As the biographer of former Michigan Governor William G. Milliken, I was startled by a recent action of his local Republican Party.

The Governor’s fellow Republicans in effect excommunicated him from their party for the unforgivable offense of endorsing Hillary Clinton for President and for favoring women’s reproductive choice. (Milliken also endorsed John Kerry in 2004 and other Democrats as well as Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder.)

Instead of looking inward to determine why it’s become difficult for moderates and independents to support Republicans,  the local party lashed out with a cheap shot against a 94-year man who served as a Republican governor for almost 14 years, longer than any other chief executive in the state’s history.

To borrow from the speaking style of a major Presidential candidate, I am not saying these things, but I have heard people saying the party’s action was vicious, graceless, undignified, cruel and self-destructive.  And eloquent testimony to what’s left of a once great party.