Pure mobbish garbage, destined to become a staple at future rallies a la “lock her up!” now that Trump’s given it his tacit approval, standing there in silence and drinking it in. The beating he’s taken from critics this morning will encourage it too. Because the right has shed nearly all ideological content apart from negative partisanship, the mere fact of Democratic condemnation will be treated as reason enough to keep this going. Part of that is due to simple bratty spite but partly too it’s a function of the morally vacuous belief that “If the left says X is bad, X should be embraced.” That rule applies even when it comes to demagogic chanting about deporting a black Muslim refugee turned American citizen because her politics suck.
There was endless commentary about this among the chatterati last night on political Twitter but the basic points kept recurring, and all were true enough.
1. This will get worse. Taking on the Squad in barely veiled racial terms (“go back where you came from”) is a conscious strategy Trump is pursuing. He wants to raise their profiles nationally and make them the face of the party in the leadership vacuum that’s momentarily been created by the Democratic presidential primaries. If we’re already at the “send her back” stage in July 2019, God knows where we’ll be in July 2020. Especially if Kamala Harris is the nominee.
In fact, in a way, it’s already gotten worse:
If you think about it, the chant was more wretched even than Trump’s own despicable attacks against Omar and her cohorts [in his tweets]. At least Trump was merely urging Omar and her colleagues to leave of their own accord. The North Carolina crowd sounded thirsty for them to be thrown onto a trans-Atlantic barge in a sack.
We’ve gone from “you’re free to leave if you don’t like it here” to “send her back” in the span of five days. Where do we go five days from now?
2. Related to point 1, this will get dangerous. This tweet got my attention, partly for the content and partly because of the source. Ryan Saavedra works for Ben Shapiro’s “Daily Wire” site and has built a following online by curating clips and tweets showcasing the left’s dumbest and/or most obnoxious moments. He’s not a “Paul Ryan Republican,” shall we say. He makes a living giving consumers of righty media outrage fuel. But he watched this last night and was creeped out, because he knows the background:
Someone I know (strongly dislikes Omar), who has experience in terrorism investigations, told me yesterday that the amount of hate they are seeing online directed at Omar is unlike anything they have ever seen and by hate, they mean threats of violence
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) July 18, 2019
There was left-wing violence aimed at an ICE facility just a week ago, with at least one prominent progressive activist willing to defend it. Omar, meanwhile, has needed extra security for months thanks to the attention some of her own disgusting comments about Israel and its supporters has received. If Trump can’t be bothered trying to turn down the political heat, you’d think he’d at least try not to turn it up. But no. Trump’s political thermostat moves in only one direction.
3. As David Frum put it, “When this is all over, nobody will admit to ever having supported it.” He’s referring to members of the professional political class there, not Trump’s base, which will happily admit to it. But he’s right about Washington Republicans: To a man or woman, every Trump sycophant in D.C. will begin distancing themselves from trashy demagoguery like this *the minute* he’s out of office. I’m already faint with anticipation at hearing Lindsey Graham explain in 2021 or 2025 how he never really supported Trump.
Whatever, though. The acid test for all right-wing politics nowadays is “Does it trigger the libs?” This triggered them, ergo It Is Good. And of course, it shows that he fights! — like a drunk, flailing and biting, but he fights nonetheless. Ultimately, as Stephen “redsteeze” Miller says, all defenses of Trump boil down to the fact that he won and more genteel Republicans like Romney (but not Dubya?) lost and therefore all Trump tactics are valid and should be supported. “The ends justify the means” is a bedrock righty populist principle now, not just in elections but in most things.