Who better to personify the opposition party than its official Congressional leaders? Tom Daschle. Harry Reid. Chuck Schumer. Nancy Pelosi. Those Democrats have all been targeted by the GOP over the years, much as Republicans Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell were targeted by Democrats.
“The Squad” is different. The four Democrats referred to by that nickname, first-term Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib have been the focus of attacks by President Trump, who savages them on Twitter and insults them during campaign-style rallies, spurring his supporters to chant at them as they once did against Hillary Clinton.
But they are not leaders in the Democratic Party. They feud with its leader, Pelosi. That’s partly because their views are so much further left than that of the median Democrat. Their preferred agenda cannot pass the House, never mind the Senate. And none is or could be a contender in the 2020 presidential race.
Nevertheless, there was Trump on Thursday, tweeting that “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!” Were he working to “make America great again” he’d take on the most powerful opponents of the agenda that he thinks is best for the country. He picks on the Squad because he’s working to get himself reelected, and sees an electoral advantage in drawing the country’s attention to polarizing figures.
He knows that the Democratic leadership wants to distance itself from the Squad. He also knows that he is hated intensely by the rank-and-file of the Democratic Party, and that its leadership feels commensurate pressure to vocally defend any Democrat that he attacks (especially when he tells lies, like saying that Omar is pro-Al Qaeda).
Trump hopes to characterize those defenses as expressions of support not only for the individual …read more
Source:: The Atlantic – Best of