In Sunday’s New York Times, op-ed columnist Ross Douthat argues that we should pin responsibility for Donald Trump’s success not only on the disarray of the Republican elites but also, somehow, on President Obama.

There are a lot of problems with that analysis, but let’s focus on the part with implications for climate change. Douthat writes:

[Trump] is rallying a constituency that once swung between the parties, but that the Obama White House has spent the last eight years slowly writing off. Trump’s strongest supporters aren’t archconservatives; they’re white working-class voters, especially in the Rust Belt and coal country, who traditionally leaned Democratic and still favor a strong welfare state.

These voters had been drifting away from the Democratic Party since the 1970s, but Obama has made moves that effectively slam the door on them: His energy policies, his immigration gambits, his gun control push, his shift to offense on same-sex marriage and abortion.

Douthat is articulating a version of the dishonest “Obama has abandoned the white working class” meme that has circulated in the conservative media since the 2012 election. If you look at the 2008, 2004, and 2000 election results, you’ll find that Appalachian whites have voted increasingly Republican, and they were especially opposed to Obama before he took office. But you don’t even need to look it up, because Douthat himself goes on to concede that “bigotry inclined some of these voters against Obama from the start, or encouraged them to think the worst of him eventually.”