The Democratic Leadership Is Actually Standing Up for Rashida Tlaib

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Photo: AP

Republicans have bent themselves completely out of shape over the past day twisting Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s words on Palestine and the Holocaust. But the Democrats, miraculously, might just have enough backbone this time around to put an early end to this vilification of a female Muslim member of Congress.

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After being slammed by Republicans including President Donald Trump, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, and Louisiana Rep. Steve “David Duke without the baggage” Scalise for her comments about the “calming feeling” she experiences when thinking about the ways her Palestinian ancestors sacrificed themselves to help Holocaust survivors, Democratic leadership has stepped in to call out the bad-faith arguments characterizing Tlaib as having felt “calm” about the Holocaust itself.

“If you read Rep. Tlaib’s comments, it is clear that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are taking them out of context,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told the Hill in an email on Monday. “They must stop, and they owe her an apology.”

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On Twitter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also called upon Trump and House Republicans to apologize to Tlaib for mischaracterizing her comments.

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Perhaps Democrats have learned their lesson after failing to stand up for Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, another Muslim woman in Congress, after the first time Republicans tried to slander her as being anti-Semitic. Clearly their misstep in not defending Omar sooner is part of the reason why Republicans continued to try to misconstrue her support for Palestine, her stance decrying Islamophobia, and her questioning of foreign influence on the U.S.

Omar herself also stood up to Cheney and Trump on Monday, calling them out for Islamophobia. “Give it up, we all know you never met a Muslim you didn’t want to vilify!” Omar tweeted at Cheney.

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The Democratic leadership actually learning a valuable lesson about the GOP’s racism, and responding accordingly? Sometimes, it appears, miracles do happen.

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan