Media Frets Democrats’ Very Popular Anti-Coup Agenda Only *Mostly* Bipartisan
It's wonderful to read stories about “bipartisanship," because it means a Democrat's in the White House again. The “bipartisanship" appeals are especially plentiful, which means Democrats also control the House and Senate. After scoring the trifecta, Democrats must compromise with Republicans, who filibustered their bathroom breaks when in power just last year.
Of course, there's a difference between Republican voters and elected Republicans, whom wealthy donors pick out of a Sharper Image catalog. The media often treat the latter as representative of all Republicans, hence this Reuters tweet from Tuesday.
A divided Senate voted largely along party lines to move ahead with Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial on a ch… https://t.co/QX6a8gVb4z— Reuters (@Reuters)1612920000.0
The tweet downplays, by which we mean does not acknowledge at all, that six Republicans out of 50 voted to move ahead with the one-term loser's second annual impeachment trial. That's not really "largely along party lines," when it's the most bipartisan an impeachment vote has ever been. Those voting to proceed included Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, a significant defection. However, even if the Senate is “divided" on impeachment, Americans aren't.
Early this week, ABC News claimed that only a “narrow majority" supported the Senate convicting the insurrectionist in chief and barring him from holding future office. Let's look at what ABC News considers a “narrow majority."
But in this latest poll, 56% of Americans say Trump should be convicted and barred from holding office again, and 43% say he should not be. The new poll was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel.
Yeah, a 13-point spread isn't a “narrow" majority. This is only slightly better than the fantasy, make-believe math the one-term loser used to declare that he won the last election “in a landslide."
Norm Eisen was counsel to the Democrats during the one-term loser's first impeachment, the parting gift for which is paper. Eisen told Politico that he's encouraged by how many Americans, regardless of ideology, support holding the previous White House occupant accountable for inciting a deadly insurrection against the US government.
"We just had 47 percent of Americans who agreed with us that Trump should be convicted at the beginning of the prior impeachment trial. This one, you start with 56-57 percent of Americans — 20 percent of Republicans."
The counter argument is that House and Senate Republicans would like to win their next primary so aren't going to alienate the 80 percent of coup-curious Republicans who oppose impeachment and conviction. Republicans govern according to their next primary, which isn't how Democrats operate. Democrats realize that American voters include people who disagree with them and try to seek consensus. Republicans just try to keep everyone else from voting. Democrats lose elections and reconsider their platform. Republicans lose elections and reconsider if Black neighborhoods really need polling places.
The one-term loser was never popular, because more than white people exist in America (it's not the 1990s NBC primetime lineup), and even if he were, Senate Republicans still swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. They should stand up to the crazy Marjorie Taylor Greenes in their attics.
If Senate Republicans fail to convict Donald Trump, it won't be because the facts were with him or his lawyers moun… https://t.co/ll5718aODf— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton)1612970822.0
Elected Republicans ignore all but their most deranged voters, while Democrats promote policies that a majority of Americans actually like. The media covers President Joe Biden's COVID-19 relief package as if he's “going it alone," and while Republicans might snub their nose at the final bill, they represent a vocal minority. According to a CBS News poll, eight out of 10 Americans want Congress to pass an economic relief package, and only one out of 10 believe the amount currently discussed is too generous. Four times as many Americans are concerned it's too small.
During the dark couple years when Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress, they tried (and fortunately failed) to repeal the Affordable Care Act and passed a $1.9 trillion economic relief package for billionaires. The only thing bipartisan about their agenda was American voters' opposition to it.
Democrats are behind the wheel for at least the next two years. They should go big without seeking approval from a political party that willingly includes Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley among its ranks. The media will just have to adjust to the new bipartisanship.
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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."