One of the greatest parts of the great American classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was when young Tom tricked all of the neighborhood kids into painting a fence for him. Punished by Aunt Polly for one his many indiscretions, Tom promptly lures and entices his classmates into doing his job for him by making it appear to be an enjoyable, once in a blue moon opportunity, all the while sitting back and reaping the rewards of his manipulations. The other kids even pay him for the opportunity. It appears as if Donald Trump has stolen a page from the Mark Twain classic by turning “The Squad” of Congresswomen Cortez, Tlaib, Pressley, and Omar into the Squad to Re-elect the President.
The past several weeks has seen a civil war break out amongst the leading Democrats in Washington. From Pelosi’s dismissals of the Squad such as, “that’s like five people” and “They’re four people, and that’s how many votes they got” to AOC’s racially charged rebuke of the Speaker, “it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful … the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color.”, the war between the left’s establishment and the extreme left’s Squad is raging.
President Trump seems to have taken both notice and full advantage of this opportunity. On Sunday Trump took to Twitter essentially telling the Squad to go back where they came from. Trump’s aggressively hyped but essentially benign tweet has led to many reactions, but one result stands out. He has essentially turned the Squad into his own re-election campaign committee.
Following President Trump’s Twitter storm, the left has rallied around the Squad and given Trump an undeniable asset for 2020. He swayed the tide of the Democrat civil war in favor of the Squad and away from the establishment. Speaker Pelosi, pre-tweet, had been desperately trying to rein in the extremists and stave off nonsensical calls for impeachment. Tuesday, Pelosi had to take to the House floor to align herself with the Squad and in the process drew a rebuke from the House Parliamentarian. Texas Rep. Al Green used the opportunity to continue his pointless push for impeachment. The establishment certainly rallied around the Squad and in the process gave them even more visibility, more sway, and inexorably linked the Squad to the face of the Democrats. This is of immense value to a Republican seeking re-election next year.
The Squad is known for such gems as Rep. Pressley’s statement over the weekend, “We don't need any more brown faces that don't want to be a brown voice.” Racism and group think, two hallmarks of totalitarian regimes, in one statement. Then there’s AOC’s Chief of Staff’s now infamous likening of centrist Democrats to segregationists. And of course, there’s Ilhan Omar’s repeated anti-semitic statements questioning Jewish money and the loyalty of Americans who support Israel. This is who Pelosi and the establishment Democrats have rallied around and it is going to cost them.
Over the weekend, buried by the mainstream media’s obsessive coverage of President Trump’s tweets, Axios reported a very disturbing poll being circulated among top Democrats in Washington. It appears that the two most visible members of the Squad, AOC and Omar are both drawing very high name recognition while simultaneously earning exceptionally low favorability ratings, 22 percent and 9 percent respectively. If the past eight presidential elections are any indication, 2020 is going to be decided by roughly ten percent of voters. It’s not a good situation for whomever ends up being the Democrat nominee when the face of the party is more unpopular than the Yankees in Boston.
Donald Trump, by injecting himself into the Democrat’s civil war and compelling the Pelosi establishment to embrace the Squad, may have just pulled off a classic Tom Sawyer move. Rather than allowing the Democrats to reign in their extreme left flank and quell the temper-tantrum-like calls for impeachment, he has gotten the left to embrace their darker demons and make the Squad the face of the party. In doing so, he has made four freshman Congresswomen the Squad to Re-elect the President. He has enticed them into painting the fence for him. When playing chess, it is always helpful when your opponent has a checkers strategy.