Other Democrats didn’t have Obama’s personal magnetism, or ability to present garden-variety liberal positions as a middle way born of excruciating thoughtfulness. They weren’t bonded to the base, and capable of turning it out in record numbers. They weren’t running elections nationwide where the so-called coalition of the ascendant could truly make its electoral presence felt.

As a result, the only Democrat left standing after the Obama years was Obama himself. Trump could be creating a similar dynamic.

His behavior is designed to make the other side fear and hate him as much as possible. The president finds this entertaining, and it has the added advantage of convincing his voters that, whatever his other flaws, Trump has “the right enemies.”

The problem is that all the people stirred up into a lather of anti-Trump loathing might want to do something with all their pent-up energy — like vote. With Trump nowhere near a ballot for the next three years, the only alternative is to take it out on the nearest person with an “R” next to his name.