I won’t hazard a guess as to who will win the 2024 presidential election. At this point I won’t even predict who the GOP candidate will be. Even in the case of the Democrats I only have it down to two. Thus far this century America has swung from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Donald Trump and then to Joe Biden. The only thing that pattern tells me is that the electorate better perceive you as effective if you expect to keep your party/political philosophy in the Oval Office or majority.
I have to admit I just scanned the articles but Sunday’s papers told the tale of a group of Republican Senators who supposedly are trying to break the gridlock over passage of a relief package by proposing a much smaller deal than the administration. I didn’t studiously read the articles because they weren’t worth my time; I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends. Fortunately so has President Biden and his view was much more up close and personal.
This reminds me of the run-up to Obamacare. During that Obama allowed Senator Max Baucus to try to placate Republicans in an effort to get bipartisan support for the bill. The net result was the bill was significantly amended (read: weakened) and in the final analysis not a single Republican voted for it. (The preceding is an oversimplification but it pretty much hits the bottom line.)
It appears this group of ten that seeks a meeting with Biden is basically proposing a much smaller package – the Republicans suddenly have “fiscal conservatism religion” again now that Trump is out of office. In reality what they are saying is that if Biden removes all the things from his proposal that they don’t like they might support it.
That is similar to having me work on approving a menu. You suggest pizza, sauerkraut and ice cream. (I know that is a weird menu.) As it happens I don’t like pizza (yes, I’m weird) nor do I like sauerkraut. (Considering my ethnicity that is highly unusual.) However I do like most flavors of ice cream. So I propose that you eliminate the pizza and sauerkraut if you want my support. You change the menu to cake and ice cream and I vote against it anyway.
Now most Americans like pizza and when you exclude that from the menu it will be much less appealing to the masses. It is also less filling.
It may necessitate reconciliation or eliminating the filibuster to get a large relief package passed but that is the only thing that has a chance of solving the problem. The electorate perceives Joe Biden and the Democrats as being completely in charge and if they don’t clean up Trump’s mess (who incidentally spent the American taxpayers’ money like a drunken sailor on leave) the voters will hold them accountable in 2022 and 2024.
Mr. President, I suggest you give the ten their audience but stand your ground unless they have something worth incorporating. If you go big you have a decent chance of being successful; if you don’t the voters will send Democrats home in 2022 and 2024. You still have leverage over the Republicans with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer controlling the House and Senate agendas. Make the Republicans vote against sending money to their constituents in need. Voters have relatively short memories but they will remember who refused to give them money when they needed it and I’m sure their Democratic opponents will remind them just in case.
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