While the Republican Party in Congress opts to pledge loyalty to Donald J. Trump and block the agenda of President Joe Biden at any cost, it’s time for the Democrats to realize that the bipartisanship they claim to be looking for in order to advance matters like immigration reform is nothing more than a chimera.
Because you cannot walk with God and run with the devil.
To fulfill the campaign promises made to those who supported them in every election, they must opt for parliamentary mechanisms like reconciliation to approve measures with a simple majority.
In each electoral cycle, different groups of voters supported Democrats with the hope that upon assuming control they would legislate on priority issues. As soon as they are enthroned, electoral calculations begin and they almost always look for a way to avoid bothering centrists and conservatives who do not look favorably upon measures like the legalization of 11 million undocumented workers, or an increase in the minimum wage, to offer two examples. That is, they prefer to disappoint the voters who contributed to their victory, many of them Latinos, to try to win the support of legislators who simply do not support them.
Just listen to the declarations of the Republican minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, saying that his mission and “100% of [his] focus” is blocking Biden’s legislative agenda.
He did the same to Barack Obama. He promised to turn him into a one-term president and while he did not do so, without a doubt Obama’s legislative agenda was affected because he wanted to show civility and look for bipartisan support for his proposals, ignoring that ill will rules on the Republican side, especially now that they are mere puppets of a supremacist like Trump.
In fact, this week the Republican Congresswoman from Wyoming, Liz Cheney, is close to losing her position as the third most powerful member of Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, for having criticized Trump for his central role in the Capitol riots on January 6, where people died at the hands of a mob that believed the lie that the election was “stolen” from Trump, falsely perpetuated by the Republican Party, including congressional leaders who permitted the time bomb to tick until it exploded in violence.
Cheney has a solidly ultra-conservative history and is the daughter of one of the apostles of the Party, until the ascension of Trump, former Vice President Dick Cheney, who is no pushover. Even still, she is about to be excommunicated by her peers in the lower chamber.
The Republican Party’s loyalty to Trump is due to its panic over losing favor with voters loyal to the former president, who continue to believe the farce that he “won” the election and it was “stolen.” With an eye toward the 2022 midterm elections, this Repubilcan Party is only interested in continuing its Trump personality cult.
Since that is the case, the question becomes why the Democrats are wasting time waiting for the miracle of bipartisanship.
The Republican Party isn’t even involved in a civil war, because it’s clear the pro-Trump cohort is already dominating at every step. Dissidents became pariahs. The saddest part is that the 2022 elections will determine if the cult of Trump continues to be a winning strategy for them.
Meanwhile, Democrats should be more worried about making their campaign promises real for all the groups who catapulted them to victory in the Executive and Legislative branches, than continuing to try to win the favor of those who only want to dethrone them.
And doing so is in their own interest, lest depressed Democratic voters contribute apathetically in 2022 such that, as in 2010, Democrats lose control of one or both chambers of Congress. That year the Democrats lost the House of Representatives in what Obama himself called a “shellacking.” One of the promises Obama did not fulfill before the 2010 elections was immigration reform, and many Latino voters stayed home.
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.