Although I will vote for whomever the Democratic candidate is in 2020, if it’s Joe Biden I will have to hold my nose, hope for the best, and make sure my relationship with the Canadian side of the family is solid.
“With Trump gone, you’re going to begin to see things change,” Biden assured. “Because these folks know better. They know this isn’t what they’re supposed to be doing.”
That quote alone will cause many Democratic activists to begin throwing things. But then there’s what he said next. To drive home his argument that Republicans would work with him as president, he pointed to none other than… Merrick Garland.
Via the pool report:
Biden backed up the claim by recalling when he called 12 of his former Republican colleagues after Merrick Garland’s SCOTUS nomination was blocked by McConnell and they all expressed external concerns, he said.
Biden will continue to argue Tuesday that congressional Republicans are aware they are engaged in something that’s wrong. He’s set to echo the “know better” during a speech in Iowa bashing Trump. “He is deliberately and completely ignoring the legitimate authority of the Congress,” Biden will say, according to prepared remarks, “and he’s doing it with the full complicity of the Republicans in Congress, who know better.”
This is taking wishful thinking to pathological extremes. And it’s not just Merrick Garland: Biden seems to be glossing over (or perhaps forgetting) the entire eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Reporter Aaron Blake gives us a a synopsis.
The Garland stonewall was merely the icing on the obstruction cake for Republicans during the Obama administration. For the lion’s share of eight years — all of which Biden had a front-row seat for as the man presiding over the Senate — they blocked pretty much everything Obama put forward. The result was they turned a brief 60-seat, filibuster-proof Democratic majority into an eight-seat Republican majority, and then they won the presidency.
I’ll offer some specifics. When Obama took office, the economy was collapsing around us. He deliberately shrunk the economic stimulus to get the GOP on board. In the end not a single House Republican voted for it, and it took more than five hours of debate and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown flying in from his mother’s wake to get it through the Senate. But the GOP, says Biden, will work with a Democratic president.
Obama’s healthcare reforms were cribbed from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney. Obama weakened his own reforms to attract Republican votes. How’d that work out? Not a single Senate or House Republican voted for the bill. But the GOP, Joe Biden says, will work with a Democratic president after Trump, “because they know better.”
Politico has more.
[T]hey also filibustered and voted in lockstep against previously uncontroversial Obama priorities, like extended unemployment benefits, expanded infrastructure spending and small-business tax cuts. Senate Republicans even turned routine judicial nominations into legislative ordeals, filibustering 20 of his district court judges—17 more than had been filibustered under all of his predecessors.
Frankly, we are damned lucky in some ways that the GOP was so obstinate, because Obama was willing to cut our Social Security to get the Republicans to cooperate with him. The GOP said no, because they hated him THAT much. But Joe Biden says the GOP will work with a Democratic president, because “they know better.”
This says nothing of previous instances of Republicans doing awful things when “they know better” for politics’ sake. Terri Schiavo. The Iraq War. The southern strategy. Voter suppression.
What the GOP knows is that obstruction works, voting in lockstep works, and a single-minded obsession with their goals works. Joe Biden should know better.
What Joe Biden should also know is that Republican goals are fundamentally different than Democratic goals. So maybe “they know better” than to tear the country apart, but that is clearly not important to them. What is important to them -and what should be important to Democrats- is winning, then passing your policies using any and all means at your disposal, and damn the opposition. It’s not 1998 anymore. It’s not 1988 or 1978 either. Ronnie and Tip ain’t sippin’ cocktails after a hard day of sparring.
Joe Biden knows better than this, and he is insulting the intelligence of all Democrats regardless of age when he promises he can work with Republicans. Maybe he can work with them — but the GOP has shown it will not work with him.