Trump a mon­ster of the GOP’s mak­ing

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION - LAURA WASH­ING­TON Fol­low Laura Wash­ing­ton on Twit­ter: @Me­di­aDervish Email: Lau­raSWash­ing­ton@aol.com

They cre­ated their own mon­ster. Don­ald J. Trump is the new “stan­dard- bearer for the Repub­li­can Party,” de­clared Demo­cratic Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Harry Reid shortly af­ter Trump mowed through seven Su­per Tues­day states.

“Repub­li­cans cre­ated him by spend­ing seven years ap­peal­ing to some of the dark­est forces in Amer­ica,” Talk­ing Points Memo quoted Reid as say­ing. “Now it’s up to the Repub­li­cans to try and undo what they have done by de­nounc­ing Don­ald Trump. It’s time for the Repub­li­cans to stop the Franken­stein they cre­ated.”

They would love to. Trump’s blowout per­for­mance in last week’s vot­ing has in­spired pan­icked loathing among the GOP es­tab­lish­ment.

They want him gone, but Trump is their own hand­i­work.

Since the day Barack Obama was in­au­gu­rated pres­i­dent of the United States, the GOP con­gres­sional lead­er­ship has fe­ro­ciously re­fused to work with him and the Democrats, en­sur­ing years of crip­pling and his­toric grid­lock.

Marco Ru­bio and Ted Cruz, Reid’s Se­nate col­leagues, Trump’s chief ri­vals for the GOP nom­i­na­tion, and blue- chip mem­bers of the tea party. Their al­le­giance to that re­bel­liously con­ser­va­tive wing of the GOP se­cured their rise in na­tional pol­i­tics.

A tea party mantra is the phrase “Take Back Our Coun­try.” That’s a tidy book­end for Trump’s cam­paign slo­gan “Make Amer­ica Great Again.”

The mes­sage: The na­tion has been hi­jacked by our black pres­i­dent and other in­sid­i­ous “un- Amer­i­can” forces.

Repub­li­can hon­chos have for­got­ten that un­for­get­table mo­ment in 2009 when an­other tea party mem­ber, U. S. Rep. Joe Wil­son of South Carolina, in­ter­rupted Obama’s speech dur­ing a joint ses­sion of Congress.

He shouted “You lie!” to Obama af­ter the pres­i­dent as­serted that his health re­form plan would not in­sure il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

Repub­li­cans may de­spair over Trump now, but many in their ranks have long in­dulged in the de­mo­niza­tion of Latino im­mi­grants, type­cast­ing them as crim­i­nals, drug deal­ers and mis­cre­ants.

Have they no­ticed that the Con­fed­er­ate flag is still glo­ri­fied in some parts of our re­pub­lic? Have they over­looked the im­ages that popped up at tea party ral­lies and con­fabs? One de­picted Obama as a “mon­key” and an­other called him “a long legged mack daddy.”

And the birthers, those folks who re­peat­edly and in­fa­mously sug­gested the pres­i­dent was not re­ally born in Hawaii, but in Africa?

In 2011, Trump joined in, de­mand­ing that Obama re­lease his birth cer­tifi­cate. Trump threat­ened to send pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tors to Hawaii to check out the pres­i­dent’s pa­pers, ac­cord­ing to news re­ports.

Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors in Florida and Texas did their part, in­tro­duc­ing bills that would have re­quired that pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates prove they are nat­u­ral- bornU. S. cit­i­zens. The leg­is­la­tion failed, but the mes­sage was clear.

Mean­while, the GOP es­tab­lish­ment winked and nod­ded. As the New York Times re­cently noted, on “Meet the Press” in 2011 then- U. S. House Speaker John Boehner and then- U. S. Rep. Eric Can­tor were asked about the birther move­ment and their “crazy” claims. The Repub­li­can lead­ers de­murred.

“I don’t think it’s, it’s nice to call any­one crazy, OK?” Can­tor said.

“It re­ally is not our job to tell the Amer­i­can peo­ple what to be­lieve and what to think,” Boehner said.

Trump is the hor­ror- story cul­mi­na­tion of the anger, re­sent­ment, dis­re­spect and big­otry ped­dled by some in the Repub­li­can Party.

Now, their Franken­stein mon­ster is lurch­ing, scowl­ing and ter­ror­iz­ing his way to the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

As Reid de­clared, the GOP is “reap­ing what they have sown.”

The GOP con­gres­sional lead­er­ship has fe­ro­ciously re­fused to work with Obama and the Democrats.

| DREW HAL­LOW­ELL/ GETTY IM­AGES

Don­ald Trump on Sun­day

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