The Danger of Falling into the Trump Trap
Democrats need to figure how to tie Trump's misdeeds to the MAGA extremism message that worked in 2022
Donald Trump’s third Presidential campaign was barely two weeks old when he stumbled ass-backward into the most Donald Trump of controversies. The former President and his campaign spent Thanksgiving week trying to manage a burgeoning political crisis emanating from a dinner at Mar a Lago. As Maggie Haberman and Nick Feuer wrote in the New York Times:
Former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday night had dinner with Nick Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and racist who is one of the country’s most prominent young white supremacists, at Mr. Trump’s private club in Florida, advisers to Mr. Trump conceded on Friday.
Also at the dinner was the performer Kanye West, who has also been denounced for making antisemitic statements. Mr. West traveled to meet with Mr. Trump at the club, Mar-a-Lago, and brought Mr. Fuentes along, the advisers said.
You really can’t make this shit up.
Trump’s embrace of America’s most prominent anti-Semite is dominating news coverage. Democrats rightfully pounced. After remaining silent for days, leading Republicans spoke out against Fuentes. Some even deigned to offer implicit criticism of Trump. Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell were more pointed:
Most Republican criticism of Trump is laughably flaccid. McConnell wouldn’t even rule out supporting Trump in 2024.
It’s a bit of déjà vu. Trump is once again dominating the political conversation in ways that only he can. Based on the results of the 2022 elections, there is little doubt that Trump’s prominence is good news for Democrats. The former President is deeply unpopular. In the past, the more closely associated a candidate was with Trump, the more likely they were to lose. He is divisive, but he is also a distraction, and there is a risk in focusing so much of our political firepower on the former President.
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