So, my uncle wanted to know, what do you think of those four women?
“Those four women” are, of course Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — who had been taking and giving the heat to House Leader Nancy Pelosi on a number of issues but mainly for their leftist impatience with her middle-of-the-road, compromise strategy. I think my answer surprised my uncle, who likes to bait me. I told him I’m not a particular fan of the Squad.
While I think the members are smart and admirably concerned about the most vulnerable of citizens, i find they have the ignorance and arrogance of youth, a youth that does not understand that all their high-mindedness will be for naught if we don’t defeat President Donald J. Trump in the next presidential election. And make no mistake about it, we will not defeat him if the Democrats can’t unite and pull in the moderates and erstwhile Republicans. Sometimes discretion is indeed the better part of valor. Pelosi’s serve-right-down-the-middle strategy is the right one, and the Squad needs to listen and show her some respect.
But just when I thought the Squad was going to sabotage the Dems’ efforts to walk that fine line, El Presidente proved his unparalleled ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by taking the Squad to task and suggesting the members should go back to whatever countries they came from if they didn’t like it here. (Only Omar is foreign-born, in Somalia. All are American citizens, otherwise they couldn’t have been elected to Congress.) After doubling down, Trump stood by as a North Carolina rally chanted “Send her back” about Omar, walked back the crowd’s behavior and then walked it forward. The rally took place on Wednesday, not an insignificant day, the 17th, because that was when special Russkiegate prosecutor Robert Mueller was scheduled to testify before Congress.
Instead the hearing has been moved to July 24, and the whole thing has backfired — once again — on Trumpet, whose racist rant must be seen in the context of his incompetent narcissism. There are egotists like Roger Federer or Tom Brady who at least can claim brilliance on their side. But what has Trump actually accomplished besides two conservative Supreme Court picks and tax cuts for the rich? The border? A mess. Badly need infrastructure? Nowhere. America’s prestige abroad? Down the drain. American unity? Surely you jest.
His base would point to the record stock market, but presidents don’t control the market and, if they did, we would surely have to give some credit to his predecessor, President Barack Obama, which Trumpet and the Trumpettes will never do.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us with a president who looks in the mirror and sees four young women of color who reflect many of his own strategies. Strike a divisive note? Check. Use strong language? Check. Manipulate social media? Check. Advance a seductive narrative? Check and quadruple check.
Trump does what he does partly out of political theater — I think he thinks the White House is no different than an episode of “The Apprentice” — and it must gall him to see the Squad beat him at his own game. Ocasio-Cortez in particular has, in the words of The New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd, his number. And it’s interesting to note that part of her district lies in Queens. It’s the place where the most foreign languages are spoken anywhere in the world — 160. It’s also the place that birthed the fictional bigot Archie Bunker and the very real Trump.
Now AOC, as she is known, and the other members of the Squad are using their multiculturalism to go after Trump. I wouldn’t care if they were a thorn in his side forever. My only advice to them is don’t win the battle, ladies, only to lose the war.