During Mitt Romney’s recent speech denouncing Donald Trump as “a fraud,” a stark question arose: How did the Republican Party go, in four years, from nominating a sober grown-up with a record of achievement in the public and private sectors to embracing a loudmouthed playboy with a string of bankruptcies and no experience in government?
Remember when George W. Bush vowed to “restore honor and dignity to the White House”? Those qualities are no longer in demand. Say what you will about Romney, you would trust him with your wallet or your daughter. Trump? Not a chance.
It’s not always possible to identify the moment when a journey to destruction began. But in the case of the Republican Party, there is no doubt: Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. That day, presidential nominee John McCain announced that his running mate would be Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. It was a test for McCain and the GOP rank and file. Both failed, and the party has never recovered.