"Eight years of the divisive tactics of President Obama have undermined Americans' faith in politics and government." -- Jeb Bush in a recent Washington Post column.
It is standard practice among members of the Republican elite to falsely blame President Obama for Trump's rise. No matter how much you may wish it so, this is not Obama's fault.
Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were competent and (arguably) excellent presidents. But the incompetence of George W. Bush is largely why Americans are disillusioned.
Bush inherited a federal budget surplus, but left office with a deficit. Unemployment skyrocketed from 4% to 8%. Now, after two terms of Obama, we're finally below 5% again. When Bush left office, we had 12 million undocumented immigrants (about where it remains). In the GOP's fantasy world, however, undocumented immigrants are Obama's fault.
Jeb blames Obama for divisive politics. Recall the the GOP's unfounded attacks in 2004 on John Kerry's military record. Kerry earned a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. George W. Bush -- like Trump -- has never been near a combat zone. The GOP's treatment of Kerry set the precedent for Trump's cruel attacks on John McCain and the Khan family.
Republicans have spent the past eight years blocking Obama's proposals and nominations, and undercutting the legitimacy of our democracy. When Obama decisively won reelection in 2012, they threw a temper tantrum that brought our country to the brink of default.
Obama didn't solve all the problems he inherited. But let's be clear: Republicans left Obama a mess. And instead of being a party of competent conservatism, they opted for eight years of obstructionism, made-up facts and wishful thinking. In the process, the GOP has become increasingly dependent upon gerrymandering, voter suppression and fomenting the racial divisiveness it purports to object to -- all to stay in office.
Republicans created Trump. They should take responsibility.