Will McConnell’s zeal for opposition and obstruction interfere with his goal of reclaiming the majority in the Senate? Republicans have become so invested in courting right-wing media and refusing to allow President Biden a “win” that they no longer seem capable of discerning what is in their own political interest.
It happened with the American Rescue Plan. Republicans in Congress unanimously rejected an overwhelmingly popular bill and now try to tout the results, such as the restaurant revitalization fund. (As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi humorously put it, “Vote no, take the dough.”) Biden on Wednesday noted that, since Monday, more than 186,000 restaurants have applied for aid. Good policy, good politics. And Republicans opposed it.
Republicans’ obsession with obstruction is so great that they seem poised to repeat their face plant with Biden’s American Families Plan. The proposal, Morning Consult reports, is “overwhelmingly popular with Democrats at 86 percent support, while 54 percent of independent voters back the plan. A good portion of independents (19 percent) don’t know or have no opinion.” That works out to an overall approval rating of 58 percent and disapproval rating of 30 percent.
Republicans have not swayed the public with their “But it’s socialism!” argument. “One provision — ensuring that low- and middle-income families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care — garnered support from 64 percent of voters, followed closely by free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds at 63 percent,” the pollsters found. “Even the least popular measure listed — two years of subsidized tuition for low- and middle-income students at historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions — garnered support from 56 percent of voters.”
Once more, Republican lawmakers seem out of step with a great number of their own voters. Among Republicans, 45 percent back capping child care at 7 percent of family income, 34 percent favor free community college and 42 percent like universal free preschool. It looks like “socialism” is rather popular once we get down to specifics. There have been very few instances over the last decade or so when so many Americans have shown their support for major economic legislation. That is powerful evidence the problem is not Biden; it is a self-destructive party that no longer cares about policy at all, just obsequiousness to the MAGA cult leader and right-wing media.
The mainstream media, I have no doubt, will lambaste Biden for lacking bipartisan support when he cannot make a deal with the party that has already declared itself “100 percent" focused on stopping his administration. It is remarkable Republicans are rarely grilled for admitting they are unwilling to cut any deal with Biden.
As the GOP initiates an inquisition to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for refusing to lie about a violent insurrection, the media would do well to consider the appropriate test of “bipartisanship.” They should not allow unprincipled MAGA sycophants to set the standard.