Biden Won’t Embarrass Republican Lawmakers, but He Should.
If Biden wants to get anything done, the feelings of GOP lawmakers should be the least of his concerns.
It feels as though with each passing day, Joe Biden reminds the American people and leftists in particular that we should not be especially enthused about his ability to get much accomplished. After promising that nothing would fundamentally change and empty promises of “unity” to a divided nation without ever citing any specific plans for doing so, it should go without saying that there hasn’t been much to be excited about in regards to the President-Elect’s upcoming administration. While there have certainly been a multitude of red flags about what the American people have to look forward to — such as the considerations of people like Rahm Emanuel and Eric Garcetti for cabinet positions — among the most indicative of what the next four years will look like is Joe Biden’s continued attitude towards Republicans.
Rebecca Klar with The Hill reports:
“President-elect Joe Biden expressed optimism that he will be able to work with Republicans because of his years working alongside them, despite a sharply divided Congress.
“My leverage is, every senior Republican knows I’ve never once, ever, misled them,” Biden said on a telephone call Wednesday with several columnists, according to The New York Times. “I’ll never publicly embarrass them.”
Biden faces a Congress deeply divided along party lines. Many Republican lawmakers have sided with President Trump’s unproven claims of election fraud.”
At this point, it’s as laughable as it is infuriating.
64% of House Republicans — including the House Minority Leader — signed on to a brief in support of Texas’ lawsuit in an effort to overturn the results of the election. Mitch McConnell, arguably the most powerful Republican lawmaker aside from Donald Trump, did not even recognize Joe Biden’s victory until over a month after the election took place. And yet Biden, who served alongside Barack Obama and watched as Republicans became active barriers to quite literally every single thing that Democrats wanted to do, is still under the impression that they will welcome him with open arms. Our President-Elect has been in politics for decades, and yet somehow manages to be more incapable of reading a room and anticipating the actions of his opponents than arguably any other lawmaker currently in office.
Imagine, for a moment, if the shoe was on the other foot. Are any of us really under the impression that if it was Ted Cruz or Dan Crenshaw being sworn in, they would care in the slightest about “embarrassing” any Democratic lawmakers? If they were trying to get Republican bills through, would they waste even a second considering how they’re making Democrats look?
Of course, none of this is surprising. After all, Joe Biden has not given us any indication whatsoever that he planned on playing “hardball”. Of course Biden isn’t going to publicly embarrass Republicans, but he should.
As Walter Bragman observed in response to these reports on Twitter,
“…it’s probably worth noting that any meaningful solution to the climate crisis and historic inequality we’re facing will embarrass the GOP.”
While virtually none of his actions have suggested he is equipped to do so, I do believe that Biden is in fact genuinely concerned with his legacy, and wants to be credited with helping the nation to recover and heal during these unprecedented times. But in order to effectively do so, he is going to have to embarrass his opposition. Adequate, meaningful climate policy is going to embarrass a political party that thinks the notion of climate catastrophe is a hoax. Reforms to our grossly unjust healthcare system are going to require embarrassing lawmakers who have spent the past ten years or more trying to ensure that healthcare companies are able to deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Ensuring that the American people get the support they need as they continue to struggle to find work in the midst of a pandemic is going to be an embarrassment to those who didn’t even want to cut them a measly $600 check after months of no relief.
All that said, I also can’t help finding it interesting that Joe Biden is insistent upon treating Republicans with the utmost respect and promises no embarrassment, and yet he had no problem chastising civil rights leaders, or referring to a young woman on the campaign trail as a “lying, dog faced pony soldier”. McConnell however, a man who stole a supreme court seat from him and will inevitably block every single thing he might want to get done, must be treated with civility?
I’m not sure how many more times Joe Biden will remind us before he’s even sworn in that his administration is going to prioritize decorum above all else at the expense of the American people, but I’ve already grown tired of it.