Something remarkable happened yesterday, and no, we’re not talking about the fact that President Jimmy Carter won another Grammy award, or that Donald Trump somehow managed to invent the new word “muderers.” No, we’re referring to the fact that Elizabeth Warren – who always fearlessly calls it like she sees it – stated on the campaign trail that Trump may well be in prison by the 2020 election. There’s a reason she said this.
Actually, there are two reasons. First, as Palmer Report pointed out last week, Donald Trump’s increasingly precarious political and legal situation means that by the time of the 2020 election, the Democrats will probably be running against some other, unknown Republican nominee. They need to prepare for this scenario, and not simply assume that they’ll be running against Trump. But the second reason for this is more immediate, and – in the short term at least – more important.
Donald Trump has been trying to proverbially set Elizabeth Warren on fire. He’s been taking a minor issue about her heritage, which isn’t even scandalous, and overblowing it to the point that the media has picked up on it and turned it into a ratings-driven feeding frenzy. It’s one of the few things Trump is very skilled at. He managed to take Hillary Clinton’s phony email scandal and create national hysteria about it, so now he’s trying to do the same about Warren and her Native American heritage.
Elizabeth Warren seems to have figured out that she can’t effectively fight back against Donald Trump on this particular issue. So instead she’s resetting the chess board by highlighting the fact that he’s a career criminal and traitor who’s in real danger of being ousted and sent to prison.
Warren will receive some pushback from the media for daring to speak this truth, because the media isn’t ready to focus on the narrative about Trump ending up in prison. But once that smoke clears, she’ll be in a position where she can keep repeating the ‘Trump is going to prison’ narrative, to the point that the media will have to adopt it. And if the media’s framing of the 2020 election for the next few months is centered around the question of whether Trump will be behind bars, it’ll diminish Trump’s ability to use the media to push his phony scandals about Warren and the other Democrats.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report