Compromise, GOP style

Marc Thiessen has written a good
column on the alleged infrastructure compromise bill in process. The column appears in the Washington Post under the headline “Biden’s fake infrastructure ‘compromise’ has thrown Democrats into disarray.” AEI has posted Thiessen’s column in accessible form here.

Thiessen describes what sounds like an illusory deal for the GOP:

President Biden’s big gaffe was not his threat to veto a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal he had just reached with Republicans. It was accidentally saying out loud what everyone in Washington knows, but most Americans do not: that he has not compromised on infrastructure at all — and does not intend to do so.

Standing with Republican senators, Biden boasted that “neither side got everything they wanted in this deal.” That is untrue. Biden does plan to get everything he wants from the deal. While he walked back his veto threat, he is still insisting that Congress pass not one, but two infrastructure bills: the bipartisan agreement he negotiated with Republicans, and a second passed with only Democratic votes using the budget reconciliation process that includes everything he gave up in negotiations with those Republicans. “The president intends to sign both pieces of legislation into law,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Monday.

Sorry, that is not compromise. If he signs two bills, Biden has given up absolutely nothing. Quite the opposite, he not only gets everything he wanted, he also gets false credit for fulfilling his campaign promise to reach across the aisle and compromise.

Thiessen nevertheless renders the judgment that the so-called compromise is “a good deal for Republicans[.]” Why? “Because it is not clear Democrats can pull this scam off. Indeed, by agreeing to a bipartisan deal, Republicans have thrown Democrats into disarray.”

That seems to me a bad bargain premised on the unlikelihood that the Dems can pull it off, but Thiessen makes three points in support of an argument that serves a clarifying purpose whether or not his ultimate judgment is correct.

Thiessen helps explain what the GOP participants in the deal must be thinking. I recommend his column to readers following the story and trying to figure out what is happening here.

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