President Obama responded to Republican fit over the Iran nuclear deal from Ethiopia, namechecking GOP presidential candidates Mike Huckabee - who said the Iran deal was tantamount walking Israel to "the door of the oven", a reference to mass cremation chambers in Nazi internment camps - and Donald Trump, who remains atop the Republican field despite his insult of POWs.
The president's comment is entirely true, of course, and perfectly reasonable as he defends this historic agreement to put a nuclear weapon out of Iran's hands for good. But that isn't the reason President Obama decided to voluntarily drag The Donald into this before beating up on him for his disrespect of POWs.
Again, nothing out of the ordinary considering the president's role as commander in chief and his steadfast defense of service to our country. But that's not all he's doing there.
By namechecking Trump and Huckabee, President Obama ensures that those two candidates will generate even more media attention, and more importantly, even more support among the GOP's far right Tea-party base. The more animated the Teabaggers get, the more it will skew the entire Republican presidential field to the far right, a position the eventual Republican nominee will find tough to recover for when the primary is over and it's time to run to the middle.
The Republican base of right wing nutjobs who show up at political rallies with teabags hanging from hats that went out of style sometime in the 1800s are a bad liability in presidential years, and nothing makes them lose it more that Barack Obama making a sensible comment. And when Barack Obama namechecks a Republican in those comments, that Republican - or those Republicans - become instant celebrities among this hardcore group of right wingers who have outsized influence as Republican primary voters.
The Republican presidential field is already chaotic without President Obama's help. With some 17 candidates running and Trump's outrageous comments that endear him to the Republican base setting panic among Republicans who understand the GOP is finished as a national party if Trump wins the nomination, the clown car is already coming apart.
All President Obama did was to make sure that the chaos gets worse, and that Trump and Huckabee get more support from the fringe base that thinks the president is the devil. Something tells me President Obama thinks that Huckabee's backwards social positions will blend perfectly well with Trump's general insanity, making every other candidate jump through those hoops just to get some attention. And when they do, the Democratic nominee has raw footage for the general election regardless of who the GOP nominee is.
These firecrackers are going to burn.