President Trump's racist tweeting yesterday and continuing to bait the freshman progressives in the House of Representatives is an obvious attempt to split the Democratic Party going into an election year. David Frum worries that it's working:
Barred from expressing their rage against Trump through impeachment, progressive Democrats are turning their rage instead upon Pelosi. They blame her for stopping impeachment. They are now attacking her in increasingly racialized terms.
After Trump’s own Twitter eruption this weekend, the job of corralling the progressive Democratic caucus becomes that much more difficult. Trump and [Rep. Ilhan] Omar (D-MN) do not agree on much, but they do agree on this: Omar should be the face of the modern Democratic Party. Unlike Omar, Trump can force it to happen.
Trump is not playing 3-D chess here. He was probably just watching Tucker Carlson on DVR, and being plunged on tape delay into the same rage that Carlson had stoked in real time in the angry old men who watch him live.
Plan or no plan, though, Trump hit the Democratic Party at its point of vulnerability. He is driving it toward ever more radical outcomes...
Pelosi has been right at every move of this game. She is working to replace Trump at the ballot box, and she is working as best she can from the House to avoid mistakes that will help him and hurt the eventual Democratic presidential nominee.
Most of Pelosi’s party may well know and agree that she is right. But knowing and doing are two very different things. Trump is determined to make it impossible for Democrats to act on Pelosi’s knowledge—to break the discipline Pelosi has imposed on her party and to empower the Democrats who want to win Twitter today, rather than win the White House in 2020.
Let's not forget that Trump's outburst also had the result of turning attention away from his earlier palling around with child molesters.