Max Boot, in a July 20th, 2018 column wrote: This conservative would take Obama back in a nanosecond
How I miss Barack Obama.
And I say that as someone who worked to defeat him: I was a foreign policy adviser to John McCain in 2008 and to Mitt Romney in 2012. I criticized Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy that resulted in a premature pullout from Iraq and a failure to stop the slaughter in Syria. I thought he was too weak on Iran and too tough on Israel. I feared that Obamacare would be too costly. I fumed that he was too professorial and too indecisive. I was left cold by his arrogance and his cult of personality.
Now I would take Obama back in a nanosecond. His presidency appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned. All of his faults, real as they were, fade into insignificance compared with the crippling defects of his successor. And his strengths — seriousness, dignity, intellect, probity, dedication to ideals larger than self — shine all the more clearly in retrospect
Few Republicans speak highly of Obama, let alone would make such a statement for fear of being summarily drummed out of the Republican party. Barack Obama is a Democrat, a sworn enemy. For his entire presidency, the moment he took the oath of office, Republicans did everything the could the sabotage his agenda. Their favorite word is a two-year-old favorite, NO! When you think about them, they behaved like two-year-olds.
As an advisor to both McCain and Mitt Romney, I get why he felt Obama was cold and arrogant. Obama defeated McCain and Romney rather handily in the 2008 & 2012 elections, which makes this he wrote about Obama 18 months ago interesting, his presidency appears to be a lost golden age when reason and morality reigned.
I was reading that it made me wonder what would make a life-long, die-hard conservative Republican such as Max Boot, write what most Republicans would condemn as blasphemy?
I caught an interview he did on the Morning Joe show discussing his book, The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left The Right. The conversation was thoughtful. I purchased the book downloaded to my Kindle and put off reading it.
It wasn’t until I read the following in his February 15th WP column: This is how democracy dies — in full view of a public that couldn’t care less that told me it was time to read Boot’s book.
“The French philosopher Montesquieu wrote in 1748: “The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”
We are seeing his warning vindicated. President Trump is increasingly acting as a tyrannical (and erratic) prince. And yet much of the public is so inured to his misconduct that his latest assaults on the rule of law are met with a collective shrug. Public passivity is Trump’s secret weapon as he pursues his authoritarian agenda. “I have the right to do whatever I want,” he says, and the lack of pushback seems to confirm it.
Ever since his departure from as he put it — his beloved party — Boot has raised a clarion call telling any who will listen, how Trump is systematically undermining one of the significant principals the Constitution. So when I read the following:
“November 8th, 2016, was one of the most demoralizing days of my life. It was also, in ways that have become impossible to ignore. devastating not just for America in general but for American conservatism in particular.”
I took comfort knowing, someone else experienced the same demoralizing feeling I had while watching the early returns sensing something was wrong in the force
Max Boot talked about things I’ve discussed with my friends about what Trump is doing to the country. It’s crystal clear, Donald J. Trump is systematically destroying the rule of law.
His push to purge those whom he believes not loyal for those he can control is classic Dictators Handbook material: a selectorate that makes up a winning coalition. These are the people whose support is essential if a leader is to survive in office. It’s a crucial part of his push to tear down the rule of law that true conservatives like Max Boot see as one of the essential tenets implicit the Constitution.
With his acquittal, Trump is more than comfortable and eagerly willing to destroy one of the most scared Republicans shibboleths, the rule of law, and with the help of the docile Republicans, replace it with the necromancy of authoritarian governance under Trump. That would lead to the death of democracy as we know it. I agree with the following statement:
Republicans were casting themselves ever further into dishonor, disgrace, and disrepute by helping the president to undermine the rule of law — the very foundation of the American republic. For those who strongly believe because we have a Constitution, and couldn’t end up with an authoritarian form of government. Need to wake up. We are already on that slippery path.
Trump has smashed through on all the established norms 44 other presidents followed. He’s told Congress, a co-equal branch, to go pound sand. With Attorney General William Barr — his Roy Cohn — whispering the sweet melody of “unitary executive” in his ears, Trump is doing his best imitation of The Hulk, as goes about smashing and shredding all things Constitutional.
Boot writes, “democracies die not in darkness but in full view of a public that couldn’t care less.” Or to the chants from the floor of the House of four more years.
If we don’t want to lose our democracy, then it’s time to wake up for; ’Tis “ the witching time of night.” The Time Democracy Dies Under Trump.