Elections have consequences. And one consequence of the August Democratic primary is Cori Bush, who almost certainly will head to Washington as a U.S. representative from St. Louis after the Nov. 3 election. The Democratic nominee tweeted out on Tuesday her desire to “defund the Pentagon.” The message was retweeted thousands of times, including by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whose grouping of far-left women lawmakers, known as The Squad, hopes to induct Bush as its newest member.
Lest Bush and her supporters need reminding, Mission No. 1 for the Democratic Party as well as for Republican moderates is to achieve President Donald Trump’s ouster from office on Nov. 3. Anything that detracts from that top priority deserves a stern smackdown by the party hierarchy. Bush has just handed new ammunition to the Trump campaign to paint his opponents, including presidential nominee Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, as radical liberals.
Biden and Harris already were on the defensive because of the far left’s embrace of the “defund the police” movement that sprung up during the summer protests against police brutality. Despite Trump’s hammering on the issue, Biden and Harris are adamant that they do not support that movement.
But now Bush has handed Trump a new point of attack: a quest by what he terms the radical left to go after the U.S. armed forces.
“If you’re having a bad day, just think of all the social services we’re going to fund after we defund the Pentagon,” Bush tweeted.
The United States faces constant threats from bad actors abroad, a short list of which include Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. A well-funded Pentagon is what keeps those adversaries in check. Bush’s utter lack of understanding of U.S. national security is now on display for all to see.
Fox News was quick to pick up on her tweet and Omar’s retweet, which means it’s probably just a matter of time before the Trump campaign exploits it to place Bush and Biden on the same platform.
Bush’s naivete and inexperience in elective office were major reasons why this newspaper did not recommend her in the primary. Her irresponsible tweet underscores how steep her learning curve will be.
Bush is, of course, free to express her views. But she needs to remember that she is now part of a team whose efforts are focused entirely on ousting Trump and his congressional enablers. If she wants to go sit on the sidelines for the next two years and be shunned by the congressional Democratic leadership in Congress — ensuring no bill she introduces will see the light of day — tweets like this will be a quick route to a one-term career. Otherwise, she should get with the team and stop undermining its mission.
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