You ever see someone who does not like something simply because they cannot have it? That reminds me of the Republicans. They bristle at Obama because they do not have an Obama, or do they?
Last month, during an interview on CNN, Jeb Bush was trashing Obama, like all good Republicans are expected to do, when the anchor asked him if he had anything good to say about the president. Without hesitation, Jeb said, "I wish I could walk into a room and light it up the way he does."
The Republican candidates for president pretend to detest Obama (much like they pretend to believe in creationism over evolution) because it is politically expedient. Most of that field, in fact, are probably closet Obama admirers. They see Obama as a winner - a man who trounced the Clinton machine, twice beat their candidates for president, and has repeatedly out-maneuvered the Republican congress. He pushed through initiatives like Obamacare, the Iran nuclear deal, lifting the Cuban embargo, and my favorite, changing the name of Mount McKinley to its original name, "Denali."
Obama has shaken the Republicans' confidence. They wonder now if they can win with "conventional", yet fear that "unconventional" is nonsense, and contrary to the standard they are entrusted to bear.
Jeb Bush, in an effort to capitalize on the Republicans' mess (and boost his own "conventional," candidacy) compares his main rival, Marco Rubio, to the man he thinks Republicans dislike most. There are a number of similarities: Both Obama and Rubio were first-term senators when they launched their presidential campaigns. They are personable and attractive men of color, and each campaign features the prospect of a history-making event.
Jeb, in seeking to diminish Rubio, unwittingly elevates Rubio as the one Republican with the je ne sais quoi to wipe the spectre of Obama from their collective fragile and haunted senses.
President Barack Obama has been a transformative force in American politics. That is difficult for Republicans to admit. Rather than celebrate this man who has pointed America toward the future instead of the past, they choose to bash him. No wonder they are confused.
Kasich and Trump are no more suited to lead America than are Hilary and Bernie. They are yesterday's leaders. The American electorate should consider entrusting its future to the future. And the Republicans might want to give Marco Rubio a good look, and hope that he is the Republican version of Barack Obama that the guileless Jeb thinks he is.