Its always a dead giveaway that President Trump is on to something when the media start calling it divisive.
Thats the Washington synonym for politically effective.
It was "divisive" to call for a travel ban from several Muslim-majority countries known for harboring terrorists (60% support among registered voters). It was "divisive" to propose that maybe immigration should be about bringing in people who will contribute to the country, rather than giving a green card anyone with family here (84% support among registered voters). It was "divisive" to call out professional athletes for kneeling during the national anthem (58% of the public said athletes should be required to stand).
I'm noticing a pattern here.
As Trump continued attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., this week for her flippant comment about the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the Washington Post ran a front-page story Tuesday calling it a sign that Trumps reelection campaign is quickly taking shape around divisive messages centered on immigration and patriotism. So, at least the Post is on the record defining patriotism as a divisive issue.
The media want to pretend that Omars comments she described the Muslim terrorists who two drove Boeing 767 airplanes into the World Trade Center as some people did something never happened or were lacking a context that might have somehow made them more palpable.
The context, in fact, is even more alarming. Speaking at an event hosted by the Council for American-Islamic Relations in late March, she said that Muslims for far too long have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and that every Muslim should be tired of it." She called on them to raise hell and make people uncomfortable.
She offered no example of what made her or any other American Muslim being treated as second class. She also said that a consequence of Sept. 11 was that all of us [Muslims] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. She offered no evidence of that, either.
Omar's cheer that Muslims were the real victims of Sept. 11 caught the attention of conservatives on social media and then right-leaning news websites, as well as Fox News. This awakened her media protectors from their slumber. Glenn Kessler of the Washington Posts fearless fact-checker column wrote that Omars remarks may lack context but opted against any actual fact-check, instead deciding to leave it to readers to determine whether Omar she had said anything offensive.
CNNs Brian Stelter, not so much a media reporter as a very wide buffer for any damage coming at the Democratic Party, defended Omars comments as probably not the best choice of words. He said the real lesson wasnt that Omar spoke breezily about the most deadly attack on America ever, but that the controversy had been created by conservative media. He invited Democratic activist Waleed Shahid on his "Reliable Sources" show to fault the alt-right, far-right for even having noticed the speech to begin with and say that the ultimate goal was to defame and destroy the character of Ilhan Omar.
Trump last week tweeted out a video splicing Omars words with images of the twin towers engulfed in smoke from the air attacks. Then, he shared another video clip of an interview with Omar in which she describes people flinching when they say al Qaeda or Hezbollah in a way that theyd never flinch when saying, America or army. (Unsolved mysteries: Why aren't people nervous about America the way they're uncomfortable with al Qaeda?)
On Monday, Trump said that Omar is out of control, and during an interview with a local reporter in Burnsville, Minn., where Trump was hosting a roundtable on the economy, he said he had no regrets about sharing the video of Omar and the twin towers and called her "somebody that doesnt really understand life, real life. Why would he regret what is an undeniably brilliant political attack?
The Washington Post said that said Trump had gone off topic, because he wasnt talking about the still-unpopular tax cut he passed with the Republican Congress in 2017.
This is, perhaps, why the Post isnt in the political consulting business. They would advise Trump discuss the dry thing most people arent convinced benefited their lives, and to stay as far away as possible from mentioning the Democratic congresswoman who minimizes the horror of Sept. 11 and accuses pro-Israel Jews in the U.S. of having loyalty to another country.
Never put it past Trump to drop the ball on a wide open pass. But the Omar speech was a beautifully wrapped gift, topped with a bow. The media can only hope it goes away, or that people consider the context." But when they accuse Trump of being divisive for talking about it, they're simply misspelling the word "effective."