It's rich that star columnist George "Chickenlips" Will has left the Republican Party because of the likely nomination of Donald Trump. He told the Federalist Society on Friday that he would change his registration to unaffiliated because the party that would have such a standard-bearer "is not my party." In a later interview, he said, "Make sure he loses. Grit (your) teeth for four years and win the White House."
I usually decline to extend [the real-estate developer's] brand by calling him by name, but here I am making an exception for clarity and economy of writing.
Beyond the unseemliness of a working journalist being registered as anything but an independent, Will's statement and even its forum tell us much — but not as he intended.
Columnists such as Will and the vast right-wing infrastructure that includes the Federalist Society (its specialty is the law and courts) have spent decades creating this moment. Decades of seeding the politics of racial antipathy through the Southern Strategy. Decades of teaching Americans to hate their government and be misinformed about its essential place in our society, history, and economy. Decades of creating devils (Hillary!) — and, yes, the left is capable of this, but doesn't have the reach of right-wing media. Decades of pushing policies that defunded schools, ruined our infrastructure, destroyed the middle class. All this was funded by a dark conspiracy of billionaires intent on repealing everything from the New Deal through the Nixon administration.
And this was mere prelude to the actions of the Republican Party in the Obama years. Even before Barack Obama was sworn in, we saw the frightening Nuremberg-lite rallies ginned up by Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Things got so bad that an embarrassed John McCain was forced to contradict an old bat who kept saying Obama was a Muslim terrorist. Palin led the party's final exodus from knowledge ("elitism!"), history, common sense. George Will didn't disown any of this; none of it offended his bow-tied Tory sensibility.
Then seven-and-a-half years of scorched-earth policy, where the GOP Congress regularly held the nation's economy and government hostage, even threatening default. Even minor appointments by the president were held up for years. The GOP-controlled House voted at least 60 times to repeal Obamacare, offering no alternative for uninsured Americans. Mr. Obama faced the unprecedented situation where his nominee to the Supreme Court could not even get a hearing. The party bigs and their puppetmasters helped fund the creation of the Tea Party — giving voice to an eager cohort of angry whites — ensuring a GOP so extreme that today Ronald Reagan couldn't win a Republican school-board primary. Not a peep from George Will. He was out to the ballgame.