Richard Wolffe has a fascinating take on the 8 year Republican led campaign to destroy President Obama that, he claims, has had the complete opposite effect.
Pointing to Obama’s approval ratings (52%) that are “almost identical to Reagan’s in August 1988 (53%) and a dramatic contrast to those of George W Bush (32%) in 2008,” Wolffe argues that the G.O.P’s nomination of Donald Trump has basically vindicated Obama and revived his popularity after a brutal two terms that were almost completely defined by Republican intransigence. He writes:
Obama’s approval ratings (52%) are almost identical to Reagan’s in August 1988 (53%) and a dramatic contrast to those of George W Bush (32%) in 2008. One of these Republican presidents was succeeded by his own vice-president; the other was succeeded by Barack Obama.
This should lead to some serious soul-searching inside the Republican party. Not a post-mortem about how to reach out to Latino voters, but a dismantling of the politics of personal destruction, and the creation of a new, hopeful agenda that can appeal to the mainstream.
Instead, the only point of unity inside the GOP is its gleeful hatred of Hillary Clinton, and its thinly veiled disdain for a nominee who has yet to find a politician he can’t insult.
The Republican party did not entirely fail to destroy Barack Obama. For a few years, aided by the great recession, they almost succeeded. But then they contrived to revive him by nominating a man who would destroy everything Obama stood for, along with much of the free world as we know it.
The rise of Trump has led, perversely, to the revival of Obama. Republican candidates are saying they will not vote for their presidential nominee, and the party’s national security officials are lining up to condemn Trump as a reckless danger to the Republic. How could the incumbent not look like a statesman compared to a man who apparently can’t be trusted with the elevator button,never mind a nuclear one?
Personally, I believe Obama understood all along that the G.O.P would destroy itself. He maintained a sense of preternatural calm in the face of their monstrous attacks knowing full well that they would ultimately ruin themselves. As any good strategist knows, the best way to defeat hatred and aggression is to let it burn itself out — and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with the Republican Party. It has basically hated its way to irrelevancy, while Obama will go down as one of the country’s greatest Presidents.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.