Playbook: “Trump is like a standup comedian. He uses rallies, especially in the offseason, to work on material. He tests the reaction among his diehard fans and watches the mainstream media’s coverage. He then rewrites the lines, calibrating them for maximum effect inside the arena and minimal blowback outside of it. You can tell he believes he’s onto something with his mocking of trans people.”

“There is a cynical strategy at work here. Targeting marginalized groups for ridicule forces more responsible actors to stand up for them. As Democrats have learned, Trump’s goal is to get them to spend their time outraged and defending the targets of his attacks rather than talking about their own message.”

“This dynamic creates a built-in political advantage to any party that no longer sees it as taboo to scapegoat certain groups. Trump, of course, knows this and he has found a new target for 2022 — and perhaps beyond.”

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