Far, far across
Part of me does not like it, but the pragmatic response to a divided country must include some outreach to the other side.
But that does not mean Mitch McConnell or any of the deranged opportunists who have fed the Trump monster. Instead, Biden should reach out to Republicans who support the Constitution and who want the country to grow and be strong.
His idea for a special bipartisan commission on the judiciary is a good one, for instance. But he should be willing to define what “bipartisan” is.
We are in a very bad place, with a politically significant fraction of the population that is mentally ill. It’s not unreasonable to suppose that some genuine conservatives could play a positive role in restoring a political system with a chance of producing democratic, reality-based outcomes.
I am not a GOP-ologist and do not have a list of “good” Republicans. I would expect to disagree profoundly with these people on many issues.
But if they really were never-Trumpers, if they really did not try to ride the tiger to get their grubby court picks installed, if they acknowledged Biden’s win back when he won it, if they did not rub their hands with glee at the Merrick Garland business, if they never threw gasoline on the national dumpster fire, then perhaps they are true patriots who would make common cause to save the country.
This will triangulate opportunists like McConnell and nutjobs like Toomey. It might be the nucleus of a group that would try to clean house in the GOP—or start a new political party.
And yeah, as long as McConnell wields power, it will be necessary to treat with him. But that piecemeal negotiation is not what I am talking about. Rather, this would be an ad-hoc, longer-term alliance.
As I said, I do not like this idea. But I think it is necessary.
Biden should reach across the aisle—and keep reaching, until he finds some patriots on the other side.
Photo: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons