During the past week, President Donald Trump excited two bitter public controversies by sending and publishing two highly inappropriate and offensively incendiary tweets.
The first of these was aimed at four female members of Congress — each a person of color, and, as members of Congress, each an American citizen. Yet the president said they should go back to the countries from which they came. The second tweet was aimed at Google, which the president argued should be investigated for treason.
The first of these tweets was xenophobic, racist and hateful; the second was just plain ignorant. Together they revealed a level of misguided thinking not heard from the Oval Office since President Richard Nixon's tapes were revealed.
Here is the backstory.
For months, four very liberal and highly progressive Democratic members of the House of Representatives — known in the media collectively as "the Squad" — have been taunting Trump over their vast ideological differences. The Squad has also argued that Trump is unfit for office and ought to be removed via impeachment.
As well, the Squad has taunted its leader — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The speaker has wisely distanced herself and the vast majority of House Democrats from the Squad, and she has not taken their bait.
The president, on the other hand, has taken their bait and attacked them personally. The Squad has views of American domestic and foreign policy seriously at odds with even the liberal base of the Democratic Party — hence Pelosi's occasional public but gentle chastisements.
Pelosi understands that while these congresswomen have every right to advocate for whatever cause they wish, some of their advocacy, if attributed to the national Democratic Party, could enhance the chances of a Republican victory in 2020.