Even though they haven’t asked for it, it’s time to offer some thoughtful advice to the Republican Party about unity and what it means when President Biden invokes the word.
You see, unity does not mean that when you become president, you must make sure not to upset the other side by introducing legislation they disagree with. But when the American people strongly support legislation, across party lines, mind you, it’s easy to conclude that you’re trying to unify the country.
Yes, it’s hard for the GOP to understand the concept. They know it but would instead try to use the issue to score cheap political points with people who either have short memories or do not pay attention to real news. It’s been a constant for years now. They play to the ignorance of their base — in this case, that Biden is the one not unifying the country.
Look, Biden won the election by seven million votes. He made a series of promises, including, first and foremost, dealing with the most pressing issue facing America right now: an economic disaster precipitated by the worst pandemic in one hundred years. He’s pledged to go big or stay home. If Republicans want to help, great. If they do not, so be it.
A group of ten Republican Senators did reach out to Biden with a proposal of their own. They were invited to the White House to discuss the issue and, by all accounts, were treated fairly and warmly for the two-hour meeting. Unfortunately, the offer was nothing more than a pittance of what is needed. So it’s looking more than likely that the Democrats will do most of the heavy lifting on their own through the sausage-making process called reconciliation.
The usual lecturing from hypocritical Republicans has already begun. How dare the new President use reconciliation to get his agenda passed? It’s an abomination, they say. They fail to mention that they used the same process only a few years ago to ram home their nearly $2 trillion tax cut that benefited mostly the wealthy and corporations. They had all three branches of government and yielded that power to pound their counterparts into submission.
But sure, let’s bash Democrats and Biden for not unifying the country.
At some point, maybe bipartisanship will be possible on some things in the future. It appears that some of the few moderates left in the Senate might be ready to work with Biden. But until then, it’s time to get the Covid relief bill passed and out to the American people — by whatever means necessary.
It’s time, though, to issue another dose of reality to the Republican Party. Yes, their memories are short, as is their attention span. But when it comes to achieving unity, our new president is already doing it well. While he may not be unifying the political parties yet, he’s certainly doing his best to bring the country together.
Our Republican friends keenly forget how the previous president ripped the heart and soul from the nation daily. Every morning, you’d wake up to a ridiculous tweet, an embarrassing insult, or pitting so-called red states vs. blue states. Division and cruelty were the points with the 45th president. That’s not the case anymore.
We haven’t seen an insulting tweet yet from the current president, nor have we seen any childish nicknames for politicians. We haven’t seen him rail against Republican governors who refuse to enact mask mandates. We haven’t heard threats going after any Democrats who might disagree with him.
We haven’t seen the scientists ridiculed. On the contrary, they’re holding briefings a few times a week, conducted without the president anywhere in sight. The same can be said for the daily White House press briefings, handled with dignity and grace by Jen Psaki — absent her predecessors’ pathological lying.
So far, there’s not been a visit to any golf properties that any of us are aware of, although some of the press were ‘shocked’ he would travel via Air Force One to his home state of Delaware this past weekend. Maybe things are a bit too boring for them at the moment.
But perhaps most Americans believe ‘boring’ is a welcome thing. We can go about our daily lives, not wondering what scandal awaits or what unethical act the president might be contemplating. We no longer have to wonder whether Vladimir Putin compromises this president. We’ve already seen a readout of a frank and challenging discussion he had with Putin in a phone call. No such transparency existed with the previous guy. Hell, most of the time, we had to rely on Russian media to tell us the scoop.
When Biden talked in the campaign about “lowering the temperature,” it meant getting back to normal, leading by example, and treating people with respect. It’s about wearing a mask in public — not insulting others for doing the same thing. It’s showing compassion and empathy, which he did so eloquently at the solemn ceremony for Officer Brian Sicknick last week.
And it’s refreshing to see an actual First Lady back in the White House. We saw Jill Biden, the other day, imploring the American people to wear a mask so we can continue to try and stamp this pandemic down once and for all — in the presence of their two beautiful dogs. Normalcy. It’s a beautiful thing.
So when our Republican friends try to lecture us on President Biden not unifying the country, they have it completely wrong. Perhaps they need to start asking themselves what they’re going to do to unify the country. And it would be nice if the press demanded the same thing.
Convicting the former president in this week’s impeachment trial would be a good start because without accountability for the heinous acts on January 6, 2020, you cannot have unity. Absent a conviction and subsequent disqualification from Trump ever holding future public office, the rot and disintegration of the Republican Party will continue — unabated.
Unification? It’s on you, Republicans.