"Upside down, boy you turn me, inside out." Just as Diana Ross was making that musical complaint in the summer of 1980, 69-year-old Ronald Reagan was about to win the Republican nomination and, eventually, the presidency.
Ms. Ross' #1 hit had nothing to do with politics, but right now the Republican Party is being turned upside down, inside out by another 69-year-old maverick.
Party leaders and GOP candidates have been pulling their hair out, figuratively speaking, trying to deal with Donald Trump. (As an aside, and coincidentally or not, there is nary a bald man among the 17 Republican wannabes.)
But forget about the Republicans for a moment and consider how Trump's flamboyance is helping Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. His bombast, which has been hugely successful on the campaign trail, has masked the fact that a Democratic president and administration have failed to improve America.
Just peruse the dismal record. Millions more Americans are living in poverty than when President Obama took office in 2009. As the old adage goes, women and minorities have been hardest hit, but pretty much everyone this side of one-percenters is paying a price for failed economic policies and a tepid recovery.
Then there is Trump's calling card, illegal immigration. More than 2-million people have entered the country illegally during President Obama's tenure, including 150,000 unaccompanied minors. While those numbers come from an anti-immigration group, the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center estimates that about 300,000 babies are born each year to at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant. That's 7.5% of all births in the USA, a staggering number.
The truth is that President Obama has managed to make immigration chaos even more chaotic. His party has ignored unlawful and shameful sanctuary cities, while turning its collective back on Kate's Law, a simple measure that would protect innocent Americans like Kate Steinle.
Meanwhile, speaking of protection, Democrats have consistently protected the gruesome butchery of Planned Parenthood, which gleefully sells baby parts while sipping red wine. But if you dare to raise the subject, you'll likely be accused of not caring about 'women's health' and 'reproductive rights.' Euphemisms abound when reality is unspeakable.
Overseas? Violence in Syria and Iraq was exacerbated when President Obama foolishly pulled all U.S. troops out of the region. He fulfilled a campaign promise, but the result has been death, rape, and widespread misery that is now washing up in Europe in the form of desperate refugees.
Don't forget what Joe Biden said about Iraq in 2010: 'This could be one of the great achievements of this administration … you're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.'
It was indeed moving that way until Biden's boss decided to pull the plug and abandon the Iraqi people. The commander-in-chief, who mocked ISIS as the 'JV team,' has now sealed the deal with Iran, giving the mullahs more moolah with which to sow terrorism across the Middle East.
The litany of Democratic failures goes on and on, and the dismal record should be sufficient to get a Republican elected next year. But, again, Donald Trump's ascendance and transcendence have overshadowed the record.
Sooner or later, though, style will give way to substance, sizzle will become steak, and Democrats like Hillary Clinton will have to answer for their party's failures.
Need a numerical measure of those shortcomings? A new poll that we mentioned on The Factor bears repeating. The highly-regarded Quinnipiac University folks asked American voters how things in America are going right now.
The results are downright stunning: 41% are 'very dissatisfied,' 30% are 'somewhat dissatisfied,' 26% are 'somewhat satisfied.' And how many proclaim themselves to be 'very satisfied' with the direction of the country?
A whopping 2%. Two percent!
That number alone should banish any party to the political wilderness. And it might do just that, as soon as the attention moves from Donald Trump's insults and follicles to the very real problems facing America.
The Republican shift from style to substance can't start soon enough. Gentlemen and lady, start your engines.