GOP Not So Sure President Biden Has Mandate To Exist As A Democrat
President Joe Biden is set to launch several years worth of Infrastructure Weeks, and Republicans will predictably oppose his efforts like the cartoon supervillains they are. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell complained that Biden's running a "bold, left-wing administration." Old Uncle Joe's so confused he thinks he's the president.
"I don't think the American people gave them a mandate to drive the country to the political left."
Biden defeated President Klan Robe last year with the most votes in recorded history. We checked the Constitution, and this means Biden can govern like a Democrat who exists on the political left. McConnell never thinks Democratic presidents have mandates to do anything. Barack Obama enjoyed blowout victories in 2008 and 2012, and McConnell still filibustered his bathroom breaks.
Senator Mitt Romney also lectured Biden on bipartisanship, which Republicans usually define as doing whatever they want.
A Senate evenly split between both parties and a bare Democratic House majority are hardly a mandate to "go it alone." The President should live up to the bipartisanship he preached in his inaugural address.
Republicans enjoy throwing Biden's attempts at “unity" in his face, but they ignore that his policies enjoy bipartisan support. A Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 54 percent of Americans support infrastructure improvements with tax increases on corporations and struggling families making more than $400,000. Republicans cater to the extremist fringe of their base and claim that's representative of more than half the country. This was the same story when Republicans opposed Obama and now Biden on sensible gun laws, which most Americans support.
This is obviously different from how Republicans govern when they control the White House and Congress. The twice-impeached thug lost the popular vote in 2016, but he didn't moderate his policy positions. He still brought Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller to the White House. His first attorney general was Jeff Sessions. Most of his Cabinet was confirmed on party-line votes because they were either outside the mainstream or just incompetent, by which we mean Betsy DeVos.
During the previous administration, Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with their garbage "plan" that only 31 percent of Americans liked. That fortunately failed, but they would later pass a tax scam bill from Paul Ryan's erotic dreams. It blew up the economy and didn't build a single road. The $1.9 trillion giveaway for billionaires was never popular, because most Americans received autographed photos of Ayn Rand instead of significant tax relief.
McConnell packed the courts with rightwing hack judges from the Federalist Society catalog. Most were confirmed on party-line votes. You'll recall that Romney believed a bare Senate majority was the only mandate necessary for Amy Coney Barrett's quickie confirmation just days before the presidential election.
Romney claimed America is a "center-right nation," which isn't true. Center-right presidential candidates (Romney included) have won the popular vote exactly once after 1988. After George W. Bush won re-election with 50.7 percent of the vote and just 286 electoral votes, he claimed a mandate for his rightwing agenda.
"I earned capital in this campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it," Bush told reporters. "It is my style."
Bush made partial privatization of Social Security his top domestic agenda of his second term. (Nancy Pelosi saved our asses on that score.) He nominated John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, and no one lectured him about choosing moderates.
Romney argued behind closed doors in 2012 Democrats had a lock on 47 percent of voters who he considered shiftless. He needed to win over the five percent or so of independents who might get him to a bare majority. However, his objective was a clear, conservative victory. He wasn't interested in the concerns of voters who didn't support him.
ROMNEY: And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them to take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Biden has a mandate from actual voters. His progressive policies are popular, and it actually isn't his job to convince elected Republicans to take personal responsibility and care for the lives of other people. They can all go climb their thumbs.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."