On the one hand, E.J. Dionne clearly knows what he is about to propose is ridiculous:
A “reach out to your adversaries” approach also seems soft and squishy in a clash with a president who violates every rule, tells every lie and stoops as low as necessary to maintain his hold on power. And Trump’s weaponization of veiled and overt racism and nativism can raise understandable suspicions, especially among African Americans and Latinos, that outreach to Trump voters risks compromising with bigotry.On the other hand, there is no place left for America's Beltway Pundits to go. In a very real sense, their collective livelihood has always depended on a collective agreement to never tell the straight "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How" dope about the modern history of American politics and how the Republican Party got so irredeemably fucked-in-the-head and how they are destroying the country.
Of course the utterly predictable result of their reflexive denialism about how the Republican Party got so irredeemably fucked-in-the-head and how they are destroying the country was that the more they compulsively refused to speak the plan truth about the grotesque monstrosity the Republican party was becoming -- the more they flinched and deflected and Both Sidered that terrible truth -- the more it created a permission structure that allowed the sickness to grow exponentially worse.
But of course, none of what Il Douche does actually affects America's Beltway Pundits in any meaningful way. Yet. They can still afford to be as revelers at Prince Prospero's never-ending party: concerned, perhaps, in an abstract way about the peasants outside of their walled city dying from the Red Death that is sweeping the land, but by virtue of their privilege and position, are personally unaffected by the plague, don't consort with anyone who is personally afflicted by the plague, and therefor not terribly interested in figuring out its cause or its cure.
Better to refill their glasses and muse that perhaps of the peasants were just a lot more polite to the Red Death things would get better:
Or maybe the Red Death and the peasants are really just two halves of a troubled marriage! And if only Both Sides would go to counselling (about which I have already written quite enough today)...Some advice for @iamsambee & others: the way to fight Trump is by being less like him, not more https://t.co/SmGlATocnO— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 1, 2018
Psychologists joke that early marriage is a battleground in which two families send their best warriors to determine which family’s culture will direct the couple’s lives. https://t.co/Ajdp8H5Hpz— David Brooks (@nytdavidbrooks) June 5, 2018
Which brings us back to Mr. E.J. Dionne, who should damn well know better by this time ("Why dialogue matters — even in the Trump era"):
But even taking all of these objections into account...
There follows a short summary of policy polling numbers and electoral statistics from which one might draw more sustenance if one is still capable of deluding oneself that Republican base voters can be persuaded grow opposable thumbs and climb down out of the stupid tree. However, as Mr. Dionne draws his column to a close, even he just sorta runs out of juice and admits that maybe he's just drunk on David Brooks' cork.
On the basis of the evidence, I find it extremely difficult to assume anything except the worst about Trump and his enablers. But we are fighting the president precisely because we believe in a government that answers to the aspirations of the vast majority. Creating that majority requires winning new allies by respecting those whose minds we seek to change.
And you know what, E.J.?
We have already tested this stupid theory.
Most recently we tested it with an eight year experiment in trying to "win new allies by respecting those whose minds we seek to change" called the Obama Administration.
And what were the results?
The election Barack Obama -- a man of calm, reasonable, respectful restraint and sterling character -- drove the Republican party's already-unhinged, racist base completely out of their fucking minds.
Locked them into a state of such irreversible derangement that they chose Donald Fucking Trump as their standard-bearer.
Such irreversible derangement that, 500 day into his lying, racist, treasonous catastrophe of an administration, the Republican base overwhelmingly love the guy.
Love him like a drunk loves his bottle.
Love him like a glutton loves his lunch (from Vanity Fair):
As Republican lawmakers are well aware, Trump, despite the swirl of scandal surrounding his office, is actually extraordinarily popular with their voters. Five hundred days into his term, 87 percent of the party approves of Trump’s performance, according to Gallup, giving Trump the highest same-party favorability rating of any Republican president at the 500-day mark in the past six decades, with the exception of George W. Bush after 9/11.
These people are all out of second chances, E.J.
They're all out of third and fourth and fifth and 100th chances too.
Behold, a Tip Jar!