Won’t Get Fooled Again
Josh Marshall has been banging this drum for a while, and he’s right:
Republicans like Marco Rubio are now claiming to be aghast, hurt and more than anything else unwilling to believe in Democratic promises of rebuilding national unity because Joe Biden’s campaign manager and incoming Deputy Chief of Staff called congressional Republicans “fuckers” in an interview. Days ago we heard that Biden’s forceful denunciation of Republican efforts to overturn the result of the election was “burning bridges” to Trump supporters. We’ve seen this pattern before: bad faith taking of umbrage to justify new forms of bad behavior and predation.
It’s not only that. The production of and the stoking of grievances is central to contemporary conservatism and its apotheosis, Trumpism. But it is mostly the weaponization of bad faith.
This to me is the greatest negative lesson of the Obama era: the willing engagement of good faith with bad faith in which bad faith is, by definition, always the winner. I am so proud of Obama’s presidency, all it represented, all it accomplished. But it does not diminish that to recognize that he and his administration wasted a great deal of time pursuing the vain belief that it could out-reasonable Republicans into good or at least good faith behavior.[…]
Nothing good can come of the confrontation between good faith and bad faith engagement. In the future we may return to a civic space where a degree of good faith engagement can allow those of differing outlooks and ideologies to collaborate and compromise on consensus solutions. But we are not there now. We are not really there on the substance: we’re that divided. And we’re certainly not there on the good faith. Indeed, pursuing good faith engagement with bad faith actors only enables and fuels this corrosive, anti-civic behavior. The answer is for Democrats to use the political power they gain to make as much positive change as possible, using everything legitimate lever at their disposal. Getting sucked into Republican mind games is time wasting and destructive.
Marshal’s piece is behind the TPM paywall, but the article that he recommends at Vox is not.