The only epiphany they had is that they are Trump and Trump is them. Today conservative Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was on Face the Nation and he noted that his party, "right now, it's basically the Titanic. We're in the middle of this slow sink, we have a band playing on the deck telling everybody it's fine. And meanwhile Trump's running around trying to find women's clothing and get on the first lifeboat." It's not a popular view in the GOP. A popular view in the GOP is that Trump is their God and that they will worship him.
Meanwhile, Biden is still craving the epiphany he imagined-- even if it is never going to happen and is pointless anyway. As Bernie mentioned on Axios on HBO this week "'The American people want results' and don't care if these results are achieved with bipartisan votes. 'when people got a, you know, $1,400 check or $5,600 check for their family, they didn't say, Oh, I can't cash this check because it was done without any Republican votes.'... Sanders believes the lesson of the Obama era-- in which the former president held out hope of getting Republicans to support the Affordable Care Act-- is that it's foolish to let Republicans slow-walk the Democratic agenda. 'Congress takes breaks and it's easy to obstruct,' Sanders said. 'The Senate is a very slow-moving process... I would begin, you know, starting this work immediately. If Republicans want to come on board, seriously, great. If not, we're going to do it alone.'"
A few days ago Matt Viser reminded Washington Post readers what the instinctively conservative Biden wanted. "Biden's political calling card for decades," he wrote, "has been that he is one Democrat who does understand the Republicans. That ostensible familiarity caused his campaign headaches during the primary campaign; other Democrats ridiculed Republicans but Biden went out of his way to call GOP leaders 'good and decent' (with Trump, he offered a qualifier: 'He’s probably a decent guy.'). Biden promoted the deals he’d cut with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He talked up his ability to understand the motives of the late senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), a figure loathed by many Democrats. His explicit campaign message was that Trump did not represent 'who we are' as a country-- and the implicit corollary was that Republicans’ behavior under Trump did not reflect who they are."
Biden now faces a basic question: What if he was wrong about the Republican Party? What if it has, in fact, changed in more fundamental ways than he contemplated? And if it has, what does that mean for his presidency?
Biden has watched as post-Trump Republicans, far from reverting to their previous identity, have instead embraced the ex-president with increased fervor. Republican leaders are punishing those who reject the falsehood that Trump won the election; journeying regularly to his home at Mar-a-Lago; and preparing to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (WY), the third-ranking House Republican, for declining to say that Trump won.
Republicans say it is Biden who is refusing to act in a bipartisan manner, accusing him of hypocrisy after a campaign that promised conciliation. “Three months in, the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart,” Sen. Tim Scott (SC) said in the GOP response to Biden’s recent speech to Congress.
As the disconnect has persisted, Biden’s predictions have grown more dire.
“I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party. Do you?” Biden responded a few weeks ago when asked whether, if he ran in 2024, it would be against Trump.
His rhetoric now has almost a “bless their hearts” tone, professing to speak more in sorrow than anger. He claims to not quite understand a party that restricts voting or challenges science, one that won’t rid itself of Trump or stand by Cheney. (Biden once called Cheney’s father, Richard Cheney, who preceded him as vice president, “a decent man,” earning the wrath of fellow Democrats.)
The president said this week that while his own party has engaged in plenty of internal fights, it doesn’t compare to the Republican warfare: “I don’t ever remember any like this.”
The current GOP is certainly not the party that Biden used to know, the party of Ronald Reagan, of George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush. It’s not the party that nominated John McCain and Mitt Romney for president.
And it isn't just the elected officials-- it's the people who elected them. Republican and Trumpist voters... and that makes the problem for the nation a great deal harder to solve than just a bunch of unscrupulous career politicians like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Rand Paul, Kevin McCarthy and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Biden probably could deal with that lot, if it was just that lot. But it isn't. Their voters are more irrational, brainwashed by years and years of Fox News and Hate Talk Radio. Whoever allowed foreign-owned Fox in, is the real cause of the ruination of the country's politics. Remember who that was? Hint: total scumbag (not a Republican one though).
Biden’s history of predicting that Republicans will come around-- after the next election, the next soul-searching, the next reality check-- is a long one.
“I think you’re going to see the fever break,” he predicted on MSNBC on Nov. 4, 2012, shortly before then-President Barack Obama’s reelection.
“There’s a dozen Republican senators, and I think I can name you two-and-a-half, three dozen Republican House members who, once this election is over, they kind of get a get-out-of-jail free card,” Biden added. “They’re going to start saying, ‘Hey, man, I no longer have an obligation to stick with the right of my party.’ ”
That, most would agree, did not happen.
Two years later, in 2014, Biden predicted that Democrats would keep the Senate majority (which they did not) and things would change. “What’s going to happen is, it’s going to break the back of the hard right and you’re going to see reasonable people in the Republican Party start to vote reasonably again,” he forecast.
That shift, too, didn’t happen.
And the current lack of a Republican epiphany?
“Well, I’ve only been here six weeks, pal, okay? Give me a break,” Biden said with a laugh when asked about it last month by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Biden then amended his prediction, saying the epiphany would occur sometime “between now and 2022.”
Biden’s optimism is all the more striking since Republicans have rarely given him an opening, perhaps most especially not now.
“One-hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration,” McConnell said on Wednesday, adding that Biden and the Democrats want “to turn America into a socialist country, and that’s 100 percent of my focus.”
That was reminiscent of McConnell’s comment in 2010 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”
Such statements have not deterred Biden.
“Look, he said that in our last administration with Barack-- he was going to stop everything,” Biden said on Wednesday. “And I was able to get a lot done with him.”
What Biden left unmentioned was how many things McConnell helped block, including gun control in 2013 and a Supreme Court nomination in 2016.
But a new tone of doubt has crept into Biden’s assertions about the Republicans’ path.
“It seems as though the Republican Party is trying to identify what it stands for,” he said on Wednesday. “And they’re in the midst of a significant, sort of, mini-revolution going on in the Republican Party.”
He added: “We badly need a Republican Party. We need a two-party system. It’s not healthy to have a one-party system. And I think the Republicans are further away from trying to figure out who they are and what they stand for than I thought they would be at this point.”
We don't need a Republican Party any more than we need a Nazi Party, which the GOP is rapidly morphing into. The Democratic Party is essentially the Republican Party of Biden's youth. If there was no GOP, progressives would feel enabled to leave the Democrats and form a left-of-center party; that's what America desperately needs... not a right-of-center party and a far-right-of-center party.