He seems to have since walked-back his walk-back.

Now he'll presumably bounce back and forth over it like a crack-addled pinball through to the election, at least, as is his wont.

This is all true (or a matter of opinion) and all completely irrelevant once the President decided to attack her on grounds that had nothing to do with any of those things and had everything to do with the fact that she's a Somali immigrant.

Like, I specifically mean the President when I say this too. Trump's not just some guy.

He was either unwilling or unable to frame his attack on her in a way that didn't expand the conversation beyond the squad.

And they are indispensable to maintaining power. They need to look the other way, nod and accept the official line, and be counted on to stand for the anthem.

Yeah, which is part of why I am skeptical that amping up the racism, as Trump is doing, is a winning strategy.

Like seriously racism has gotten more acceptable in the last decade or so, by my reckoning, but compared to 50 years ago, much less 100?

There are two types of people who are going to vote for Trump:

1. People who actually dig Trump and his awfulness.
2. People who think Trump and his awfulness is better than the alternative.

I'm not defending the second group of people (which, like, you've read my comments before right?) but I am saying that they aren't necessarily committed.

I worry if Trump is re-elected more of them will drift towards embracing the whole package, but getting the stink of "loser" on him may just help push them the other way.

I think what I'm saying is that I believe a solid chunk people will be able to rationalize Trump and his... entire fucking gross deal, but they won't embrace it if Trump makes his entire fucking gross deal even more of the centerpiece of his campaign than he did last time.

Also the basic structure of the GOP coalition at that point meant that primary threats from the Freedom Caucus were much more serious threat than primary threats from The Squad.

AOC is very media savvy (and I think a genuinely talented politician), the Right wants to elevate The Squad as the voice of the Dem party to scare people, and the Extremely Online Left wants to elevate The Squad as the voice of the Dem party to scare a different group of people.

FWIW Trump seems to be maybe trying to distance himself from the chanting.

I hope he manages to stick to that.

To be slightly more positive, though, can we consider if this strategy will work?

Yeah this is key.

This is (even) blunter and (even) fouler than what Trump did in a lot of his campaign which won him the election, but there's a general tendency to view a electoral victory as a blanket validation of the winner's strategy and messaging.

Even when we aren't talking about a freakish EC victory like Trump's, this is daft. There are a lot of factors that go into a victory, including but not limited to the other side fucking things up.

Like there are dangers for Trump in this strategy, too. Among them is that elevating four first-term members of the House specifically to be a target of racist attacks is going to look extremely shitty to the vast majority of the country who don't understand (or, you know, care about) Wingnut Demonology enough to care about The Squad's place in it.

The idea that a President who's got a tailwind from a decent economy, has satisfied his Party base's fondest desires, but is generally not popular and barely scraped by last time will benefit from turning the election into a referendum over whether he's super-racist or just kind of racist is... extremely unobvious.