By Matt Rooney
They’re jubilant. Establishment media-types, devoted Leftists (but I repeat myself), and the Never Trumper crowd earnestly hope that they finally have him exactly where they want him. Cornered. On the ropes. Politically injured. Trump has finally unmasked himself as the repugnant racist they decided he was a long, long time ago. Now, they reason, the few remaining truly independent/persuadable American voters won’t be able to deny it.
That’s one take on this week’s events. Another? The week’s biggest loser isn’t the Republican president but actually the Democrat speaker whose caucus is currently on the brink of open civil war: San Fran’s own Nancy Pelosi.
I’m quite serious, Save Jerseyans.
Whether by design or chance, a debate which Trump observers will likely never resolve, the 45th president of the United States has once again forced his Democrat and Media opponents (whose over-crowded presidential field is accomplishing little more than confirming their party’s identity crisis) to talk about what HE wants to talk discuss.
In this case? Trump’s chosen topic is the 2020 Democrat Party’s hostile takeover by “the Squad”: Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. Angrily anti-Semitic, anti-American, incredibly arrogant,far-left radicals who are equally far-out-of-step with the mainstream American voter.
Trump could easily lose an election framed as a choice between himself and, for example, the sometimes folksy albeit a bit too handsy Joe Biden. He’s not personally popular with the center.
If the eventual Democrat nominee needs to share the national stage with America’s least favorite socialist sirens? Whose appeal in swing states is non-existent (click here for the Axios poll confirming that – AOC’s battleground approval rating is 22% and Omar’s is 9%)? Trump is likely to be a two-term president. And he knows it.
Trump also likely recognizes Nancy Pelosi’s peril. “The Squad” is expending more energy attacking her than Trump and Pelosi – who is no dummy – is working to contain the four horsewomen of her party’s possible political apocalypse. It’s a vicious cycle of colliding pragmatic leadership preferences and the Democrat Party’s new creeping socialist orientation, and it’s forcing the Dem leadership/presidential candidate class to co-opt positions like reparations (here’s looking at you Chuck Schumer) and universal health care for illegals (here’s looking at you entire Democrat primary field) which are non-starters in places like Florida and Ohio.
There’s a reason why vulnerable New Jersey Dems like Tom Malinowski are afraid of straying too far from the speaker; they know Trump wins a campaign framed as a choice between MAGA and Venezuela.
So keeping AOC and her crew in front of the cameras by attacking them results in a bigger headache for Pelosi than Trump by a factor of a million. Trump is choosing his own opponent.
Don’t like his Omar tweet? Okay. You’re hardly alone (my thoughts here). This ‘send her back’ chant stuff is thoroughly juvenile, stupid, and I think ultimately counter-productive if it keeps up. But guess what?
War’s ugly. Power politics is war. Nice guys and gals finish last. You get the point. We’re not defending Trump, his tweet, or ‘the game’ here – simply explaining the state of play. I wish he’d articulate the REAL problem (Omar’s ingratitude for everything this great country has given her) but that’s not who this guy is. He’s not the Great Communicator.
Trump is a bare-knuckle brawler who is adept at winning these fights even if you don’t always approve of his tactics or, failing an actual cognizable, conscious strategy, his default battlefield temperament. Nancy Pelosi on the other hand is going to lose the 2020 battle before it even begins if her troops continue to undermine her and walk headlong into obvious traps like they did this week. You don’t need to be James Carville or Karl Rove to see that.
MATT ROONEY is a 30-something practicing New Jersey attorney, A+ panelist on Chasing News with Bill Spadea, and the founder and blogger-in-chief of Save Jersey.