working on the measure with two other Republican representatives, Mike Waltz of Florida and Claudia Tenney of New York.

Omar has a history of making anti-Semitic and bigoted remarks. However, Democrats have refused to take action against her because apparently, her anti-Jewish sentiments which were expressed after she began serving in the House are not quite as bad as ridiculous remarks made by Greene before she ever took office. Each member of “the Squad” ran to social media to defend their comrade after she began receiving criticism.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recently called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. He stated that if she refused to take action, Republicans would remove her if and when they regain control of the House in 2022.

On Tuesday morning, McCarthy said “I think Nancy Pelosi should remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee,” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” He referred to her as “an individual that has not once, but on numerous occasions been anti-Semitic.”

This all sounds great, but anyone who has been a conservative for a decent length of time has already seen this movie, haven’t we? Republican lawmakers talk tough about how they will stick it to the Democrats. But when it comes time to step up, they flee from the battle faster than Nancy Pelosi to an open bar.

Indeed, if Republicans were to push for Omar’s censure, it might seem like a positive sign. However, given that Democrats control the House, it is unlikely they will support such a move. It’s easy to pretend to be tough when you know you’re going to lose anyway, isn’t it?

That being said, this time could very well be different. Even if they fail to censure Omar and remove her from her committee seat, 2022 is not too far away. As I argued in a previous piece, the GOP must give the Democrats a taste of their own medicine if they retake the House in the upcoming midterm elections. The Democrats’ decision to strip Greene from her committee assignments despite the wishes of their GOP colleagues is an attack on tradition that must not go unanswered.

This is why I argue that when the Republicans do win back the House, they should go scorched Earth. (See: When Republicans Take Back the House, They Better Give the Dems a Taste of Their Own Medicine)

Not only should they target Omar, but they should also remove each member of the Squad who has made anti-Semitic or otherwise bigoted remarks from their committee seats as well. Unfortunately, the Democrats have made it so that this is likely the only way to stop these politically motivated games in the lower chambers.

One might argue that this could lead to even more tomfoolery from the left. This is certainly possible. But we must also realize that a failure to act will yield the exact same outcome. To put it another way, they’re going to do it anyway, especially if there are no apparent consequences. The best chance to put a stop to this is to ensure a form of Mutually Assured Destruction.

If Democrats know that Republicans will target one of their own if they push for censuring someone based purely on politics, the political gain they might enjoy from such a move might not be worth it. It’s not a pleasant thought, but everyone knows how to stop a bully, right? People like this are less likely to throw their weight around if it means getting a bloody nose in the process. If we want this to stop, the bottom line is that we must push Republicans to grow a pair and be willing to punch back for a change.