In a brutally blunt column from the conservative editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the editors scolded Donald Trump for being “politically stupid” by wading into a dispute between factions within the Democratic Party.
Under a headline reading, “Defining Politics Down,” the editorial seemed less concerned with Trump’s racist attacks and more with the fact that he has made his racism front and center as the country gears up for the 2020 election.
Taking a “both sides” approach, the editors began by stating, “We’re optimists about American democracy in the long run, but nowadays the long run looks longer all the time. The bonfire of inanities in the last two days between Donald Trump and Democrats over who’s the bigger racist, or real anti-Semite, or greater disgrace to the nation is a new low even by recent standards. ”
Their ire, though, was focused on the president’s bumbling insertion of himself into the Democrats’ internal skirmish between the tiny progressive wing and the larger moderate wing.
Pointing to Fox News host Brit Hume calling Trump’s tweets aimed at four Democratic lawmakers — all of the women of color — as “nativist, xenophobic, counterfactual and politically stupid,” the Journal’s editorial board largely agreed.
“As for politically stupid, Mr. Trump rescued Democrats from an intra-party feud that had been escalating for days. A smart opponent would have kept quiet and let it continue. But Mr. Trump intruded into the spotlight and let Democrats unite in denouncing him,” the editorial stated. “Monday was consumed with another round of dueling insults with the press corps seeming to echo Democrats in calling Mr. Trump a racist, Mr. Trump denying that he is, and the President’s allies saying Democrats are anti-American.”
“Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to understand that Democrats want the 2020 election to be about his words and behavior, rather than the results of his economic policies. They’ll lose a debate over results, but they’ll win if the election is a referendum on character,” the editors insisted before adding, “Democrats want Mr. Trump to sound as if he’s the one who believes half the country is a ‘basket of deplorables,’ to quote the line that so damaged Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
“It may be hard to believe in this climate of partisan discord and contempt, but most Americans still prefer a politics that is less divisive and aspires to our better angels,” they concluded.
You can read the whole piece here (subscription required).