The premise of everything should be:
- The nation has problems. It is our job to solve them.
- The nation has needs. It is our job to meet them.
Those should be kept in the focus of the American people because, so long as the nation’s attention is kept focused on that premise, obstructionism can be made into a politically unviable position. In other words, anyone who just blocks solutions is betraying the nation.
That opens a path for Biden to compel the Republicans either to work with him to serve the needs of the nation, or pay a big political price.
Here’s how that path leads forward. Here are the first steps (for Biden and his team):
- Publicly identify what the problem is to be solved.
- Go through a reasonably transparent process to come up with good solutions.
- Present the proposed solution to the public, so they know what Biden trying to do for them, and how passing his proposal might make things better for them.
- Call upon the Republicans to help him get this done.
(In other words, get the public involved in the issue, wanting something good to happen, and recognizing that the enactment of Biden’s proposal might be a good thing.)
That leaves the Republicans in the position of either helping or not helping.
- If they help, that’s fine. Everybody looks good, and the needs of the nation get met.
- If they don’t help, the next move for Biden is to step forward, identify their obstruction, and say to the nation:
“My plan was what I thought best to propose, for all our sakes, to move the nation where we want to go. But in any event, getting to that better place is what the American people want, and it’s our job to do what we can to get us there.
“So it’s the Republicans’ job either to help enact what I came up with or, if they’ve got a better idea, lay it on the table for us to consider.
“But in any event, it is not acceptable just to block America from taking any good action.”
At that point, either the Republicans work with Biden, or put forward their own plan, or expose themselves as the enemies to the American people that Republican obstructionists have always been.
- If they help Biden enact his good idea, all’s well.
- If they continue to obstruct, Biden and the Democrats can clobber them with their obstructionism (as a betrayal of the nation) in the 2022 campaign, the American people rejecting them for abusing their powers in Congress with their obstructionism, when the people want problems solved and needs met.
If the Republicans come forward with a plan of their own, either
- that plan has merit and can be worked with,
- or — more likely — it would be a sham.
If the plan is worth negotiating toward a good compromise, then all’s well. Obstructionism is no longer crippling America.
If the plan is a sham, then the move for Biden and the Democrats would be
- tell the nation why it is in the people’s interests to support the Biden proposal, rather than the Republican sham, and to tell the Republicans they should get on board;
- challenge the Republicans to an appropriate form of public debate to defend their inferior proposal— a forum where each side would designate a representative to address the American people as a jury to decide which plan deserves the support of the people.
If the Republicans’ sham is defeated in the eyes of the public, as it should be, by a public airing of the issue, then the Republicans will have a choice: either
- back away from their proposal and help get Biden’s enacted
(which, after all, Biden and the Democrats are still making sure that people are seeing in the light of the premises that ”The nation has problems. It is our job to solve them. The nation has needs. It is our job to meet them.)”
- or make the Republicans look like the obstacles they are, with their not-very-defensible insistence on their own inferior proposal.
Exposing the indefensibility of how the Republicans are using their power in Congress sets up a successful campaign of 2022 for Biden and the Democrats.
People will want to take power from the Republicans, because by taking the process on this path, the Biden and his team will have exposed the Republicans as being what is in the way of the nation and its people getting the kind of government that it needs, one that can accomplish what we need a government to accomplish for the good of the nation and the well-being of the American people.
Here’s the core truth of American politics in our time that has waited far too long to be exposed:
One of America’s two major parties acts reasonably responsibly to use government to make things better in America, the other party shows no interest in moving America forward, but is concerned only with grabbing more power for itself.
The more Americans who can see that — which should not be impossible to show — the more America will make more constructive political choices than those that have brought us to this place, where the nation faces multiple crises and yet it is in doubt whether the constitutionally ordained government of the United States will be able to take constructive steps to meet the nation’s need.