As he tends to do, President Donald Trump took to Twitter recently and launched on Rep. Frederica Wilson. It was the latest salvo in one of the more degrading Washington battles in recent memory. It started when Wilson claimed that Trump had been “insensitive” when calling to console a widow of a soldier recently killed in action. Things spiraled out of control from there.

Wilson is the latest person to rouse the ire of the president


Wilson is, putting it mildly, a flamboyant figure who wears garish cowboy outfits and tends to throw around the race card like a drunken gambler with nothing to lose. She has reveled in the fact that she has become the latest number one enemy of the White House, believing, perhaps correctly, that it is to her political advantage. However, Trump may be right, too, that her behavior will be to the detriment of the Democratic Party.

General Kelly weighs in

White House Chief of Staff retired General John Kelly, who lost a son to enemy action, weighed in on the controversy recently at a White House briefing. Two things he said has set up a firestorm on social media. First, he compared Wilson to an “empty barrel” which the congresswoman claimed was racist.

Second, he got a crucial detail wrong about Wilson’s push to have a building named. As a result, Kelly was being called a liar and worse on social media.

Nevertheless, the White House is not backing down. Administration spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that Wilson was “all hat and no cattle.” She also suggested that criticizing a four-star general was “inappropriate,” by which she likely meant “politically stupid.” The statement set off another social media firestorm to the effect that the Trump administration is advocating a banana republic.

Is Trump on to something?

Trump taking to Twitter is the inevitable development of a controversy that has rocked the media, obscuring more substantive news, such as the fall of Raqqa. Both sides are pretty sure that they can use the kerfuffle to damage the other. However, Trump may be on to something when he suggests that making Frederica Wilson the face of the Democratic Party will not end well for his enemies.

Often, a political controversy is as much about optics as it is about what is said. Wilson does not cut a very attractive figure for most Americans. She wears the garish cowboy pantsuits, and she is loud and obnoxious. To be sure the president is loud and obnoxious as well, but he has also, thus far, been lucky in his choice of enemies, of which Wilson is just the latest.