Did Trump really take a political risk in telling Omar to go back to her country?
So did Trump blow it by implicitly telling Rep. Ilhan Omar to go back to her home country, fix it up, and get back to us? Did he overplay his hand? Is a remark like that, universally decried by Democrats, a step too far?
Not by Trump's standards.
The controversial string of tweets, which stirred the pot mightily in the press, was as politically incorrect as it comes. In fact, Trump hasn't put out a string like this since the 2016 campaign.
The tweets were at least in part about the 2020 campaign. They were also about weakening House speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he's obviously treating as his real competition over the Democrat clown car of presidential candidates.
It's telling that even as Pelosi spars with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Trump took on Ocasio-Cortez's pal, Rep. Ilhan Omar, the only one who comes from a foreign country.
Omar, it turns out, is a massive liability for the Democrats. Making her the face of the Democrats is a pretty good way of triggering a GOP landslide, not just in the White House, but in the House of Representatives.
Among the working-class voters Democrats must win over to win the presidency, and, for that matter, both houses of Congress, Omar sports an abysmal 9% approval rating along with a 53% recognition rate. She's the most unpopular of all of them. According to the Daily Wire:
A new internal Democrat poll in swing districts released on Sunday showed that socialist Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) are extremely unpopular and that they may cost the Democratic Party the presidency and the House in 2020.
"Ocasio-Cortez was recognized by 74% of voters in the poll; 22% had a favorable view," Axios reported. "Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota — another member of The Squad — was recognized by 53% of the voters; 9% (not a typo) had a favorable view."
Oh, and Democrats are kind of worried these days about losing the House.
This is deadly stuff, and clearly, Trump is targeting the weakest link among this far-left squad and seeking to get all of his Democratic opponents (blocking his border wall, refusing to pass any legislation both could agree on) personified as Omar. That's important, because most voters who elect Democrats like their congressmen and don't see the extremism of their votes. Omar, on the other hand, pretty well is identical in her voting patterns to them and why a GOP House majority is key for enacting his agenda.
Trump knows this; they don't. Worse still for them, he's still at it. In the last hour, he just tweeted these:
When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019
If Democrats want to unite around the foul language & racist hatred spewed from the mouths and actions of these very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen, it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I can tell you that they have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2019
Risk, sure. But great leaders always take risks. This is big-risk, big-reward politics. It's the stuff from which political legends are made.
Image credit: Lorie Shaull via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.