Many liberals are familiar with the anti-anti-Trump phenomenon
. This is the dynamic in which Republicans who think that Trump is an embarrassment and a liability focus exclusively on Trump’s opponents on the left. Anti-anti Trumpers have been known to deride “Trump derangement syndrome”, the undeniably real tendency of some on the left to overreact to Trump’s also-undeniable unsuitability for office. Focusing myopically on Trump’s critics allows anti-anti-Trumpers to keep their partisan allegiances aligned; they remain on the right, punching left. It also minimizes the risk of driving Trumpists out of the Republican coalition. But it comes at the cost of ignoring the rank idiocy emanating from their side.
The left’s “OMG stop freaking out!!!” impulse seems to be the mirror image of the anti-anti-Trump phenomenon. We have some extremely embarrassing people on our side, but we don’t want to talk about them, and we don’t want to risk driving them out of our coalition. So, instead of saying “Yes, thing x
is stupid, but the overreaction is also stupid, and we should try to focus on what’s important,” we skip the first part and talk exclusively about Tucker Carlson. It’s an incomplete narrative engineered for political purposes.