Wednesday, July 17, 2019


If you're like me, you've encountered at least half a dozen variants of one particular bit of conventional wisdom, expressed here by Edward Luce of the Financial Times:
... there is method behind Mr Trump’s nastiness. His goal is to force Democrats to unite behind the so-called “Squad” of four non-white congresswomen, whose radicalism is not popular in the US heartlands. Most Americans are not socialist. Nor do they support paying reparations for slavery, or open borders. Most would probably be suspicious of a Green New Deal that aimed to abolish fossil fuels by 2030. These are the kinds of radical ideas Mr Trump wants to force Democrats to support.
See also Newt Gingrich, as quoted in the Washington Examiner:
... Gingrich said Trump wanted to raise the profile of his targets and to more closely link their socialist and anti-Israel policies with the Democratic Party.

"He wants the Democratic Party to identify with them," Gingrich said.

... Gingrich said uniting Democrats was the point.

"Pelosi in a sense was trying to draw a line and say, 'We are not them'. After Trump's tweet, she said, 'Oh, we really are them.' ..."
How do the people who say this believe Democrats think? Do they think an expression of solidarity for a fellow Democrat at a particular moment constitutes a pledge of undying loyalty?

That may be how the Republican Party operates right now in reference to Donald Trump. It's not how the Democratic Party operates. The Democratic Party isn't a personality cult.

In January, all the members of the Squad voted for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House. It was moderates who voted against her. But now Pelosi is praising moderates and squabbling with progressives -- which didn't prevent her from conducting a vote to condemn Trump for his attacks on the Squad members, even though she'd previously pushed through a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry that was clearly a response to remarks from Squad member Ilhan Omar that had been condemned as insulting to Jews.

Allegiances shift, and that's reflected in the views of Democratic voters as well. How many of us cheered Pelosi when she outmaneuvered the president during the government shutdown, then began grumbling about her for bad-mouthing progressives and blocking impeachment efforts?

That's how Democrats are. We might act a tad culty in response to a president or presidential candidate, but that's not what's happening with the Squad. It's certainly not what's happening among Democratic officeholders. Republicans -- and observers who think the party head in the Oval Office is a genius -- clearly have the Democratic Party confused with the GOP and its Cult of Trump.

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