Trump has been through a lot in the first eight months of his presidency, and little of it has been good, either for him or for the nation. And so he and the Republican Party have turned to an all-out assault on Obama and Clinton. Finding no path forward, they look back in anger, in apparent hope of appeasing his most ardent supporters, the ones animated, above all, by an antipathy to Obama.
That’s the only way to account for the announced cancellation of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which was neither illegal nor responsible for crime or joblessness, as Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, have variously claimed. A mere 15% of Americans support deporting Dreamers, and Trump himself has previously signaled empathy for these hopeful young Americans. But DACA belongs to Obama, so it must be tossed out of the White House like trash left over by a previous tenant. Same with the Paris climate accord, another major achievement of the previous administration. Again, most Americans (70%) wanted to keep things as they were. Again, revanchism won over reason.
In response to the DACA cancellation, former Republican congressman Joe Walsh, now a right-wing radio host, perfectly summarized the revanchism of today’s GOP. “Trump did something today that made Obama very, very angry,” he wrote on Twitter. “That means Trump did something very, very good today.”