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Mon Jul 20, 2020, 02:46 PM

WaPo: Republicans want to save themselves -- but only if the price is low

An interesting article listing how the GOP is rapidly losing all its influence and how it will need to pass a stimulus bill that includes lots of provisions only the Dems love. It makes me so sad. (NOT!)

Senate Republicans can read polls. As much as they mouth anti-science claptrap, they can see the coronavirus statistics; they know the pandemic is getting worse. They hear Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell warn that without a massive new stimulus bill, the economy will crater. They see President Trump’s disastrous appearances, especially his horrific interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, so they know their opponents in the upcoming election will tie them to the buffoonish, lying and monstrously callous president.

You can hear the whiffs of desperation seep into their statements. The New York Times quotes Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.): “I want more briefings but, more importantly, I want the whole White House to start acting like a team on a mission to tackle a real problem. [Peter] Navarro’s Larry, Moe and Curly junior-high slap fight this week is yet another way to undermine public confidence that these guys grasp that tens of thousands of Americans have died and tens of millions are out of work.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knows his bargaining power in talks with the House is drying up. He must pass a bill, and a substantial one at that. “The spiraling pandemic and the increasingly virulent politics around Washington’s handling of the novel coronavirus are raising the pressure on Senate Republicans as they try to craft a fresh coronavirus relief package," The Post reports. “As the Senate returns this week for a three-week sprint before the August break, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is facing competing demands from President Trump and Republican senators, including some who are up for reelection in states hit hard by the virus and are coming under withering attacks by Democratic challengers over the pandemic.”

Republicans insist that liability protection for employers be included in the stimulus package, but if the House holds firm, will Republicans have the nerve to vote down a stimulus package? I am guessing they won’t. They are not about to let the weekly $600 federal add-on to unemployment insurance benefits lapse. They do not want to face the wrath of their state governments, police, firefighters, teachers and other government workers back home if they do not agree to hundreds of billions in new federal funding. McConnell made a grave error in not striking a deal months ago. Now, as the virus surges and Trump’s standing collapses, he is in a far worse position to extract concessions from the House.
Republicans’ self-created plight reminds me of the book title “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die.” In this case, Republicans all want to get reelected; they simply do not want to do the things they need to do — incurring Trump’s wrath along the way — to get to political heaven.

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