The Republicans have been arguing amongst themselves about the passing of the bipartisan Infrastructure bill, and that type of infighting was what has weakened the Democrats over the last year or so. If Republicans want to keep their momentum barreling into and through the 2022 mid-terms, they’ll need to cease their infighting and provide a united front against the (for now) disjointed and chaotic Democrat Party.
Of specific interest is the wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst Republicans was done most often and most loudly within its House members. Months ago when the Senate passed the infrastructure bill, they did so with overwhelming bipartisan support, including the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell. The vote was 69-30, and there was little complaining from other Republicans, save former President Trump and his core. Trump’s reasoning for being upset? It wasn’t anything to do with the contents of the bill, or the $250 billion that would be added to the national deficit as a result of its passing; it was because it was a Democrat-led bill. Trump, and his followers, opposed the bill purely out of partisan warfare. Any Republican who voted in favor of the bill were RINOs (Republican in Name Only), and according to Trump “They just don’t get it!”
Unfortunately for Trump and (potentially) the Republicans is that it is he that does not get it. Moderate voters were the Kingmakers of Donald Trump in 2016; those exact same voters were the Kingslayers in 2020. Trump was too polarizing, too divisive; and he drove moderate voters into Joe Biden’s shaking arms in droves. There is no widespread public support for far-right partisanship; just as there is no widespread support for far-left partisanship. The American moderate voter is a massive (and not at all cohesive, I’m oversimplifying) and ever-shifting school of fish that the Democrat and Republican whales are constantly seeking to scoop up, so far with each finding occasional success. However, as soon as Trump swims into the school, they flock toward the Democrats. That is where the Republicans need to get sorted out; preferably well before mid-terms, but certainly well before the 2024 Presidential election.
As stated earlier, the Senate vote for the infrastructure bill was 69-30, with nearly half of Republicans voting in favor. The House vote was much closer, 228-206. Of note were only 13 Republicans who voted in favor, and 6 Democrats who voted against. Only 6% of Republicans voted for the infrastructure bill, a massive difference from the Senate vote. This would indicate a potential schism within the GOP at large. It could also simply be that House Republicans felt the passing of the infrastructure bill was tied to passing Biden’s Build Back Better bill, whereas the Senate did not. It would seem that the House Republicans fears about the two being tied together were either incorrect or political gamesmanship; as zero Republicans voted in favor, and even one Democrat voted against the BBB. Time will tell if the Senate proves House Republicans wrong, or if fears were warranted, as a Senate vote on the BBB could happen as early as the week of December 13th.
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