Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Why Choose, When Both Can Be True

Blunder or Genius?
John Hinderaker has called President Trump’s Sunday morning tweet-storm “a blunder of epic proportions” — an “own-goal,” as they say in soccer — and maybe it is, but Steven Hayward points out:
With a wedge opening up between the Democratic Party leadership and the noisy Four Freshmen reps . . . Trump has now forced Pelosi and every other Democrat to come to their defense, elevating their profile further and cementing them as the authoritative face of the Democratic Party. What’s the downside of that? . . .
Trump’s subtle target here is multiculturalism and “diversity” — the tacit premise of the left that America should be guilty and abject before the supposedly “oppressed” nations of what we used to call the Third World. Trump goes way too far as usual, but his bit about “come back and show us how” is actually a good argument. Once again, Trump may know what he is doing. What is it the old left liked to say? “Heighten the contradictions!”
Do I think Trump is playing four-dimensional chess here? Did he carefully calculate the possible ramifications? No, I think this was his gut instinct, but those instincts are usually rather shrewd. Because he doesn’t think in the predictable terms of standard-issue politics, sometimes Trump wins by doing what would seem to be the wrong thing, but which turns out to be effective in the long run. If Hayward is correct in his estimation, what Trump has done here will have the effect of making radicals like AOC and the Somali immigrant Ilhan Omar the “face” of their party, and make it impossible for Pelosi (or Chuck Schumer, or whoever the Democrats nominate for president in 2020) to distance themselves from these unpopular radicals. At a press conference today, Trump doubled down, saying these Democrats “hate our country” and “many people agree with me.” (Analysis: True.)
Trump's instinct is to do pretty much the opposite of what Republican leaders have tried for years, unsuccessfully. If they have tried to be reasonable, and continued to face unreasonably vile opposition, he figures that taking the opposite tack, he can't lose much faster, and might even win. It works surprisingly often. The Democrats have now embraced the worst in their party, and risk alienating the third of voters that identify as independent. Contrary to what they would like you to think, socialized medicine, an ever expanding welfare state and open borders are not winning issues.

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