By Tim Graham ~
Remember when media elitists like Joe Scarborough mocked George W. Bush as an idiot because he was incurious? What would “Morning Joe” say about New York Times columnist Frank Bruni? The former White House correspondent in the Bush years wrote a column for Wednesday called “Trumping on Eggshells,” explaining how he just cannot have discussions with people who may be voting for Trump.
I have many relatives who loyally vote Republican, regardless of their excitement about the particular nominee. There’s a definite chance that some of them back Trump. So I steer clear of talk about this election, though we’ve spoken plenty—and placidly—about every other election.
One of these relatives routinely pushes back at any Trump-negative columns I write, and I’ve convinced myself that he’s just baiting me and playing devil’s advocate. I’ve never said to him, point blank, “Are you actually voting for Trump?” And I won’t. It’s my goal to get to and through Election Day without learning the truth.
James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal mocked Bruni’s pose: “If you’re a journalist whose goal is not to learn the truth, perhaps you’ve chosen the wrong line of work.”
Like many political pros, Bruni is skipping these conversations because Trump backers are impossible to persuade. (As if people at the Times could be talking into backing a Bush, let along a Cruz?) Not all of the arguments he’s heard are from hard-core Trumpkins: he allows that some argue Trump often doesn’t really believe what he’s saying, or won’t act on it.
But another gauge of this freaky interlude is the number of us who are steadfastly avoiding conversations we’d normally have. We pride ourselves on not letting political arguments disrupt personal relationships. We have friends across the ideological spectrum. We esteem leaders from both parties. We value a healthy give-and-take.
But we can’t fit Trump into that. He’s a disagreement too far, an enthusiasm too bizarre. So we’re treading lightly and maneuvering around him. We’re Trumping on eggshells….
With Clinton, they say, we get the status quo. With Trump we get disruption.
Possibly. But disruption cuts many different ways. And Trump’s particular disruption could leave us in shreds.
Inside the Times, they think Hillary Clinton continuing the Obama status quo is a glorious state of affairs. Their preference for this is why they are also tiptoeing on eggshells around Mrs. Clinton’s atrocious levels of dishonesty.