Contrary to E.J. Dionne's indefatigable faith in humankind's common senses and sensibilities, managerial types from Michael Corleone to Abraham Lincoln have shared the Chuck Colsonesque wisdom that indeed trusts in others to do the right thing, but first it never hurts to either grab them by the balls or, if necessary, cut them off at the knees, so that other body parts will follow.
"I don't care what Sollozzo says about a deal, he's gonna kill Pop, that's it, that's the key for him," said the deal-suspicious young Michael. And he wasn't dead wrong. On the rather more sublime side, Spielberg's "Lincoln" similarly portrays a chief executive who was more than willing to negotiate with the incorrigible South--after he had thoroughly crushed and constitutionally boxed it in.
Lesson in executive management: never trust the word of a desperate foe.
As does, it seems, Dionne:
Because so many Republicans felt compelled to renounce Romney’s ["gift"] alibi, they had to break with the talk-show far right that actually sees the election just this way.... The GOP thus moved toward a political language more like Obama’s own.
"Moved" ... or feigned?
I don't care what Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie say about a new GOP, they're out to kill positive government, that's it, that's the key for them. It's their existential justification, their only political reason for being. The firebreathers--the talk-show gangsters and far-right rebels--will maintain their nihilistic, ideological authority over the hayseed rabble who will, in turn, tame any wild notions of Reason being voiced by a few desperate pols.
That was no "break," E.J. That was a dyspeptic belch.