Press: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead!

Press: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead!
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You can’t blame Joe Biden. He’s not the only one. We all do it: Yearn for the “good old days.” You know, those golden days, pre-pandemic and still not so long ago, when you could just hop on a plane without going through all the security hassle with TSA, walk into an office building without having to show your ID, or drive down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

Fuggedaboutit! Those golden days are never coming back. And neither is Joe Biden’s golden day, the one he keeps waxing eloquently about: reaching across the aisle and working with Republican senators to get big things done. Yes, it was once possible. We remember teamwork by Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchPress: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead! Privatization of foster care has been a disaster for children Remembering Ted Kennedy highlights decline of the Senate MORE and Teddy Kennedy, Tom Daschle and Trent Lott, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain rejects idea of running for office: 'I've been there' Bush says he doesn't criticize other presidents to avoid risking friendship with Michelle Obama 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE and Russ Feingold, even (god forbid) Joe Biden and James Eastland.

But those days are long gone. Message to Joe Biden: It may be fun to reminisce about or tell your grandchildren about, but forget about bipartisanship. It’s dead. It’s gone. And it ain’t never coming back. For two simple reasons.


One. It’s 13 years since Biden’s been in the Senate, and the Senate’s totally changed since then. That old Senate Biden thrived in doesn’t exist anymore. Only 31 of today’s senators served with him. Which means two-thirds of senators never worked with him and don’t really know him.

Second reason. Two words: Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellWhen it comes to Georgia's voting law, keep politics out of business Pelosi to offer even split on 9/11-style commission to probe Capitol riot Senate GOP crafts outlines for infrastructure counter proposal MORE. Even though he once served, and reportedly got along, with Biden, McConnell, too, changed once he became Republican leader: from a let’s-get-things-done go-getter to a block-everything-we-can deal-breaker. He alone has turned the world’s most deliberative body into the graveyard for any and all legislation. He even embraces the nickname “The Grim Reaper.” His entire agenda: offer nothing, oppose everything.

Think about it. What alternative ideas have Republicans put forward on health care, COVID-19, the economy, immigration, climate change, gun safety, or any other issue? None! They’ve simply opposed the Affordable Care Act, universal background checks, the Dreamers Act, and the $1.9 trillion stimulus without offering any plan of their own. At their 2020 convention, Republicans didn’t even adopt a party platform — in effect, saying we don’t stand for anything except Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE.

In fact, the only initiative today with a “Republican” brand are efforts in 43 states to make it harder for people to vote. This is Mitch McConnell’s Republican Party. Where not one Republican senator to date has condemned Georgia’s new law making it a crime to offer a glass of water to someone standing in line to vote.

Sure, it’s nice for Joe Biden to dream about bipartisanship. But he also has to accept reality. It takes two to do the bipartisanship dance. And today’s gang of Republicans will never take the floor. They won’t even let the music start. They’ve adopted the same goal for Joe Biden they did for Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden inaugural committee raised M with big sums from billionaires, corporations To confront corporate power, President Biden needs Jonathan Kanter Minneapolis mayor on Floyd: 'Ultimately his life will have bettered our city' MORE: prevent him from achieving anything by blocking everything he puts forward — even if supported by a majority of Americans.


Biden must know. Bipartisanship is dead. It’s foolish to think this gang of Republicans will ever come around. They won’t. Biden’s only option is to barge ahead with Democratic votes only, if necessary. And, of course, that means, first, reforming or gutting the filibuster.

“I got elected to solve problems,” Biden declared in his first presidential news conference last week. And he’s right. Unfortunately, not one single Republican senator, and too few House Republicans, share that same dedication. The only way for Biden to solve problems is to go it alone.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”