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Budowsky: Bipartisan Biden can lead, govern and win

President Biden
Greg Nash
President Biden speaks to reporters before heading towards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, January 27, 2023. Biden will spend the weekend in Camp David in Maryland and Wilmington, Del.

At a moment in history when a significant majority of a bitterly divided nation hungers for a government that acts to serve their hopes and needs, and not engage in self-serving attacks and inquisitions, President Biden and Democrats have an extraordinary opportunity to do the right thing and appeal to the majority of the nation.

Throughout his career, Biden has searched for bipartisanship, national unity, bringing people together and lifting the nation up. And while, in the age of Donald Trump and national division, our politics have not welcomed such aspirations, now our citizens yearn for it. The sentiments that have been at the core of President Biden’s political soul for decades, are now at the heart of what an angry and restive nation wants from their leaders in Washington.

Like it or not — and I detest it — despite winning 51 Senate seats, with two Democratic senators vowing like a civic religion to support every Republican filibuster against every Democratic bill, the Democratic Senate is for practical purposes divided 50-50. The result is gridlock. It was a miracle of Biden’s experience and skill in achieving occasional moments of bipartisanship to build such a stellar record during his first two years in office.

Like it or not — and I despise it — some 200 House Republicans and the Republican Speaker allow themselves to be dominated by some 20 extreme House Republicans who could actually defeat the debt ceiling extension, which would be damaging to the GOP and destructive to the American and world economies, with results historians would condemn for a hundred years.

Into this maelstrom of misery lies a historic opportunity for President Biden and Democrats to be champions of national unity and bipartisanship. To take their case to the country day after day, on matters with majority support from the voters. To be the party that would save America from the full faith and credit of our country being destroyed.

The president, surrounded by Democrats AND Republicans, would say we are in this together, we can rise above the ugly recriminations and partisanship that engulfs our politics, with periodic bipartisan moments of doing what is right and noble and good for our people.

This historic opportunity would appeal to more than a few Republican and many independent voters, with organization of Republicans for Biden to champion bipartisan national unity government. To engage in massive campaign fundraising ranging from the vast liberal base to traditional large Democratic donors to donations from small business leaders and major financial institutions — who do not want the full faith and credit of America to be destroyed. which would make their economy crash and many of their businesses fail.

Blue collar workers, students, small business owners, inner city residents, Wall Street firms and bankers have common interest in backing the president, Democrats and some Republicans to prevent extremist House Republicans from forcing our nation into default.

This national unity campaign by the president should win enough support from House Republicans — he only needs a handful — for dramatic proposals to help American women. For major action to lower the price of prescription drugs. For improvement in child care for working women and families. To lower the deficit by reversing some Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. To improve life for students and safety in schools. To defend democracy in Ukraine. To pass long overdue bipartisan immigration legislation that would protect our borders, bring justice to the Dreamers, and reform asylum policies.

For Democrats, these would be major achievements they have sought for many years. For Republicans, these are issues that many of them supported over many years. For voters, these would be valuable improvements that would lift their lives, their families, their hopes and their dreams.

For President Biden this would be the apex of his legacy, where the spirit of bipartisanship that has been the credo of his career led to major achievements under the most difficult circumstances.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.

Tags Biden biparisanship debt ceiling Filibuster Lloyd Bentsen

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