My patience with Republicans in the Senate has run out, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.
To set this up, recall that GOP members, including Senators Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, and Lisa Murkowski, have been rushing to get a “deal” done on an infrastructure bill. Those negotiations were blown up by Joe Biden multiple times, including the president admitting that he was not going to sign the supposed compromise unless he got everything else he wanted via budget reconciliation. As I noted at the time, that’s like giving someone your car with the promise they won’t take your house — only for them to insist they are going to take your house regardless.
In that scenario, you break off negotiations and tell the other side to go pound sand. After all, if they are going to screw you anyway, why give them the cover of a bipartisan bill to hide behind? At least make the Democrats own their inflation-causing boondoggle. Republicans didn’t do that, though. Instead, Mitt Romney and others said they trusted Biden, continuing negotiations.
As if to rub salt in the wound, Democrats then officially announced a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package last week. At that point, it became more than clear that they were bad-faith actors and any infrastructure deal would be pointless. Surely, Republicans would wake up and finally walk away, right?
The answer to that is, apparently, a resounding no. Instead, Republicans are rushing to prove they are absolute morons, pushing to complete the “compromise” bill before an arbitrary deadline set by Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Democrats, Republicans struggle to finish infrastructure proposal as key Senate deadline looms https://t.co/ugBTH1f44K
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 18, 2021
Honestly, I’m at a loss at this point. It was one thing for these GOP members to get suckered the first time around. But for them to get suckered no less than four times on this issue is a bit much. Why are Rob Portman and his colleagues trying to finish a deal, if the Democrats are quite literally telling them they won’t honor the deal and will get everything else they want in reconciliation in a few months?
This is political idiocy on a level rarely seen. It’s also the sort of malfeasance that will cost the GOP in 2022. Republican voters do not want to see GOP senators prove they have spines made of mush. Rather, they want to see smart opposition that puts up a fight against Democrat overreach. The worst thing that can happen here is for Republicans to hand Democrats bipartisan cover. You do not give your political opponents that kind of gift, when they are waving the knife around that they are promising to stab you in the back with.
Yet, that seems to be exactly what Portman and these other GOP senators are looking to do. Does that sound like something that’s going to motivate Republican voters next year? As I’ve written about before, if the GOP can’t be a legitimate opposition party under a president as radical as Joe Biden, then they have no reason to exist. You do not need to make $1+ trillion deals with the other side during an inflation crisis. You certainly don’t need to do so when the other side is promising to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package anyway.
I guess they call it the stupid party for a reason, though.