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Annals of bipartisan comity

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President Donald Trump and Amy Coney Barrett stand on the Blue Room Balcony after Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas administered the Constitutional Oath to her on the South Lawn of the White House White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. Barrett was confirmed to be a Supreme Court justice by the Senate earlier in the evening. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Sultan of Shrill has an excellent rebuttal to assertions that the winning party has a solemn obligation to meet the losing party 70% of their way because reasons:

But what about bipartisanship? As Biden might say, “C’mon, man.”

First of all, a party doesn’t get to demand bipartisanship when many of its representatives still won’t acknowledge that Biden won legitimately, and even those who eventually acknowledged the Biden victory spent weeks humoring baseless claims of a stolen election.

Complaints that it would be “divisive” for Democrats to pass a relief bill on a party-line vote, using reconciliation to bypass the filibuster, are also pretty rich coming from a party that did exactly that in 2017, when it enacted a large tax cut — legislation that, unlike pandemic relief, wasn’t a response to any obvious crisis, but was simply part of a conservative wish list.

Oh, and that tax cut was rammed through in the face of broad public opposition: Only 29 percent of Americans approved of the bill, while 56 percent disapproved. By contrast, the main provisions of the Biden plan are very popular: 79 percent of the public approve of new stimulus checks, and 69 percent approve of both expanded unemployment benefits and aid to state and local governments.

So when one party is trying to pursue policies with overwhelming public support while the other offers lock-step opposition, who, exactly, is being divisive?

And one can cite many other counter-examples, not least of which was Senate Republicans ramming through a third life-tenured Supreme Court justice when they were a few days away from losing the popular vote for the seventh time in eight elections. It’s just amazing anybody can even pretend to take Republican calls for “unity” at face value.

Needless to say, the same pundits making this arguments will also make pious defenses of the filibuster, which as currently applied requires Democrats to get 60 votes to pass new programs but requires Republicans to have only 50 votes to repeal them (or confirm judges who will do their dirty work.) Lucy has an endless supply of footballs.

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