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Trump Republicans attack democracy as Biden gets to work

The contrasting approaches between the White House and the GOP sums up the risky gamble each has taken on what is beginning to look like a tumultuous and potentially decisive turning point in political history at the start of the 21st century.

In the country’s relentless march through the next biennial election cycle, each party is now making choices that will provide the foundation for their strategies in the 2022 and 2024 elections in which Trumpism and Bidenism will once again be on the ballot in some form. or another.

But he chose a traditional context, an aging bridge, to advocate for higher taxes on businesses and wealthier Americans to fund vital projects – a centerpiece of his plan. He also offered some flexibility on the scale of a corporate rate hike – as he tries to involve GOP senators – hinting he could settle for a 25% cap instead. of its initial 28% offer.

“I’m not ready to have another period where America will have another month of infrastructure, and not change a thing at all,” Biden said on a highway bridge that carries I-10 to Lake Charles.

“The truth is, across the country we have failed – we have not invested properly in infrastructure for half a century.”

Biden also spent the week working on the main task of his presidency – ending the pandemic and fixing the economy. He announced a new target to convince suspicious Americans to get vaccinated. He made the decision to support the waiver of patents on Covid-19 vaccines, which has had repercussions around the world and could help save millions of lives in the poorest countries. Biden also highlighted a restaurant bailout that is typical of his approach – in that he uses a gusher of government money to protect a vital economic sector.

The plan is an apt symbol of a presidency rooted in problem-solving that makes the bet that after a deadly pandemic Americans have arrived at one of the recurring points in history when they are ready to endorse the widespread use of government power to facilitate economic deprivation.

The strategy forces Biden to open a narrow lane through tiny Democratic majorities in the House and Senate – which is not guaranteed. And if he misjudged the mood of the public, he could risk a public backlash that could benefit Republicans next year.

Republicans obsessed with personality cult loyalty tests

Ironically, one of the Republicans who has committed one of the most targeted attacks on Biden’s big government approach is Representative Liz Cheney. But the Wyoming lawmaker, who is the No. 3 Republican in the House, may no longer have a leadership platform to make those arguments. She is on the verge of being overthrown as conference chair simply because she’s repeatedly telling the truth about the former president’s lies about electoral fraud, points out that he provoked a insurgency intended to overthrow Biden’s victory and pierce his cult of personality.
The fact that her likely replacement, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who has become a fiercely pro-Trump lawmaker and promotes her lies, is far less conservative than Cheney, offers a telling picture of the priorities of the modern GOP.
Seeking to allay fiscal conservative concerns about his record, Stefanik literally played the Trump card on him, emphasizing the former president’s aura power in his party. “My vision is to run with the support of the (ex) president and his coalition of voters,” Stefanik said on Steve Bannon’s radio show Thursday. Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of a small group of Republican House members keen to stand by Cheney’s side in opposing Trump, refuted Stefanik’s claims that she was a unifying figure .
“I’m just going to go ahead and say it’s not a unit. It’s surrender to a madman,” Kinzinger tweeted.

The full adoption of Trump by House Republicans represents a scale counterpart to the President’s belief that Americans want a multibillion-dollar corporate overhaul designed to make the economy fairer for working class Americans.

Given Trump’s popularity among grassroots GOP voters and their willingness to accept the false reality he created in last year’s election, the House Minority Leader strategy, Kevin McCarthy, could work, as he seeks to wrest control of the House next year in the midterm elections which could be decided by the party that manages to excite its grassroots voters.

Still, Trump’s appeal is limited – he never achieved a 50% approval rating as president in the Gallup poll. He alienated crucial suburban voters and led House Republicans to win in the 2018 midterm election and lost the White House in 2020 and two subsequent ballots in the Senate. It is far from clear that devotion to the disgraced former president is a viable path for Republicans if Biden succeeds in his presidency and the economy does well as voters vote in 2022 and 2024.

McConnell launches his own maneuvers

On the Capitol Senate side, meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared to signal a characteristic obstructionist policy when he said this week that 100% of his goal was to stop the current administration. The Kentucky Republican’s comments raised the question of whether a GOP counter-proposal to Biden on infrastructure and the ongoing negotiations with the White House is nothing more than a political posture.

McConnell’s attitude was reminiscent of a similar stance he had taken against the presidency of former President Barack Obama. It may also reflect the view of Biden – a longtime training partner – on the gravity of the current political moment. While Republicans in the House are already positioning themselves almost exclusively for the midterm, McConnell, with his chamber’s institutional capacity to serve as a roadblock, is also focusing on short-term efforts to thwart Biden’s transformational aspirations.

But McConnell may also have offered the president an opening to say that Republicans in Washington have rejected his compromise offer on key issues such as infrastructure and his plans to target American jobs and families.

His remarks also immediately drew attention to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who is a bulwark against the power of progressives in the party and who wants a compromise with minority Republicans on the big points of the Biden’s agenda.

Manchin told CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” Wednesday night that he didn’t know what McConnell’s reasoning was, but insisted “there are Republicans working with Democrats who want to shake things up. things”.

Relying on the lies of Trump’s election fraud

Outside of Washington, Republican state lawmakers have continued to rely on the former president’s lies about voter fraud to make it harder for Americans to vote. In Arizona, Republicans in the state Senate continued their efforts with a false partisan recount of general election votes in Maricopa County after Biden’s victory was repeatedly verified by courts and election officials.

The State House of Texas, meanwhile, debated a Republican bill that would limit extended early voting hours, give partisan observers more authority and make it more difficult to vote in urban areas where voters live. democrats.

And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enacted the Sunshine State’s new restrictive voting measures. If the aim had been to build public confidence in the electoral system, he could have organized a public event. But exposing the partisanship behind the move, he signed it into the “Fox and Friends” law in a stunt that excluded reporters other than those from one of Trump’s favorite spokesperson networks.

The fact that DeSantis is so willing to use the electoral system – the heart of American political freedoms – as a prop to advance his own political career shows why some pundits believe he has the courage to serve as Trump’s heir – a figure whose power still hangs over Washington despite his departure for Florida more than three months ago.


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