The Republican Party's sad journey to Trump via Sarah Palin and the Tea Party was more than a spectator sport for President Barack Obama. For more than seven years Obama endured indignities, slanders, obstruction and a seemingly bottomless appetite for partisan hackery as Republicans came morally, ideologically and organizationally unglued.
Often Obama held his tongue, occasionally to shield a potentially useful rival from the ire of partisans. After resigning his post, former House Speaker John Boehner told an audience in Florida that he couldn't afford to play golf with the president when he was in office because rabid GOP House members objected to displays of comity with the enemy.
Obama's not holding his tongue anymore.
In recent days he has lashed Republican cowardice and clownishness in blunt displays of contempt. With Hillary Clinton seemingly in command of the presidential race, Obama is turning his attention to lower contests, seeking to reverse the Democrats' catastrophic loss of seats during his presidency. There is method to his taunting. But there also seems to be a good bit of glee.