The Corner

Politics & Policy

Presidential Trolling at Its Worst

President Donald Trump waves after arriving at the U.S. Naval Air Facility in El Centro before visiting the U.S.-Mexico border in Calif., April 5, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Trump outdid himself with anti-“squad” tweets over the weekend suggesting that the four Democratic congresswomen go back where they came from. The tweets were clearly trolling and meant to be sardonic — supposedly they are to go back home, fix their countries, and then return here to tell us how it’s done, with Nancy Pelosi happy to pay the airfare.

They are several things to say about this: 1) As always, presidents shouldn’t troll; 2) on a tactical level, it’s incredibly dumb for the president to insert himself into the middle of the Democratic circular firing squad between Nancy Pelosi and Co. and AOC and Co.; 3) politically, this kind of thing repels Republican suburban women, and he’ll need to win back some increment of them in 2020; 4) substantively, three of the four targets were born in this country, but his tweets suggest that somehow they can’t be true Americans; 5) as for Ilhan Omar, who came here as a refugee, it’s absolutely fair game to excoriate her for being a poisonous ingrate, but the barroom-stool taunt of “go back to the country you came from” isn’t the way to do it.

A poor show all around.

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