Tony Kendall

In addition to unity, another word that causes veins in my neck to pop out when I hear Congressional Republicans and their supporters use, it is bipartisanship.

It’s a word that was foreign to them when they controlled all three branches of the government and wanted to confirm unqualified, conservative judges; cut taxes for the 1%; and pass legislation to placate and pander to their base or suck up to then-President Donald Trump.

But now that they are the minority party in representation, as well as seats in Congress, it’s become their go-to word when they whine about Democrats not seeking their input in shaping legislation.

And I hope it stays that way. As current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been so fond of grinning and saying the last four years, elections have consequences.

For the next two years, at least, and hopefully more, Republicans’ opinions don’t and won’t matter that much.  

Among the issues I had with candidate Joe Biden was the way he was constantly mentioning how as a senator and vice president, one of his strengths was his relationships with some Republicans and his ability and willingness to reach across the aisle and do things in a bipartisan way.

I hope someone in his administration (a hype person) keeps whispering in his ear that those days are long gone.

The people who call themselves Republicans today are mere shells of the ones he was knew and worked with back in the day, including people he once considered friends, like the spineless wonder Lindsey Graham and “Senator No” Mitch McConnell.

The other thing I hope that hype person reiterates repeatedly to Biden are the times during the President Barack Obama years when he and Barack tried reaching out to Republicans, only to draw back a nub of a bipartisan deal or piece of legislation.

Here’s what I hope that person says, “Mr. President don’t you remember what happened to Obama’s Economic Recovery Act?

“It was supposed to be a $2 trillion effort to kick start the economy after the collapse of 2008, and Obama told us to do everything possible to reach out to Republicans, listen to their problems with the bill and come to some sort of bipartisan agreement.

“By the time we stopped reaching out, the piece of bipartisan legislation that become law was less than $800 billion.

“Not one Republican House member voted for the bill and only three senators—  Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — did.

“Remember that, Mr. President?”

Most economists now agree that the slow economic recovery that happened during the preceding years was due to compromising with those three Republicans and passing a watered-down version of the original bill.

Then there was the healthcare fiasco. In another attempt at bipartisanship, Obama made up his mind that the only way to pass healthcare and change the hearts and minds of doubters was to have as many Republicans on board as possible.

Even though the plan that Obama put forth was one based on concepts that came from the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, as a response to the Clinton healthcare efforts from the 1990s, Senate Republicans feigned and deigned for more than a year, added amendments, told Obama what they needed for the bill to have and, when it came down to a vote, they said they couldn’t do it and didn’t vote for it.

According to health scholars, had anything close to the original mock-up of Obamacare been passed without the changes added by Republicans, even during this current economic and medical crisis we are going through, 20 million more Americans would have healthcare not tied to their jobs.

The third attempt at bipartisanship the hype person should mention is immigration legislation. Obama once again tried to give Republicans a bone that they had been chewing on for years.

His plans for immigration reform mirrored the one that Ronald Reagan’s White House came up with towards the end of his second term.

The House managed to pass a bill, but once it got to the Senate, McConnell, despite promising that with some reworking of a few details that Republicans just couldn’t back, changed his mind and allowed it to die in committee.

As the old proverb goes, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me — and fool me thrice, you must be a biracial president who believes that the white people in the former Republican Party are just like the white people who raised you.

Here’s the other reason I say the h--- with bipartisanship. To the victors go the spoils, and Democrats are the spoilers.

While you should treat the defeated with compassion and understanding that for the grace of intelligence voters of good will go you, it makes no political sense for the majority to cater in any way to a whiny minority as the members of the Trump political wing formerly known as the Republican Party are.

Here are the facts: The former Republican Party has lost the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections. It took the U.S. Supreme Court and the Electoral College for them to win the White House as often as they did.

According to a Gallup poll taken in December, only 25 percent of Americans said they were Republicans, while 31 percent said they were Democrats. Forty one percent said they were independent.

Despite a 50/50 split in the Senate and a slight disadvantage in the House, 222 to 212, in reality, Republicans represent only 41 percent of the people in the country.

According to the most recent nationwide polling data, overall, more people vote for Democrats than Republican candidates.

Extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression keep Republicans in most places in power, not actual voters.

All that red that you see on maps during a presidential election period doesn’t represent the number of people in a particular state; it represents the amount of land in that state.

Most people in this country live on the East and West coasts and in large urban and suburban areas and tend to vote for Democrats.

Texas, for the time being, is the only exception.

From the Bottom where I see things, Biden and Democrats shouldn’t give Republicans anything more than the time of day politically, if that.

McConnell and the gang know what time it is, and Uncle Joe had better remember.

 

Hi, Momma Lois.

 

TONY KENDALL of Hazel is a writer, teacher, actor, playwright and sports fanatic. He can be reached by email at bottomwriter@yahoo.com.

Load comments