Which raises the broader question of the future of the president’s party in particular. The GOP is now torn between demagogues who appeal to the lowest-common-denominator concerns of voters and establishment types who roam like zombies on a terrain they can no longer navigate, among citizens for whom they have little in the way of answers.

So what is the future of the Republican party? Who knows? Parties aren’t forever. It would be foolish to assume that citizens who believe in limited and constitutional government, in free markets and in American world leadership, will necessarily find their homes in the GOP. Those citizens may have to look beyond the party they’ve become accustomed to support.