If there is one thing that both sides of the political spectrum agree on is that Donald Trump has the knack for making people freak out and lose their s**t. Such was the case with a series of tweets attacking a quartet of Democratic members of Congress for being anti-American, and adding a dash of the “America: love it or leave it” attitude which pre-dates the age of Trump. Of course the Democratic quartet reacted and people accused Trump (who is married to an immigrant) of being anti-immigrant, a racist, the toenail of Satan, &c., because they’re already accusing him of all that simply for breathing. Of course, as well, this could have just been about the histrionics of the Democratic quartet, and others on the far Left of the party, self-destruction, if Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip tweeting didn’t go far beyond that to the point of referring to three of the quartet, who are natural born citizens, as having “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” now “telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government it so be run.”
That he talked about three natural born citizens as if they were immigrants, unsurprisingly led to legitimate criticism of such statements for being factually inaccurate and wrong.
“The only member of the squad who ‘originally came from countries’ beside the U.S. is Ilhan Omar, born in Somalia. Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York City, Rashida Tlaib was born in Detroit, and Ayanna Pressley was born in Cincinnati. Three of the four “originally came from” the United States of America, and presumably Trump doesn’t mean that our government is “a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world.”
“It is fair to read his remarks as contending that Tlaib should return to the Palestinian territories (her parents immigrated from there), that Ocasio-Cortez should return to Puerto Rico (where her mother was born; Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917), and that Pressley should return to someplace in Africa, even though her mother and father were both U.S. citizens and, to the extent she has discussed her family, her ancestors ‘immigrated’ many generations ago — involuntarily if they were slaves.”
It was also further pointed out that this was also a political “own goal” that protected the Democratic quartet not only from Democratic leadership trying to rein them, but also dampen criticism from the moderates (including suburban Women who swung enough seats in November 2018 to give the House of Representatives to the Democrats.
“Trump manages to focus in on the least-legitimate lines of criticism, that these women supposedly come from some other country and that they are ‘loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.’ They’re all elected members of Congress. Love them or hate them, they all legitimately won House races in heavily Democratic congressional districts. Each one has the same one vote out of 435 that every other member has.
“At the exact moment that Democrats are realizing the toxicity of identity politics, Donald Trump endorses the notion that these women are defined by where they come from.
“Not only did he attack the ‘squad,’ he managed to do it in a way in which no other prominent Democrat can continue to criticize them publicly, lest they be perceived as echoing the president’s contention that they should go back where they came from. At the exact moment the accusations and counter-accusations were set to do lasting damage, Trump just had to jump in and give them an attack that would unify them all. It often seems like Trump would rather have a bad news cycle that focuses on him than a beneficial news cycle that focuses on someone else.
“Trump could have and should have stayed quiet and let the Democratic infighting worsen and intensify. Failing that, it would have been easy to make a jab free of any xenophobia — something like, ‘Interesting to see “Progressive” Democratic congresswomen contending Nancy Pelosi is racist and that the Congressional Black Caucus doesn’t represent black voices. I’m sure Pelosi would be happy to send them on some long foreign trip to get them out of her hair and out of the headlines!’
“Instead, Trump made a comment that unites Democrats of every stripe and reminds them of their primary objective in the 2020 cycle, winning back the White House. The biggest change from the 2014 and 2016 elections and the 2018 midterms is that the suburbs, and in particular, suburban women, recoiled from Trumpism. Trump fans can argue, ‘ignore the tweets, focus on his policies,’ until they’re blue in the face. Significant numbers of voters in key demographics in key states aren’t willing to compartmentalize like that. Everyone around the president can read a poll and knows that his rage-tweeting is a liability; it is perhaps the biggest liability in a presidency that, with prosperity and a perception of peace, ought to be comfortably cruising to reelection.”
Likely due to more reserved and reasoned heads, Trump tweeted out a more measured, yet still harsh, attack on the Democratic quartet, that quoted Sen. Linsay Graham:
“… we don’t need to know anything about them personally, talk about their policies. I think they are American citizens who are duly elected that are running on an agenda that is disgusting, that the American people will reject…”
It is as if each side was going out of it’s way to rile up the other side’s base while using that to drive their own base into a frenzy, both ignoring the moderates, and even many on both the Left and the Right who don’t need to seek emotional catharsis from political rage. We are living, as the following image macro originally posted at RedState indicates, in a political age of Leeroy Jenkins, based off of a meme of a “World of Warcraft character that is known for screaming out his name before ignorantly charging headlong into battle, killing everyone in his party.”
Meme posted on RedState by poster “Bonchie”.