Off the record, House Dems tell CNN's Tapper that Trump was 'brilliant' snookering Dems into letting The Squad become their symbol
Once again, Trump's critics have made fools of themselves. With few exceptions, the Beltway establishment pundits (and not a few Republicans) denounced his tweets on the four radical female freshmen now bearing the brand name of "The Squad' as a gigantic mistake, a violation of the rule that when your opponents are self-destructing, stay out of their way. Trump was denounced as impulsive, foolish, and stupid among many other epithets. NeverTrumps took this as evidence they have been right all along, that Trump is so stupid that he is unworthy of their support.
But as events have played out, speaking off the record, some House Democrats have told CNN's Jake Tapper that Trump outsmarted them. Nobody would go on the record with the truth, of course, because telling the truth is not how the establishment of either party plays the political game. And they have to pretend that their party is unified because of their fear of being challenged in primaries by radicals with the support of Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez's Svengali chief of staff and the brains behind the Justice Democrats.
Kudos to Tapper for getting the truth out of the Dems, and for publishing it on Twitter. It takes some guts for an employee of Jeff Zucker's CNN to tell the public things that don't support The Narrative that the Left continues to peddle.
Jake Tapper's Twitter icon.
House Democrats appeared unified in their votes this week but I've spent the day talking to a bunch of them and many are extremely frustrated. All agree POTUS's tweets needed to be condemned; they spoke under condition of anonymity so they could be candid. (Thread)— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 17, 2019
2/ "The president won this one," said House Dem 1 of the Trump v Squad (AOC, Tlaib, Omar & Pressley) showdown. "What the president has done is politically brilliant. Pelosi was trying to marginalize these folks and the president has now identified the entire party with them."
3/ Another issue: what are Dems focused on? Is it what will help the class of 2018 (largely more moderate than the Squad) get reelected?
Dem Rep 2: "The president's words and actions speak for themselves. We need to focus on the issues that got them here: jobs, health care..."
4/ "...instead of the issues the president brings up deliberately. Anything that takes away from bread and butter issues is playing into his hands."
5/ Other House Democrats are conflicted about having to defend the Squad given things they've said and done. House Dems cited: talk of supporting challengers to incumbent Dems in primaries, AOC's use of the term "concentration camps," anti-Semitic comments by Tlaib & Omar.
6/ This perceived selective outrage rankled some Dems.
"Everybody was completely outraged by what the president said," said House Dem 3, "and everybody thought it was appropriate to criticize him...
7/ "...but this was the *first* time the House has taken action to criticize him in any way, We couldn't even bring ourselves to have a resolution exclusively condemning anti-Semitism uttered by one of those members" -- Omar -- "but we leapt to their defense here."
8/ A few House Dems noted that Omar and Tlaib just introduced a resolution affirming the right of Americans to boycott, perceived as an expression of support for the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) movement that most House Dems oppose.
9/ "So we'll hear a tirade of attacks on Israel from the same group," said House Dem 3. "Hopefully they won't be anti Semitic."
House Dem 4 also brought up that bill coming "from someone with a history of anti-Semitism" -- Omar -- "So yeah it’s challenging."
10/ House Dem 4 recalls that "less than 2 weeks ago when members of our caucus were trying to support funds for children at the border," the Squad was arguing that "we're pro-putting kids in cages, we're against human rights. So there’s frustration."
11/ Others noted that this week the House Democratic Caucus stood by a group that is not perceived as standing by them.
"I can't tell you the number of Members who are angry and annoyed about them criticizing us," said House Dem 3.
12/ AOC, in particular "gives her chief of staff license to get candidates to run against her colleagues and to go after them on social media. It makes people's skin crawl," said House Dem 3.
House Dem 4 summed it up: "We were there for them; they should stop attacking us."