We all remember how, eight years ago, Senator John McCain tried to save his floundering presidential campaign by bringing in Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick. She was charismatic, attractive, and seemed to be the perfect addition to the ticket to fire up the GOP base. However, once reporters got to actually speak with her, it became painfully obvious that she was dangerously unqualified for the office she was seeking. So much so, in fact that one of McCain’s top campaign staffers, Nicolle Wallace, couldn’t even bring herself to vote for the candidate for whom she was working knowing that Palin was a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
And here we are, eight years later, and the GOP has pulled another Sarah Palin – only someone much worse. Donald Trump. Trump is ignorant, bigoted, and a national and international embarrassment. Further, he is at the top of the ticket, making the idea of his being president all the more terrifying. We want to give the nuclear codes to an unhinged, fascist hamburglar with the emotional maturity of a toddler. He could literally end civilization as we know it with one tantrum over a tweet.
How did we get to this insane point?
President Obama has some ideas.
In a new interview, the president says he sees, quote a “straight line” between Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. He spoke to New York Magazine:
“I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party.
But it’s also going to depend on the degree of self-reflection inside the Republican Party.
There have been at least a couple of other times that I’ve said confidently that the fever is going to have to break, but it just seems to get worse.”
Obama went on to say that he and the Democratic Party have to be able to work within this environment and discern if they can “achieve certain policy objectives is going to be primarily dependent on how many votes we’ve got in each chamber and our ability to move public opinion.”
Obama also insinuated that the taking over of the GOP by the nuttiest of right-wing nuts means he can’t even be seen being too friendly with some of them:
“We can have really great conversations and arrive at a meeting of the minds on a range of policy issues.
But if they think they’re going to lose seats or that they’re going to lose their own seat because the social media has declared that they sold out the Republican Party, then they won’t do it.”
Obama also said that while the party as a whole has been forced to “pay a price” when it comes time to vote for president due to “narrowing of their perspective in presidential elections” – but that doesn’t matter. He opines:
“But for the individual member of Congress in a 60 percent Republican district in Oklahoma or Arkansas or anyplace in the country, that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that all his constituencies or her constituencies are watching Fox News and listening to Rush [Limbaugh], and they’re going to pay a price if they’re seen as being too cozy with a Democratic president.”
So, in other words, if the GOP wants to be a healthy political party again, they have to get rid of the nutjobs in their base. That means the anti-science morons, the racists, the homophobes, the anti-woman neanderthals – all of them have to go. They might have to lose a few elections to do it, but that’s the only way to cut the cancer that allowed the likes of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to happen from their party forever.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images