Despite promises of bridging the bipartisan divide, the Biden administration appears to be redefining exactly what “bipartisan” means and it evidently doesn’t include getting the support of Republicans in Congress.
The $1.9 trillion coronavirus package passed without one Republican vote and now Biden is looking to ram through his $2.25 trillion infrastructure bill with or without the GOP. Biden has repeatedly claimed that he has the support of Republican voters and officials outside of D.C. despite all evidence to the contrary.
“If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn informed the Washington Post. “It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”
Indiana GOP Sen. Mike Braun told Fox News host Neil Cavuto that he believes all Biden’s talk about “unity” has not amounted to much as he noted that the so-called bipartisan meetings have been just “for show.”
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Mike Donilon, who is also a Biden senior adviser, stated that the actual definition of “bipartisan” vaguely encompasses “an agenda that unifies the country and appeals across the political spectrum.”
“I think it’s a pretty good definition to say you’re pursuing an agenda that will unite the country, that will bring Democrats and Republicans together across the country,” he remarked. “Presumably, if you have an agenda that is broadly popular with Democrats and Republicans across the country, then you should have elected representatives reflecting that.”
Former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was even more direct concerning the wordplay: “What’s become crystal clear is that Biden has redefined bipartisan.” The former Chicago mayor noted: “it isn’t how many Republicans I’ve got,” but “about how many Republican voters or mayors and governors can I get to support my stuff.” But there is little credible evidence across the political board that Republican voters or politicians of any bent support Biden’s massive spending bills.
“And Washington is slow to catch up to the Biden definition,” he said.
Biden has previously referred to his shift toward a proclaimed Republican well of support when speaking about the American Jobs Plan in Pittsburgh at the end of March: “When I wrote it, everybody said I had no bipartisan support. We’re overwhelming bipartisan support with Republican–registered voters,” Biden said. “And ask around. If you live in a town with a Republican mayor, a Republican county executive, or a Republican governor, ask them how many would rather get rid of the plan. Ask them if it helped them at all.”
He continued: “I hope Republicans in Congress will join this effort.”
Democrats are redefining words such as “bipartisan” and “infrastructure” in order to meet and justify their needs.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was the first to redefine “infrastructure”: “Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure.”
Republicans pounced at what they see as political word games. “Abortion is infrastructure. Gun control is infrastructure. Forced unionization is infrastructure. Whatever the Left wants is infrastructure. You know what’s not? Roads & bridges.,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) snarked. He astutely pointed out that only 5% of the infrastructure bill is actually going to roads and bridges.
Even Keith Olbermann, who is the radically liberal former MSNBC host that viciously attacked former President Trump at every opportunity, took exception to the redefinition of “infrastructure”: “[W]hen you drain a word of its meaning, you damage its impact, your cause, and the value of language,” Olbermann stated.
These are all vital needs. I would argue they are as important as nuts and bolts and grids and networks.
But when you drain a word of it’s meaning, you damage its impact, your cause, and the value of language. https://t.co/s3IGyzHKXr
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) April 7, 2021
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told ABC’s “This Week” that the definition of “infrastructure” should be rethought: “It’s not static. In 1990 we wouldn’t have thought that broadband was infrastructure because it wasn’t on the scene yet, but of course, we have broadband in every pocket of the nation,” Granholm justified. She went on to say “we don’t want to use past definitions of ‘infrastructure’ when we are moving into the future.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also took point on the issue. She went on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and bluntly said that they would not limit the definition of infrastructure to waterways, roads, and bridges “because infrastructure is – it’s about education, about getting children healthily in school with separation, sanitation, ventilation. It’s about investments in housing as well.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg appeared on “Meet the Press” and said although the Democrats would like to have bipartisan legislative support, they didn’t require it and that would not stop them from slamming through the infrastructure bill.
“We can’t let politics slow this down to where it doesn’t actually happen,” he announced.
Biden reportedly envisions the biggest spending increases since the Great Society under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He seems to be well on his way to surpassing his goal.
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