America Helps (A Bit)

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Re my last blog about helping understand what is happening in America, this is interesting. One, part of a speech from President Obama and the second, a piece from a New Yorker columnist. Part of the conclusion seems to be, if winning is all you want and you are prepared to to do whatever it takes to win – slating your opponents, cosying up to bad people and manipulating vulnerable people – then sometimes you will see the consequences of those actions. Possibly, the Republican Party has gone about opposition in the wrong way – allowing themselves to be influenced by those whose opinion is just about power rather than what is right. And now – no-one can get those cats back in the bag. It’s an interesting theory – if a bit scary and maybe a bit more credible than my theory about their brains being corrupted by flesh eating aliens. Anyway read Obama first..

There are thoughtful conservatives — good people in the Republican Party, good people who are Republican voters who care about poverty and they care about climate, and don’t resort to insults, and are troubled by what’s happening inside their own party. I know them. I’ve talked to them. But they’ve got to acknowledge why this happened — because some of them have been writing that, “Well, the reason our party is going crazy is because of Obama.” Which is a pretty novel idea. The notion is Obama drove us crazy.

Now, the truth is, what they really mean is their reaction to me was crazy and now it has gotten out of hand. But that’s different. I didn’t cause the reaction. The reaction is something that they have to take responsibility for and then figure out how do we make an adjustment.

Obama’s analysis mirrors that of New Yorker editor David Remnick, who calls Trump “the beneficiary of a long process of Republican intellectual decadence.”

“Paul Ryan denounces Trump but not the Tea Party rhetoric that propelled his own political ascent,” he writes. “John McCain holds Trump in contempt, but selected as his running mate Sarah Palin, the Know-Nothing of Wasilla, one of Trump’s most vivid forerunners and supporters. Mitt Romney last week righteously slammed Trump as a ‘phony’ and a misogynist, and yet in 2012 he embraced Trump’s endorsement and praised his ‘extraordinary’ understanding of economics.”

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