Monday, October 03, 2016

Straight Line From Palin to Trump

President Obama spoke with Jonathan Chait in a kind of extended preview of his memoirs, and something that stuck out to me in that conversation is his verbalizing something that I've been saying for awhile now as I've watched Donald Trump suck up the oxygen on the right, and that is that you saw the roots of his rise the moment that John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his veep candidate in '08 (I've often likened McCain to Oppenheimer for his role in all this). Here's a choice selection:
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. Whether that changes, I think, will depend in part on the outcome of this election, 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.
What he may have overlooked here is that occasionally the fever doesn't break and the fever dies, in which case we're dealing with sort of the zombified remains of the Republican electorate right now. There's much more from the president at the link, and it sure makes me curious about how the level of candor we can expect when that memoir does eventually hit the stands.

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