The Biden/Democratic Stimulus/Rescue push is popular among Americans …
Democrats didn’t need Republicans who are in the unenviable position of mumbling against it as people get money BACK from their government….
Biden & Co. are looking to do even bigger and better things by the summer with a two phased infrastructure and social safety need bill…
‘Go Big’ is the Biden way of stamping out ruminates of the Donald Trump assault on Democracy and Government…
All signs point to a ‘Go’ for Biden & Democrats….
Can these actions keep the Democrats in power in the Congress against the historical view that they lose seats in elections after one party claims the Presidency and Congress?
A few points on the politics of the Democrats’ infrastructure initiative:
- President Joe Biden keeps trying to do popular things. Government investment in infrastructure does extremely well in public opinion polls — as do tax increases on rich people to (at least partially) pay for it. Given that polling, and the fact that political reporters tend to believe at least the spending side of it, it’s no surprise that Biden is including lots of stuff as “infrastructure” that, well, let’s just say that not every provision in the package is normally labeled that way. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of political spin, especially on behalf of building support for initiatives that are popular on their own. The danger comes when the spinners believe their own spin — if, for example, something tossed in as infrastructure is actually unpopular, in which case the president’s opponents will surely find it and attack it.
- The chances of passing this package over Republican opposition are enhanced by one striking factor: It appears that Democrats have agreed that one of the big lessons of 2009-2010 is that helping a Democratic president look like a success is more important to the re-election efforts of senators and representatives than siding with districts on individual bills or trying to differentiate themselves from the national party. In an age of partisan polarization, the president’s approval rating matters more in midterm congressional elections than anything any individual member can do to please district voters. As long as Democrats believe that, they’re going to try to stick together to pass things.
- The politics of infrastructure, as Paul Waldman points out in the Washington Post, enhances the prospect of compromise. Some policy questions rise and fall on matters of principle for supporters and opponents, but for the most part the disagreements are about spending amounts and divvying up projects. As Waldman notes, it’s wise to pay attention to the demands of various factions within the Democratic Party, but also to remember that most can be resolved by shifting money around. That’s especially true because the Democrats have abandoned the determination they showed during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to fully pay for any new spending with taxes or other revenue. They’re not quite as willing to ignore deficits as Republicans, but paying-as-they-go and finding symbolic spending targets no longer constrain the party or make negotiating deals difficult….