Time for the President to be the President.
Is it really best for the country for the two party system to be utterly destroyed, so that Republicans (not just Trump- “Republicans,” but all of us) have no party to represent their views, all branches of government in control of the Democrats for four years and a Democrat Supreme Court for decades? I’m firmly against Trump and much of current party leadership — but still think that result is so evidently bad that only the thoughtless — even among Democrat partisans — cannot see why.
To consider one current example: consider the wonderful idealism of the Congress party and the complete corruption it achieved with complete control of India. What finally broke its hold on national government? A party of reclaimed idealism? No, that’s not how it happens. And a broken Republican party will have Donald Trump as its main remaining power center.
If there is anything President Obama should be saying about the Republican Party now, it should be things that will enable the responsible leadership of the party to be in a central position to re-build from the coming debacle, not made irrelevant and weaker than what will be left of the Trump (-Fox-Breitbart) machine.
But the President is proving to be a smaller, more partisan figure than that, truly unworthy of the Peace Prize that he was awarded on the come, never lived up to, never put to any particular good use. He’s out there like a big ward heeler, pitching the Democrats’ growing advantage to get both houses, driving it home with messages like this one:
“Republicans who tolerated years of insults against the Democratic president helped create the environment in which Trump could take over the party, Obama told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio.
‘The people who knew better didn’t say anything,” Obama said. “They didn’t say … we can’t allow our politics to descend into the gutter. They stood by while this happened.’
[LA Times 10/13]
Those words empower Trump and his trolls, and weaken what could be the sort of loyal opposition that Clinton (and all responsible Americans) will wish she had, after she is elected.
This from John McCain’s concession speech, 2008:
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit — to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now — (cheers, applause) — let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.
Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer in my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.
These were the words of the sort of President I wish we had now.