Only a few days ago, conservative columnists were doing lots of hand-wringing about President Trump’s infamous “racist” tweets against the House “Squad.” No, no, they didn’t think that Trump meant anything racist by his remarks, but why would he unify the Democrats at such a time? Why wouldn’t he just take a chill pill, sit back, and let Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi destroy each other? Surely that’s the wartime strategy preferred by Sun Tzu, yes?
It didn’t occur to these commentators until the next day that unifying the Democratic Party around AOC and her socialist friends was precisely the point of Trump’s tweet. He WANTED Pelosi to rally to the defense of these women. He WANTED the 2020 Democratic candidates to jump on the “racism” bandwagon. AOC is deeply, perilously unpopular with the white, working-class swing voters that Trump used to defeat Hillary Clinton. If they perceive her as the new fact of the Democratic Party (and they do), victory next year is as good as in the bag.
But what’s funny is that, even if you think a divided Democratic Party is for the best, Trump’s tweets did not really succeed in undoing that reality. That’s because these divisions go beyond the surface. Hell, they may even go beyond pure ideology. At the end of the day, these are divisions spurred by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and, to a lesser extent, Ayanna Pressley – not because they want to change the world but because they want to be political stars.
In an interview with CBS’s Gayle King on Tuesday, it didn’t take long for The Squad to prove that while they can put the swords down for a few days in favor of attacking Trump, they are still laser-focused on making a name for themselves at Nancy Pelosi’s expense.
“Our teams are in communication,” Ocasio-Cortez said when asked if she was speaking to Pelosi.
“But shouldn’t you be meeting face-to-face?” King asked.
“She’s the new member, not the speaker,” Tlaib replied. “She has every right to sit down with her at any moment, any time with any of us. She is Speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting to sit down with us for clarification.”
As for what “clarification” Pelosi might need, Tlaib was only too happy to explain.
“Acknowledge the fact that we are women of color, so when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you’re doing, especially because some of us are getting death threats, because some of us are being singled out because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth,” she said.
So there you have it. Trump can tell these women to go back to their home countries and it’s racism. But it’s ALSO racism just to downplay their significance and insist that they represent the Twitter crowd and nothing more. And we assume it’s also racism to remark on their policies, hold the door open for them, or cross their path without genuflecting.
The Democratic Party is divided because some of their members are full-on, no-holds-barred, insane. There’s nothing Donald Trump or anyone else can do to unify them.