I have long been an observer of the ferocity and persistence of Republican attacks against President Obama. It cannot be easy for the faithful to stand down while a black man combines charm, compassion, intelligence, wit and awesome oratorical ability to execute the prerogatives of America’s highest elective office.
It must also trouble him that his values align with those of the Nazarene community organizer (sans birth certificate) whose principles Republicans claim to adore, while working tirelessly to cede our country to the super rich. And although racism is a form of hatred that provides late-night opportunities for pyrotechnics and re-using old sheets, it cannot fully explain this riddle.
It seemed Republicans were on a quotidian quest to demonstrate to the tea party that their devotion is absolute. By voting to overturn the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, consistently referring to the president in the most disrespectful ways possible, constantly alleging that unions, poor people, women and public schools are the scourge of society, and advocating additional tax breaks and subsidies for the already obscenely wealthy, Republicans kneel to the voting power of the shockingly uninformed.
Then, one day, I learned that Republicans have introduced a bill to allow them to sue the president, and a powerful vision of what is transpiring at the deepest level of politics suddenly overwhelmed me.
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Republicans have relinquished the idea of winning the presidency. They simply cannot figure out how to gerrymander on a national level. Thus, their only hope of running the country is to erode, subvert and cripple the presidency to the point that Congress and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court can call the shots.
Obama is not the target. The presidency is. The vote suppressors believe they can win elections in both houses. By rendering the executive branch irrelevant, they are executing their plan to run the country without winning the presidency. It is hard to see how even Hillary will crack that nut, or those nuts.