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The Conservative Vision Of Bipartisanship To Force Progressives To Surrender To Their Ideology

Who doesn't want the Medicare eligibility age to come down? Only congressional Republicans and the super-rich

You may have seen the new polling from CBS News which shows how members of each political party tend to think of members of the opposing party. Most Democrats say that they tend to view Republicans as political opponents. Most Republicans say that they tend to view Democrats as enemies. How's that for divisiveness? Trump? Sure. But not just Trump. Another report from CBS explained how the Republican Party is targeting Democrats-- any Democrat, including conservatives-- in ads as Socialists!!! Do you think that adds to the divisiveness? Do Democrats target Republicans as "fascists" and "Nazis?" Most Republicans have more in common with fascism that garden variety Democrats have, alas, with socialism. Not even Mad Cawthorn, an actual North Carolina Nazi, gets called a Nazi.

And what is the NRCC based their Socialism charge on? Biden's COVID rescue package-- which is approved by 83% of Americans-- but being demonized by the congressional Republicans who are threatening to block it. If anything... a plurality of Americans wish it was more socialistic-- including 27% of Republicans!

Biden's approval numbers are higher than Trump's ever were-- 61-39%. Biden, wrote Jennifer Rubin for the Washington Post yesterday, "is not the barrier to bipartisanship. Republicans are." More Trumpists than Republicans but there seem to be fewer and few of the latter by the hour.

Bipartisanship-- even at the expense of good public policy-- has always been at the core of who Biden is. Do you hate Joe Manchin for being so far to the right and such a GOP patsy? That was Joe Biden for his decades-long Senate career. And now? Rubin asserts that it isn't through lack of trying on Biden's part but that it isn't possible to seriously consider even trying to work with the congressional Republicans in their current state. "Biden," she wrote, "has attracted considerable support among ordinary Republicans." Just look at that polling data. What it shows is that "congressional Republicans are wildly out of the mainstream of their own party. Only in Washington have Republicans who supported massive deficits under Biden’s predecessor now worry about debt-- in the middle of a deep recession with some 10 million people unemployed. Bipartisanship requires the other side to abandon extreme positions, especially if its own base does not support them. Why haven’t reporters asked Republican lawmakers why they are so out of touch with their own voters?"

She added that "the vast majority of Republicans (as evidenced by their hypocrisy on the national debt) do not act on the merits of issues. Self-proclaimed 'constitutional conservatives' (an oxymoron?) objected to impeaching a former president on Tuesday, but in doing so, they disregarded the text of the Constitution, the history of the impeachment clause and precedent in the Senate-- not to mention common sense, given that they were responsible for delaying the trial until after the ex-president left office. These are not people who act on their stated principles; their only principle is to ingratiate themselves with the most partisan donors and MAGA set. That makes dealmaking impossible."

Illinois conservative Republican Adam Kinzinger, watching the Senate trial proceedings yesterday, tweeted that "The prosecution is compelling. Donald Trump incited and directed the insurrection. He knew what he was doing. I cannot imagine how any Senator could vote against removal." Commenting on the trial for Commentary last night, conservative Republican John Podhoretz wrote that the evidence presented by the impeachment managers showed that Romney came within one minute of being, in all likelihood, being beaten to death my Trump's violent MAGA insurrectionists. "[T]hey would not have been there-- not a one of them, not on January 6, and not ever-- if Donald Trump had not wished it so. If he had not said the election was stolen, they would not have been there. If he had not invited his followers to Washington on the day the electoral college count was to be certified, they would not have been there. If he had not told them that the greatest political crime in American history was taking place down the Mall, they would not have been there. If he had not wanted them there as a threat of force against Republicans and especially his vice president, Mike Pence, they would not have been there... I understand Republicans in the Senate are not going to vote in sufficient numbers to convict Trump-- let’s say because their constituents do not want it, he poses a political danger to them, and, who knows, they might actually fear for their lives from the same kinds of people who were in the building on January 6. But how can they have watched the footage of Mitt Romney narrowly avoiding his own murder and not understanding that could have been any one of them? And how can they avoid the understanding that the mob was there because Trump summoned a crowd to Washington on that day? Are they just going to let… it… slide?"

Yes, that's exactly what all but 5 or 6 Republicans will vote to do. Is that bipartisan? Most Americans think Trump should be convicted. That's bipartisan. Back to Rubin's column, where she wrote that "In the context of the covid-19 crisis and economic recession, Republicans either do not process facts contrary to their partisan objectives-- just as they were during the first impeachment trial in the Senate-- or they simply do not care about a large swath of Americans. The New York Times reported: 'Employment for high-wage workers-- defined as people who work in jobs that typically pay more than $85,000 per year-- had risen slightly above its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2020. But employment for low-wage workers, those in jobs that generally pay less than $30,000, remained 14 percent lower and had begun to dip again.' To make matters worse, 'The disparities have split along demographic lines. … [Through] December, Hispanic workers, Black workers, younger people and those with a high school education or less had all lost jobs more heavily than their white, older and more-educated counterparts.' The Republican Party convinces itself that it is now a working-class party. If so, they are unusually indifferent to the suffering of that segment of the population. In sum, Biden cannot be expected to achieve bipartisan results with a party wildly out of touch with its own members, averse to operating in good faith and immune to persuasion on the merits. When a mainstream Republican Party shows up in Congress operating in good faith and on the basis of data and its own stated values, bipartisanship is possible. Now? No way."

Conservative Republican former congressman from Michigan

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