A Blunder of Epic Proportions

Regular readers know that I am a fan of President Trump, and more often than not, a fan of his use of social media. But today he committed the worst unforced error of his presidency, one that we will hear about from the Democrats from now until November 2020.

This morning the president tweeted about “‘Progressive’ Democratic Congresswomen”:


I assume Trump is talking about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad,” and I share his low opinion of those ill-informed leftists. And no doubt he had in mind Ilhan Omar when he referred to “countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe,” etc. His description certainly applies to Somalia. But to my knowledge, Omar is the only one of the “progressive Democratic Congresswomen” who was not born in the United States. As to the others, Trump’s rant is not just wrong, but embarrassing. AOC, for example, grew up in a wealthy suburb of New York.

The Democrats have been self-destructing, with the progressives denouncing Nancy Pelosi and other members of the party’s leadership as racists. That conflict has dominated the news, and I am sure Trump is right that Nancy Pelosi would be happy to work out travel arrangements to get rid of the Squad. But now she won’t have to. Trump’s attack on the Squad was so foolish that I would assume it to be a case of drunk-tweeting, except that the President doesn’t drink.

This is the headline in my home town paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It will be the same in every newspaper across the country:

Note that the Associated Press accuses Trump of “starkly injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats.” But Trump didn’t say a word about race. It was the AP that starkly injected race into the controversy. Which, of course, doesn’t excuse the single stupidest act of Trump’s presidency.

STEVE ADDS: I concur in part, and dissent in part (as they say at the Supreme Court). I agree with John that this is a case where Trump should have followed the old adage, “When your enemy is destroying himself, get out of the way.” (See my post from this morning on the Democrat civil wars.) But Trump’s animal instincts come into play here. With a wedge opening up between the Democratic Party leadership and the noisy Four Freshmen reps (and I can guarantee that AOC is the least popular member of the House Democratic caucus), Trump has now forced Pelosi and every other Democrat to come to their defense, elevating their profile further and cementing them as the authoritative face of the Democratic Party. What’s the downside of that?

And if you read Trump’s language carefully (and the absence of typos and other typical Trump flourishes like CAPITAL LETTERS and “sad” make me wonder if Stephen Miller wrote them), it is like his clumsy Charlottesville remarks, taken out of context and twisted. Trump’s subtle target here is multiculturalism and “diversity”—the tacit premise of the left that America should be guilty and abject before the supposedly “oppressed” nations of what we used to call the Third World. Trump goes way too far as usual, but his bit about “come back and show us how” is actually a good argument. Once again, Trump may know what he is doing. What is it the old left liked to say? “Heighten the contradictions!”

I still wish Trump would lose his phone. But the over-reaction to this is utterly predictable.

UPDATE: Comments on today’s tweets here.

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