Even though President Joe Biden has a high approval rating, and the Democrats control both the House and Senate, and the Republicans clearly have no interest in working with him on anything, Biden still has to continue offering bipartisan solutions. Otherwise, Republicans may be able to convince voters in the middle that Biden is overreaching.
It’s why, while the COVID relief package was being put together, Biden had to spend the entire time publicly reaching out to Senate Republicans and offering them the opportunity to compromise. It’s just part of the game that has to be played.
But on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made the curious move of simply announcing that there will be no Senate Republican votes for Biden’s infrastructure bill. Well okay then. As Rachel Maddow pointed out on air, this means that Biden doesn’t have to waste time making bipartisan overtures to the Republicans when it comes to this bill. If the Republicans later try to argue to voters that Biden didn’t offer to work with them, Biden can simply point back to McConnell’s statement about refusing to work with Biden on it.
It’s unclear what Mitch McConnell’s strategy is here. He’s always been corrupt and dishonest, but he’s usually savvier than this. This comes amid reports from various major news outlets that McConnell is considering retiring early. Has he simply checked out? In any case, he unwittingly did Biden and the Democrats a favor on this one.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report