Vox reported this week that Democrats are embracing bipartisanship in Congress because it’s normally what they do. It has nothing to do with the increasing likelihood that the party on left faces a slaughter in the November elections, as Vox has contended by omitting any reference to elections in a new piece about bipartisanship.
In explaining why Democrats in Congress have suddenly embraced several bipartisan proposals for passage, like the banning of Congressional stock trading, Vox first expressed surprise that it’s happened given what Vox calls the “Republicans’ willingness to block many of Democrats’ biggest priorities.”
The publication chalks up the Democrats’ volte-face to a return to a regular pattern of legislative history in passing bipartisan bills.
“This is the norm,” Utah political science professor James Curry told Vox. “When it comes to making laws and policies, bipartisanship has ruled the day because it’s a necessity. Our system is set up to make it extremely hard to do things on a single party basis.”
While that’s generally true, it’s rather more likely that the cause of the new-founded desire of Democrats to reach across the aisle is that Democrats face bleak prospects in the November mid-term elections.
Democrats have rejected a bipartisan approach to passing legislation for much of the last year, and it’s taking a toll.
In a sign of things to come, as of now, 30 Democrats have decided to retire rather than face reelection prospects in 2022, a 30-year high, according to The Hill.
“Adding to the Democrats’ woes, the number of retirement announcements will likely continue to grow in the coming weeks as lawmakers get closer to their states’ candidate filing deadlines, many of which are in the spring,” The Hill reported.
In a further sign of disaffection of the voters from the partisan Biden agenda, a recent Emerson College poll showed that voters favored the GOP 50 percent to 41 percent in generic Congressional ballots, a lead of nine points. And incredibly, it showed Trump leading Biden 48-44 percent for the 2024 presidential election.
While that four-point tilt may seem small, remember that in 2020 polls showed Biden with double-digit leads on Trump, an election which Biden ultimately won by just four points.
It’s gotten so bad for Biden’s agenda that AZ Central contributor Jon Gabriel has said that Americans are now at least unified in their dislike of Biden, helping the president keep a key campaign promise.
“President Joe Biden may be upside down on COVID-19 and the economy, but he’s delivered on a promise to unify us,” Gabriel said. “Most agree on the poor job he’s doing.”
And USA Today is even blunter: “Why is Biden now less popular than Trump?” the newspaper asks and answers: “He’s earned it.”
Denied the shelter of a few pieces of successful legislation that Democrats can point to as progress under Biden, it’s only natural that they seek out some compromises with the GOP so at the very least they have something that they can brag on with constituents.
And it’s even better if it can put distance between themselves and an increasingly unpopular president.
But nowhere does Vox suggest that the unpopularity of Biden and the Democrats, which may lead to a historic shellacking of the liberals in November, have Democrats in Congress seeking the safety of the GOP as the nearest port in the 2022 election storm.
And that’s the most likely explanation why a party that just a month ago was calling the GOP racist is now seeking their cooperation, even if Vox doesn’t want to admit it.