Politics Magazine

President Biden Abandons Bipartisanship - Attacks GOP

Posted on the 11 January 2022 by Jobsanger
President Biden Abandons Bipartisanship - Attacks GOP 

President Biden has finally realized that bipartisanship is impossible with this current crop of Republicans. That's a good thing. If anything is going to get done, it will have to be done by Democrats alone.

The following is part of an op-ed by Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post:

President Biden spent a year trying to extend olive branches to Republicans, refusing to call out their lies about covid-19 and the 2020 election and pursuing deals with a group of Republicans on his agenda. He got a bipartisan infrastructure bill and not much else.

With the only conceivable bipartisan win already in his pocket, Biden has shifted to a feistier, more confrontational tone with Republicans. It’s about time.

In remarks about the December jobs numbers on Friday, Biden made clearthat whatever economic progress has been made came over the objections of Republicans. He took credit for robust job creation and rising wages, arguing, “How did that happen? Well, the American Rescue Plan got the economy off its back and moving again, back on its feet, getting over 20 — 200 million Americans fully vaccinated; got people out of their homes and back to work, even in the face of wave after wave of covid.”. . .

He also returned to a theme that has consistently helped Democrats win elections: Republicans are for the fat cats; Democrats are helping the little guy. “For too long, Republicans have thrown around terms like ‘pro-growth’ and ‘supply-side economics’ to drive an economic agenda that didn’t deliver enough growth and supplied more wealth to those who were already — were very well off.” Biden repeated a line he used to great effect during the campaign: “I’m determined to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out because, when we do, we get more growth, higher wages, more jobs and, over time, lower prices.”

Coming on the heels of his fiery Jan. 6 speech, Biden’s criticism of the GOP is noteworthy. A few things are going on here.

First, with all the legislative sausage-making and fights with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), Biden and fellow Democrats have allowed Republicans’ obstructionism and plutocratic economics to go unchallenged. Shifting focus from the stalled, ungainly and poorly understood Build Back Better bill to an economic recovery that Democrats jump-started through the American Rescue Plan without the help of Republicans is long overdue. Talking about a success rather than an incomplete legislative effort makes perfect political sense.

Second, even if Build Back Better does not get through — or is dramatically downsized — Biden will want to run on his party’s economic record. Democrats need to take credit for job and wage gains if they are going to convince voters not to turn Congress over to the GOP. Especially because Republicans opposed any tax hikes for big corporations or the super-rich, Biden can help Democrats recapture their favorite populist message. (Once upon a time, “live like a Republican, vote Democratic” summed up Democrats’ success in delivering for working- and middle-class voters.)

Third, inflation is largely within the purview of the Federal Reserve, although Biden continues to work on untangling supply chains and cracking down on monopolistic pricing. His ability to influence inflation is minimal, but what is within his control is the ability to remind voters that Republicans oppose things that would reduce health-care, child-care and prescription drug costs. He should stress to Americans that he has held down health-care insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have tried to destroy.

Biden’s legislative slog has largely obscured his impressive economic results. His fight with Manchin has convinced many voters that the Democratic camp is the problem, not the Republicans who insist on protecting big corporations and the very wealthy from paying taxes. If Democrats are going to survive the 2022 midterms, they will do so because the economic and covid crises have receded, and because voters understand that Republicans have never been on their side.

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