NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Meyerson on TAP
Enough With the ‘Please Be Centrist, Joe’ Op-Eds
It takes extraordinary good fortune these days for opinion-piece readers to miss the flood of articles calling on Joe Biden to be a down-the-line moderate. The Wall Street Journal featured two such pieces on Wednesday, one from longtime Democratic moderate Bill Galston, the other from Mike Solon and Phil Gramm, the latter a former Republican senator known for his vehement opposition to every piece of economic regulation dating back to the biblical injunction that workers should be paid. (Who’s this Yahweh telling employers what they should and shouldn’t do?)

The focus on what Biden should do is understandable, but where are the pieces calling on congressional Republicans to meet him halfway, or quarter-way, or even tenth-way? The all-too-tacit assumption of many who counsel prudential centrism to Biden is that Republicans will then welcome such a chastened perspective with open arms.

Ya wanna bet?

The fact that the Republican leadership in the House and Senate have stuck with President Trump as he seeks to blatantly overturn Biden’s election should give these counselors of centrism among Democrats some pause. They might also factor in today’s Washington Examiner article by Byron York—a right-wing columnist in a right-wing paper—which reports that some 30 to 40 Republican House members believe that there was substantial voter fraud perpetrated by the Democrats. How else, they struggle to understand, could Trump have lost, given that they picked up House seats? Of course, if there actually had been substantial Democratic fraud, they wouldn’t have picked up those House seats, but that must require a level of reasoning that has mysteriously eluded them.

With polls showing that at least half of self-identified Republicans believe that Trump would have won absent Democratic chicanery, it’s a safe bet that a sizable number of Republican senators and representatives won’t regard the Biden administration as legitimate. (An early indication will be their absentee rate at Biden’s inaugural.) That doesn’t augur well for Republican receptivity to anything Biden proposes, no matter how bland and anodyne.

It would be nice if we saw more columns about how Republicans should behave once Biden takes office. It would also be nice if Biden ignored these counsels of timidity to put before Congress such widely popular measures as a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, a public option for health insurance, and a massive investment in green infrastructure. Republicans will vote down (or if they hold the Senate, refuse to consider) these proposals. Let ’em. That’s fine. That’s what Democrats can run against in 2022 and 2024. By so doing, Biden can set a lot of the agenda for those elections—to his advantage, the Democrats’, and the nation’s.

What a Biden Labor Board Could Do
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Will Biden Name a Deficit Hawk to Head OMB?
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The Pandemic’s Horrifying Climax
To get through this dark winter, we will need leadership, fortitude, and hope. BY PAUL STARR
Now Chuck Schumer Wants to Cancel Student Debt
Once considered a fringe theory, Senate leadership has adopted an aggressive posture on executive authority. BY MARCIA BROWN
David Dayen Shares How Biden Could Fix Health Care on Rising Up with Sonali
Watch Prospect executive editor David Dayen speak with Sonali Kolhatkar about the Day One Agenda, specifically, how Joe Biden could fix health care all on his own. BY PROSPECT STAFF
Unsanitized: Populist Moment Reappears Amid Tyson Gambling Scandal
Plant managers bet on how many workers would contract the virus. This is The COVID-19 Daily Report for November 19, 2020. BY DAVID DAYEN

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