The President Strikes Back

Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and their “Squad” held a press conference to denounce President Trump’s attack on them. They got plenty of support from the press, which now routinely characterizes Trump’s tweetstorm against them as racist. Like, for example, the Associated Press and my home town newspaper the Star Tribune (“After being singled out by President Donald Trump with racist tweets….”).

The claim that Trump’s tweets were racist is false, as I wrote here. Apparently it is now “racist” to criticize “Congresswomen of color” as the Squad is often described. (For the record, AOC is paler than I am, and I am of Norwegian descent. But the meaning of words like “race” and “color” is flexible and mostly politically determined.)

This morning, President Trump again took to Twitter to renew his battle with the Squad:


It is true, as Trump says, that the four Congresswomen are anti-American, far left, and disliked by most Americans. This is why Nancy Pelosi has tried to rein them in. Construing Trump’s attacks most charitably, and overlooking the fact that he was flat-out wrong in talking about the Squad returning to the countries from which they came (all but one were born in the U.S.), he evidently is trying to tie the unpopular far-left Democrats to the party’s tail in anticipation of next year’s elections, perhaps hoping the GOP can re-take the House.

Most Washington Republicans are either condemning the president’s attacks, or avoiding reporters. The RNC, on the other hand, has supported him by releasing a series of tweets backing up his criticisms with video clips of Squad members. Yesterday House Democrats introduced a resolution condemning “President Donald Trump’s racist comments.” The resolution is largely a paean to immigration. I assume it will be voted on imminently, and will pass. It will be interesting to see whether some House Republicans vote for it.

President Trump has defended himself quite ably on Twitter, but the percentage of Americans who get their news from Twitter is vanishingly small. What most Americans are seeing is a consensus expressed in the press that President Trump is a racist. Defending himself against that pervasive charge, soon to be embodied in a House resolution, is hardly the position the president wants to be in.

That said, having dug the hole as deep as it currently is, Trump may as well continue his efforts to make Omar, Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley the face of the Democratic Party. They are, as he says, far-left, socialist, dictator-supporting, America-hating anti-Semites.

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