One of my best political posts this year was A Fatal Lack Of Cunning & Guile. I compared Bernie Sanders and British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn unfavorably to leaders who possessed those gifts such as Lincoln and FDR. This is what I said about the current occupant of the White House:
One of my main concerns about Barack Obama in 2008 was that he lacked cunning and guile. I was wrong about that. It took some time but few Presidents have been as politically adept and cunning in dealing with both friends and adversaries. The ability to project idealism while backing it up with cunning is a gift given only to the greatest leaders such as FDR and Lincoln.
In an extraordinary denunciation of Donald J. Trump’s temperament and competence, President Obama urged leaders of theRepublican Party on Tuesday to withdraw their endorsements of Mr. Trump’s candidacy, flatly calling him “unfit to serve” as the nation’s 45th president.
“The question they have to ask themselves is: If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Mr. Obama said at a news conference at the White House. Mr. Obama said that in addition to Mr. Trump’s comments about the Khan family, the Republican nominee had demonstrated that he was “woefully unprepared to do this job.” The president said Mr. Trump lacked knowledge about Europe, the Middle East and Asia. “This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily,” Mr. Obama added. “There has to be a point at which you say, this is not somebody I can support for president of the United States, even if he purports to be a member of my party. The fact that that has not yet happened makes some of these denunciations ring hollow.”
President Obama’s comments are not only truthful but adept partisan politics. One of the few things that unites the Trumpers and establishment GOPers is their irrational hatred and fear of the first black President. It’s a double whammy as the President’s comments put Republicans on the spot and make it impossible for them to force the Insult Comedian off the ticket. Otherwise, they’d be caving to the evil oval one of their deranged fantasies.
As far as I know, this is the first time in our history that a sitting President has publicly called one of his potential successors “unfit to serve.” It’s well-known that James Monroe thought this of Andrew Jackson but he never said so in public. History has been made again in this cycle. Harry Truman came close in his mockery of Dwight Eisenhower BUT Ike *was* qualified to govern and the U word was never used:
Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, called Mr. Obama’s comments “a highly unusual and almost unprecedented moment.” The last time a sitting president was as openly critical of the other party’s candidate, Mr. Brinkley said, was in 1953, when President Harry S. Truman mocked Dwight D. Eisenhower as not knowing “any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday.”“It’s a reflection of just how radical and dangerous President Obama feels that Trump is,” Mr. Brinkley said.
I take the mutterings about removing Trump from the ticket about as seriously as the #NeverTrump movement both before and after the Republican convention. Unless Trump drops dead on the stump, his death dance with the GOP will continue unabated. He will never go willingly. Remember: Trump thinks that all publicity is good publicity.
Let’s raise a glass to President Obama’s adept use of cunning and guile. He told the truth about Trump while painting the Republicans into a corner. They dug their own grave, now they have to lie in it.