President Biden campaigned on unity and bipartisanship, but his governing philosophy has been the opposite. So now the White House is redefining the concept.

“If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser, said recently. “It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”

To take Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid spending spree: The thesis seems to be that if polls say it’s broadly popular, then it’s “bipartisan,” though zero Republicans voted for it. That’s certainly a novel way to look at it.

Mr. Biden also got into the act last week by rewriting the history of how he handled his bill on partisan lines. On Feb. 1, before the bill went through, 10 GOP Senators (enough to break a filibuster) visited Mr. Biden at the White House with a $600 billion counteroffer. A day later, Democrats in Congress began to push through their $1.9 trillion budget resolution, so they could pass Mr. Biden’s plan wholesale. The Republican offer was dismissed out of hand.

“I would’ve been prepared to compromise,” Mr. Biden said last week, “but they didn’t. They didn’t move an inch. Not an inch.”

The GOP Senators fired back in a public statement. “Our $618 billion proposal was a first offer to the White House designed to open bipartisan negotiations,” they said. “The Administration roundly dismissed our effort as wholly inadequate in order to justify its go-it-alone strategy.”

Perhaps Mr. Biden was hoping to hear a higher opening offer. But if he’s really interested in working across the aisle, then why not haggle?

The answer is that he had no intention of doing so. Democrats told him they could ram it through on narrow partisan majorities, and they did. It looks like that’s also what they plan to do with Mr. Biden’s $4 trillion infrastructure, social welfare, climate and tax proposals. Mr. Biden’s governance so far makes Donald Trump look bipartisan and unifying.

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(1) comment

justmeh

What a joke! GOP has shown zero efforts for bipartisanship since Obama took office in 2009. They have rammed through everything, eliminating the filibuster when it was to their benefit, having secret, backroom meetings where no DEM was invited, the list is endless. You can't have bipartisanship when the other side has no intention (and has proven that for 12+ years) of working to solve anything. The utter hypocrisy of this article and the GOP cult party of partisanship is never ending.

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