Come back, Republican Party


I share Barack Obama’s concern for the Republican Party.

Yes, the president of the United States — the nation’s leading Democrat, at least until January — is concerned that the GOP is fading away, it is morphing into something that cannot join in the act of governing.

That’s what he told late-night comic Jimmy Fallon in an interview to be broadcast tonight.

Spoiler alert: The interview is a scream.

Obama said his party is delighted at the prospect of facing Donald J. Trump in this year’s presidential election. Trump’s fellow Republicans, though, aren’t so thrilled.

The president said the Republican presidential nominee should be someone who can do the job, understands the issues at hand, and “ultimately can still move the country forward.”

Does that sound like Donald Trump?

I’ve seen dominant political parties here in Texas. Both of them — Democrats and Republicans — have at times abused their dominance over the other side.

I came to Texas in the spring of 1984 and settled in the Golden Triangle region, which at the time remained a strong “yellow dog Democrat” stronghold. Local Republicans felt disrespected and dismissed by Democrats who held tightly onto virtually every office in three counties — Jefferson, Orange and Hardin.

The political landscape has shifted dramatically in Texas. Republicans now are the top dogs. They have clamped vise grips on every statewide office in Texas.

I moved to the Panhandle in January 1995 — and into the heart of GOP Country.

The Democratic Party virtually doesn’t even exist here, no matter what the few of them around the Panhandle would say.

Has it been good to have one party so dominant? No.

The president’s point, though, is that the national GOP has become something unrecognizable from the party that used to take pride in being able to govern.

As the president told Fallon: “But what’s happened in that party culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole. It’s not something Democrats should wish for. And my hope is, is that maybe once you get through this cycle, there’s some corrective action and they get back to being a center-right party. And Democratic Party being a center-left party. And we start figuring how to work together.”

Work together. I believe that’s how government works best.