Episode

8/8 Why the Right Hates Ilhan Omar w/ Branko Marcetic

August 8, 2019

Good morning,  Branko Marcetic from the Jacobin joins Michael Brooks to discuss his recent story, “Why the Right Hates Ilhan Omar.” Conservatives hate her because of her race and religion, but they also fear the organizing and fighting she has done for working people of all races and beliefs.

As Donald Trump launches his 2020 campaign with his most extreme white supremacist rhetoric to date, Ilhan Omar finds herself at the center of the right’s sight. Brooks and Marcetic break down the reasons why the right has it out for Omar. The misconceptions about Ilhan Omar are many and varied, but her focus on universal programs like student debt forgiveness, renters rights, and Medicare for All has set her apart from traditional midwest centrist Democrats like Amy Klobuchar. Marcetic places Omar in the populist history of the upper midwest, comparing her campaign to Paul Wellstone’s 1990 Senate run, and his populist platform which backed labor groups and voting against repealing the Glass-Stiegel Act. It’s hard to remember now, but the event that put Omar on the GOP’s radar was when she questioned Elliot Abrams during his confirmation hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Marcetic argues that Omar’s foreign policy critique, which challenges US imperialism, most angers the right and the foreign policy blob in DC. Brooks and Marcetic conclude their discussion by comparing the right’s demonization of Omar with its previous campaign to vilify Obama. The right’s racist campaign against Obama was effective insofar that Obama continued the wars in the Middle East, increased drone warfare, and bailing out Wall Street. Omar has shown no intent to appease Republicans’ interests even in the face of death threats and harassment in the press.

And in the Fun Half: convincing Mexicans to maintain left politics after AMLO, updates on the situation in Kashmir, why now is the time for serious debate within the Democratic Caucus, Michael debriefs his debate with Destiny on Twitch, a moment to appreciate Neoliberal John, conservative media’s new populism, Sam Harris says white supremacists are simply “shitposting” when they do mass killings, Hondurans are in the streets protesting President Juan Orlando Hernandez after SDNY released corruption charges tying him to the cartel cocaine trade, an update on Lula’s imprisonment in Brazil,  plus your calls and IMs!

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