In 2012, we watched as the GOP establishment forced a flawed and flimsy candidate onto Republican voters. It was like trying to stuff a cat into a trash can.
Loyal conservative voters fought valiantly, thwarting Mitt Romney in state after state. But, in the end, they finally submitted and got behind the Olympic flip-flopper.
For the sake of the party. For the good of the cause. Or, so they were told.
Under the steady guidance of the Republican Party's greatest experts, Mr. Romney would go on to lose one of the easiest - and most vital - elections in modern political times. It was so bad, the party actually had to perform an "autopsy" on it.
The upshot of the autopsy was that the Republican Party needed to stop being so terrible, stop "talking to themselves," start appealing to more voters and start listening to them.
Four years hence, we see a juggernaut front-runner who is reaching and appealing to new voters in creative ways with a fresh message the likes of which Republicans have not seen in recent memory. Donald Trump is precisely the candidate the GOP autopsy envisioned, down to the clarion plea that Republicans once and for all finally deal with illegal immigration.
Establishment Republicans' response, however, has been anything but in keeping with the autopsy. They are pulling out all the stops to thwart the will of Republican voters.
Interesting that one of the first things they accused Trump of was being a "racist" for wanting to stop illegal immigration. Isn't it funny how quickly Republicans turn into Democrats at the first sign of trouble?
Now he is openly accused of being Adolf Hitler and his supporters are compared to the Islamic State by an actual CNN commentator who pretends to be a serious, legitimate person on television.
Let's see, Hitler killed 6 million Jews and the Islamic State has openly declared war on civilization, burning humans in cages and throwing gay people off rooftops. Do these people think this is some kind of joke? Are they racist against Jews? Do they hate gay people?
Apparently, they do.
Another thing these people don't like is all these new people streaming into Ronald Reagan's "big tent" and jubilantly voting for a Republican. Sure, some small percentage might be Democrats trying to booby trap the Republican Party. But the vast majority of these new voters are independents, Democrats and long-disaffected Republicans enthusiastically casting their votes for Donald Trump.
Outside of his home state of Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz seems only able to beat Mr. Trump in states with closed contests, meaning the doors of the "big tent" are barricaded so new voters cannot join and vote.
Which brings us to the biggest problem with today's Republican Party. Apparently, the thing they hate more than anything - even Donald Trump himself - is actually winning an election.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @charleshurt.