For a brief moment, the title of Kathleen Parker’s newest column in The Washington Post looks like it could be interesting (“Republicans would rather have a king than a president,” The Washington Post, 3/28/2017), but then you have to remember that it’s Kathleen Parker, and she’s not one to write interesting columns.
The entirety of the column is not an atypical template for Parker: state things that are objectively true (Donald Trump is president and lives in the White House; Melania is is wife and does not live in the White House) and stuff it into a mediocre parable. This week’s edition envisions Trump as a monarch whose bloodline benefits from riches attained through the position and whose peasants will dutifully worship him no matter how much he reneges on his “promises” or goes out of his way to make their lives worse.
I much prefer this version of Kathleen Parker—who calls Trump on his abuse of Secret Service funds and accuses his supporters of being actively hostile towards democracy—to the one that is eager to jump to the defense of Steve King’s (R-IA) racist comments. But that’s the main problem with her column. Aside from the first sentence, Parker never bothers to share any of the blame for Trump with the Republican party—and that first sentence could very well be exclusively referring to Republican voters, not officials.
And so Parker continues the folly of all conservative commentators evenly nominally opposed to Trump—they are incapable of recognizing that the elected officials of the Republican party are in large part responsible for the ascendancy of Trump, and their continuing compliance with and capitulation to every radically non-conservative thing he does both emboldens Trump and increases their culpability. To fit into Parker’s analogy, they are the king’s court (jesters), there to amuse and be abused. I, for one, am not going to forget the daily displays of extreme hypocrisy of the Republican party. It’d be nice if writers like Parker would pretend they existed.