See if you can spot the colossal flaw indicating an addiction to failure on the part of Joe Biden in this AP piece…
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy was one of ten Republican senators in the Oval Office Monday to discuss COVID relief with President Joe Biden. Cassidy called the two-hour meeting a success.
Biden told the senators he’s unwilling to settle on an insufficient coronavirus aid package after they pitched their slimmed down $618 billion proposal that’s a fraction of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking.
No compromise was reached in the lengthy session, Biden’s first with lawmakers at the White House, and Democrats in Congress pushed ahead with groundwork for approving his COVID relief plan with or without Republican votes. Despite the Republican group’s appeal for bipartisanship, as part of Biden’s efforts to unify the country, the president made it clear he won’t delay aid in hopes of winning GOP support.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that while there were areas of agreement, “the president also reiterated his view that Congress must respond boldly and urgently, and noted many areas which the Republican senators’ proposal does not address.”
She said, “He will not slow down work on this urgent crisis response, and will not settle for a package that fails to meet the moment.”
The two sides are far apart, with the Republican group of 10 senators focused primarily on the health care crisis and smaller $1,000 direct aid to Americans, and Biden leading Democrats toward a more sweeping rescue package, three times the size, to shore up households, local governments and a partly shuttered economy.
On a fast track, the goal is to have COVID relief approved by March, when extra unemployment assistance and other pandemic aid expires, testing the ability of the new administration and Congress to deliver, with political risks for all sides from failure.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine called the meeting a “frank and very useful” conversation, noting that the president also filled in some details on his proposal.
“All of us are concerned about struggling families, teetering small businesses and an overwhelmed health care system,” said Collins, flanked by other senators outside the White House.
Republicans are tapping into bipartisan urgency to improve the nation’s vaccine distribution and vastly expand virus testing with $160 billion in aid. That is similar to what Biden has proposed. But from there, the two plans drastically diverge.
The GOP’s $1,000 direct payments would go to fewer households than the $1,400 Biden has proposed, and the Republicans offer only a fraction of what he wants to reopen schools.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
First of all, the 10 Republican Senators – Cassidy, Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Shelley Moore Capito, Todd Young, Jerry Moran, Rob Portman, Thom Tillis and Mike Rounds – are taking a substantial political risk back home (some of them not so much, as Collins probably won’t run when she comes up in 2026, Murkowski and Romney are probably unelectable and Portman has already said he won’t run next year). What you want to do is give them something as a reward for coming to you and offering support for something on your agenda. That way you can preen about how bipartisan and centrist you are, which you as Joe Biden desperately need to do given that your first few days in office were more or less a Roman orgy of leftist fantasy policymaking.
Slapping them down when they’re presenting things you agree with, rather than banking those things and turning them into policy while you keep negotiating on the rest merely tells them it’s a waste of time trying to treat with you. And in the first days of a new presidential administration which has no mandate and even less political capital, when your opponent in the 2020 presidential election is busily raising money and the Republicans are already flush with cash for 2022, what you desperately need is to show a win to the American people – no matter how small.
If the centrist Republicans are offering $1,000 checks and $160 billion for virus testing – why they want to spend that kind of money on the latter when we know those tests generate false positives through the roof, we have no idea – then Biden is a fool for not taking them up on it. It doesn’t mean that’s all you can get out of them. In fact, good negotiators know that once you’ve gotten your counterparty to give on something, it’s that much easier to get them to give on something else.
The old poker maxim goes, “you can shear a sheep a thousand times but skin him only once.” If ever there was a time to shear the sheep it’s now.
But Biden doesn’t really know that, does he? You’d think he would, seeing as though he was in the Senate when Ronald Reagan was president and kept chiseling pieces out of the Democrats’ hides over and over again for eight years. Reagan would negotiate, he’d get a little out of them, and then he’d come back again for more. He kept winning and winning, and at the end of his term the Democrats were horrified that he’d pretty fundamentally changed the country’s politics. Biden was there and saw it, and he learned nothing.
Of course, Joe Biden isn’t in control of the White House. Not even close. Joe Biden is a puppet on a string. Ron Klain and Susan Rice are running the country, and neither one of them have any real negotiating skills or true political acumen. They’re partisan Democrat operatives and all they know is they hate Republicans and the people who vote for them. To Klain and Rice, humiliating Bill Cassidy by giving him nothing for his willingness to negotiate is a win, not a loss, because Bill Cassidy then loses political capital back home both from the Left, who think he’s ineffective, and the Right, who think he’s a squish.
You want to create incentives for your opponents to come to you for a deal. That way you can get consensus on things you want that they won’t like; they’ll go with you on those things because something else you offer might be more important to them. But you can’t get to that kind of relationship if you send them away empty-handed.
There was never much doubt this was how it would be with Joe Biden and the people who control him. If he wasn’t a loser and a clown, he would have been elected president long before his 78th birthday and his people wouldn’t have needed to steal the 2020 election to install him in the White House.
The good news is Biden won’t be in that chair for long. His own side will get rid of him sooner or later, either through a 25th Amendment gambit or even an impeachment over the various items of corruption for which he’s on the hook, or even more likely through a palace coup/forced resignation for “medical” issues when they think it’s safe to move Kamala Harris up.
Of course, nothing about Kamala Harris is good news. And she’s even less competent than Biden when it comes to basic negotiation skills.
UPDATE: I forgot to add the real reason this thing isn’t going anywhere: Biden wants to blow several hundred billion out the Treasury’s door and drop it on state and local governments for bailouts. Even the centrist Republicans aren’t willing to move on that right now.
The thing is, they will eventually. Take Cassidy, for example – he’s going to get a mountain of whining from Republican state legislators back home in Louisiana who don’t want to have to cut the state budget they’ve run up to $34 billion. Ultimately he doesn’t want to be in a position to tell them no, and Cassidy will deal on a bailout. So will lots of others whose state budgets are a mess due to COVID lockdowns. If you’re Biden and you’re not stupid, which of course is not the Joe Biden we know, you pocket what you can from them now and then let the pressure build back home. Instead he’s going to make average citizens suffer without COVID relief while he holds them hostage against the Senate GOP.
Everybody loses in that scenario. It’s idiocy.