Nobody wants the Obama era back.
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That’s the other big headline out of the debates. On that stage, candidates scorched their onetime hero’s legacy on everything from foreign policy to health care and beyond.
Worse, only Biden stood up for the Obama track record… but even though it was also his own, he danced around what are now considered by party extremists its ugliest parts.
Take immigration. Biden was asked whether he was cool at the time with Obama’s decision to deport millions of illegal immigrants. He dodged… saying only that he kept his counsel private.
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That’s not the kind of honor the Left base cares much for these days.
And behind the scenes moods are souring among Obama’s people… and the former president himself. BHO is incensed that party discipline is coming apart… that no one in the radical vanguard can do what he did and grease the way with sweet words and personal charisma… and that no one more conventional is charging up the party faithful.
Not that Obama or his cronies will admit that Humpty Dumpty can’t be put back together again. The Obama consensus was phony then… and it’s even phonier now.
His lectures to black men… his “evolving” on gay marriage… his big business bona fides… his misadventurous foreign policy… all these things are big no no’s in the party now.
And what did he do for Congress and state-level parties? Turned them over to Republicans, mostly. Much like Bush before him, he harmed his party’s standing inside the ranks and out.
And most if not all of his signature “achievements” fizzled or flamed out.
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Now the chickens are coming home to roost. He won’t defend Biden but won’t endorse any of his rivals. Biden won’t defend Obama but won’t attack his excesses or shortcomings. The race-and-gender left isn’t satisfied with Obama’s impact on class, and the socialist left isn’t mollified by his surrender of the party to identity politics.
It’s a big fat mess… and at least until the crowd of contenders thins drastically, Trump doesn’t work as a distraction. During the debates, Mueller and his report were conspicuously absent. The candidate who talked the most about challenging Trump was Marianne Williamson, who lacks the support to make the next debate.
Democrats laughed as Trump tore a gaping hole through the paper tiger of the Bush record. Some assumed Trump would be closer to them politically than a Rubio or a Cruz.
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Now Republicans have the same opportunity to relish the collapse in stature of their rivals’ iconic leader. But if a Democrat arises who’ll dare to do to Obama what Trump did to Bush… and throw Hillary Clinton onto the bonfire for good measure…
It’ll be the Republicans who’ll have to brace for a whole new era.