When I saw President Trump’s odd tweets over the weekend — the ones that told four American lawmakers to “go home” — my first thought was about Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously said, “Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.”
That’s just what the Democrats had been doing for weeks. In their first presidential debate last month, all but a few of the 20 candidates running for the White House pledged to give illegal aliens free health care and said crossing the border illegally should be just like getting a parking ticket. Two 2020 hopefuls — Sen. Cory A. Booker and former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke — even traveled to the border to personally try to get foreigners into the United States.
And just last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was racist for “the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color” in her and three of her colleagues. That tiff exploded into a catfight, with Mrs. Pelosi once again dismissing AOC and the other members of what’s now known as “The Squad” — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
So for Mr. Trump to leap in with incendiary tweets certainly overshadowed the infighting in the Democratic Party and drew the focus away from their terrible policies. Crazy, right?
Yup. Crazy like a fox.
“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now 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,” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” the president tweeted.
Sure, Mr. Trump was completely wrong about where the four “originally came from.” Just one of the four women he apparently targeted were born outside the U.S., Ms. Omar coming to America as a refugee when her family fled war-torn Somalia. She became an U.S. citizen when she was 12.
But there was method to Mr. Trump’s madness, which he clearly defined in a later tweet, just as House Democrats banded together to call for a vote to condemn the president’s remarks.
“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four progressives, but now they are forced to embrace them,” he wrote. ‘That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”
And that was the whole point. Mr. Trump wanted to call the four “progressives” out, make them the subject, and force Democrats to defend them. By doing so, the entire party is now embracing the ideology they spew — from socialism to anti-Semitism to what can only be described as a deep disdain (if not hatred) for America and her principles.
A White House official told The Daily Mail after The Squad held a rambling press conference that Mr. Trump “couldn’t have scripted this any better. They warned against taking the bait, and then they took the bait. Now they’re the party of AOC, and that won’t end well.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted the move, saying on Fox News that Mr. Trump could single-handedly make the four women “the face of the future of the Democratic Party.” If he could do that, Mr. Graham said, he could “destroy the Democratic Party.”
And now, that’s done. The House moved quickly on a resolution condemning Mr. Trump’s “racist comments,” and Mrs. Pelosi called the four lawmakers on the fringe of the party “our sisters.”
“The fact is, as offended as we are — and we are offended by what he said about our sisters — he says that about people every day, and they feel as hurt as we do about somebody in our family having this offense against them,” she said.
So, the president set out to make Democrats embrace the four lawmakers, and they have.
Mr. Trump is often mocked when he calls himself a “stable genius,” but he outplayed the Democrats on this one — and they still don’t even know it.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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