Barack Obama stomps on Trump’s racist sideshow, reminds the nation he’s still President

Barack Obama has found himself threading a tricky needle when it comes to dealing with Donald Trump. On the one hand, Trump is a major party candidate for President, and Obama can’t be seen as overtly meddling in republican primary politics. On the other hand, Trump’s racist extremism has made him the single biggest threat to America’s national security since arguably Bin Laden. Finally, Obama has had enough and has decided to remind the nation that for all the election talk, he’s still the President and Trump isn’t.

To give you an idea of how thoroughly a sitting President is expected to stay out of the primary process at this point on the calendar, Obama hasn’t even publicly endorsed his preferred successor Hillary Clinton yet – and he won’t, until she has won the democratic nomination all on her own. Moreover, a President is generally looked upon even more unfavorably for trying to influence the outcome of the opposition party’s primary. But with several key world leaders now having taken out Trump’s knees, including several allies, it’s cleared a path for the President to address the threat to the nation that Trump has concocted. Obama seized the opportunity.

Citing Abraham Lincoln, an early pioneer of a very different looking republican party which Donald Trump has now hijacked, President Obama used the anniversary of the Thirteenth Amendment to begin laying down the law against Trump’s extremism. After criticizing bigotry in any form, Obama stressed the need for equality no matter “what ugliness might bubble up.” He didn’t mention Trump by name, but he didn’t have to. And so now the extraordinary, but necessary, process begins of Obama gradually using the power of the Presidency to address Trump not as a candidate but as a threat to our nation’s sanctity and security. The republican party might want to dispense with Trump before President Obama has to.