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April 20, 2019

Wrong about being wrong: Ilhan Omar and Ruben Diaz both said divisive and hateful things; neither should resign

February 13, 2019
The Council’s black hat. (Barry Williams forNew York Daily News)

President Trump, Mayor de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson all serve in government posts of high responsibility. All are wrong to call for controversial legislators to resign for saying stupid stuff about their fellow Americans.

When should obscenely offensive political speech trigger a resignation? We know it when we see it. Neither Minneapolis Rep. Ilhan Omar or Bronx Councilman Ruben Diaz hit the mark.

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Trump, who’s said more than his share of horrendously awful things, who’s never called for the resignation of the execrable Rep. Steve King, wants Omar out for essentially saying that Congress is controlled by Jews’ campaign donations. It’s her right to be wrong.

Johnson and de Blasio want Diaz out for saying explicitly that the Council, where the speaker happens to be gay, is “controlled by the homosexual community.” Conspiratorial rhetoric like that creates the impression that there’s such a thing as a singular and scary gay agenda on all manner of public policy. It’s his right to be a divisive fool.

Both officials were elected by constituents who knew full well what kind of speech they were prone to engage in. Short of committing crimes or egregiously abusing their power, they can keep it up, at least until the next election.

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