Hello Everyone,

In February 2007, I started writing these commentaries in order to introduce a little-known state senator who had announced his presidential candidacy.  That led me to make occasional observations about the person and then the primary process using this format.

Except for one piece on Donald Trump’s “narcissistic personality disorder,” I have refrained from commenting on this year’s primaries.  Generally speaking, I will continue to do so except for a couple of follow-ups to this one.

But, since we are going to our second State Dinner at the White House tonight, I am reminded of why I have long admired President Obama and why I will miss him. In turn, I feel compelled to offer a few observations about the current Republican primary, which I’m beginning to understand and which I will not miss when it ends.

Many of you will recall that as early as May 2007 (Obamagram #6), I was writing about being drawn to Mr. Obama in part for his “temperament”.  Later, I expanded that to “intellect, temperament, and world view.”

The contrasts with Donald Trump could not be more striking.

I also think of the stark contrast between Mr. Trump and President Reagan.  Although a genuine conservative, Mr. Reagan was first and foremost a pragmatist and an optimist.  The country needed him in 1980, after the doldrums of the 1970’s.  That’s why I voted for him (#84).

It seems to me that the Republicans are in the process of being hoisted on twin petards of their own making: conditions and process.  And, sadly, their party will probably pay a dear price.

I will focus here on the conditions of unrelenting negativity and obstructionism that have given rise to the Trump phenomenon.

These notions were convincingly captured by Robert Kagan in a Washington Post column entitled “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster.  Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party.”  (See Attachment.)  In part, it says:

Let’s be clear: Trump is no fluke.  Nor is he hijacking the Republican Party or the conservative movement, if there is such a thing.  He is, rather, the party’s creation, its Frankenstein’s monster, brought to life by the party, fed by the party and now made strong enough to destroy its maker.  Was it not the party’s wild obstructionism – the repeated threats to shut down the government over policy and legislative disagreements, the persistent calls for nullification of Supreme Court decisions, the insistence that compromise was betrayal, the internal coups against party leaders who refused to join the general demolition – that taught Republican voters that government, institutions, political traditions, party leadership and even parties themselves were things to be overthrown, evaded, ignored, insulted, laughed at?  Was it not Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), among others, who set this tone and thereby cleared the way for someone even more irreverent, so that now, in a most unenjoyable irony, Cruz, along with the rest of the party, must fall to the purer version of himself, a less ideologically encumbered anarcho-revolutionary?  This would not be the first revolution that devoured itself.

Think of the other Republicans who helped to create the conditions which produced this Frankenstein. Sarah Palin was one of the first.  All the efforts to delegitimize the President.  Sen. Mitch McConnell’s declaration “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” soon after Mr. Obama was inaugurated.  In early 2008, the so-called Tea Party movement began becoming the self-appointed enforcer of ideological purity.  Cong. Joe Wilson’s, “You lie!’ outburst during the State of the Union address in 2009.  The list is endless.

Mr. Trump’s clinical narcissism blinds him to his role in the destruction of the party he is using to feed his disorder.

The only thing surprising about all of this is that it took me so long to realize what was happening – that a monster has been created – he can’t be stopped – and he will do irreparable damage to the party that unwittingly created him.

In my next commentary, I will write about process – how Republicans’ revised primary process will also come back to destroy the party.

Please, as always, pass it on.  And, remember that previous Obamagrams are stored on www.obamagrams.com


adobe pdf file

Kagan – Washington Post – Trump is the GOP 2-25-16


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