Interesting how the Republican Party’s attitude toward the office of the presidency has changed in three short years.
During the tenure of the previous POTUS, any imagined breach of protocol provoked outpourings of outrage with spokespeople twitching and yelling and waving their arms like one of those wind puppets parked outside used car lots.
First Lady Michelle Obama once was chastised for baring her shoulders at a state dinner. Then the GOP went ballistic for a week because her husband wore a tan suit. During the days of the 44th president, opponents were so desperate for any hint of controversy, Sean Hannity called Obama an elitist because he used Dijon mustard on a burger.
Obama was constantly besmirching the dignity of the office, and by doing so, America. But today, not a single thing Donald Trump does irks the same people. He can lie and steal, make stuff up and call the press “the enemy of the people” and the base doesn’t care. He could say Ronald Reagan betrayed the Republican Party by dying, and supporters would mumble, “Mmm-hmm. Yep. Boy, that’s the truth.”
Imagine if Obama had been accused of a tenth of the stuff that 45 has. One-hundredth. Ceaseless incessant persistent seething doesn’t even come close. Foaming. Fuming. Furiosity. Livid. Rabid. Pogo-stick hopping mad. Cheesed off to the point of sweating curds.
Can you picture how the GOP would have reacted if Barack Hussein Obama had saluted a North Korean general or neglected to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier on Memorial Day because it was raining? They would become so apoplectic they’d need plastic spit bibs to keep from ruining their suits.
How about if Obama claimed he had fallen in love with Kim Jong Un after the two had exchanged beautiful letters and then agreed with the North Korean when he attacked a potential presidential rival? Impeachment proceedings would have commenced before Air Force One was wheels down.
If Obama had sucked up to Vladimir Putin so hard he left hickeys the size of tuna cans, or accepted his claim of not interfering with our election over the opinion of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, or held private meetings with the Russian President out of range of any staffers or media, there would have been so many congressional committees convened the paperwork would have denuded the entire redwood forest north of San Francisco.
If Obama had used his self-named dodgy charity for political purposes or hinted that he would date his daughter if they weren’t related, tactical teams from evangelical churches would have rushed the Oval Office and forced him to his knees to pray for forgiveness on live TV.
Or what if Obama paid $130,000 in hush money to cover up an affair with a porn star while his third wife was pregnant with his fifth child? Or Michele had posed for nude photos? They would both have been burned at the stake with the ashes scattered over the South Side of Chicago.
And if Obama had attacked a war hero like John McCain, the same result. And if the first black president stalked a white woman around the debate stage like Donald did Hillary, forget the stake, the Republicans would be digging out a rope, looking for a tall tree.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin.