. @Nate_Cohn is right lack of resistance to Biden's economic agenda is a big deal. But I think even he undersells the scale of the policy, which may also affect the politics. It isn't just "infrastructure," it's climate, health care, education, taxes... nytimes.com/2021/07/20/us/…
In Obama era, the theory was presidents have a unique ability to focus on ONE big sweeping reform, barn storm the country gathering support, and tell Congress to hammer it out. That's how ACA worked. Biden is different....
D's seem to be almost borrowing from Trump's playbook of doing too many controversial things at once for opponents to focus on anything. Items that individually would be career-defining in past WH's like universal pre-K are afterthoughts right now that barely even get discussed.
Basically, the new formula seems to be to shove absolutely everything in one big bill at once and, rather than draw as much attention as possible to it, try to get it quietly across the finish line AND THEN sell the individual items in the midterms.
There are other factors, of course, it's hard to ignore one VERY glaring biographical difference between Biden and Obama. R's are in a bit of an existential crisis on policy in the Trump era, which makes attacks harder to figure out. And Trump means they're distracted.
There's also a massive post-Obama shift, which is the collapse of fiscal conservative politics, especially after the pandemic. The one thing that you might expect to unite opposition to Biden plan is the topline size, not the details, but even that seems to not be doing it.
But I think it's worth considering whether Biden figured out a different approach. Pass a lot of items that individually are harder to focus on, but together add up to a lot, and emphasize the ones with most bipartisan crossover.
This is also critical. Despite the ongoing infrastructure drama, D's are much much much much more likely to support going big without bipartisan cover now after witnessing how Obama's agenda turned out
FWIW, there's still a significant chance D's stack one too many items on top the pyramid and the right backlash shows up later. One looming issue is immigration, for example, which still could activate conservative media in a way other issues in the Biden plan so far have not.

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More from @BenjySarlin

6 Jul
What’s keeping democracy scholars up at night: An overturned election.

A party remade by Trump’s 2020 election lies could be much harder to stop in 2024.

“We should not pretend these dangers are fantastical or that these are absurd hypotheticals”

In 2020, a handful of GOP officials in key roles stood up to an all-out campaign to throw out the election results and install Trump as president again.

Will they still be there in 2024 if affirming those election lies is the key test in GOP primaries? washingtonpost.com/politics/repub…
. 46% of GOP support state legislatures overturning 2020 vote, per research by @leedrutman.

Once that’s on the table, you get to scary places real quick. For one it creates a perverse incentive to run a botched election in order to justify politicians deciding results later. Image
Read 4 tweets
29 Jun
Deep dive by @JeffreyASachs into the anti-CRT bills and how — regardless of whether you agree with their core concerns — the legislative language could prevent teaching even basic history and concepts arcdigital.media/p/laws-aimed-a…
One thing I appreciate about @JeffreyASachs approach to this story is acknowledging that both A) there is a partisan political effort going on that's deliberately lumping a lot of stuff together under "CRT" and B) there IS an actual change here that people are reacting to.
Because "CRT" is deliberately used as a vague catch-all term to categorize and then demonize things its critics don't like, you get a muddled debate where elites are arguing 1970s academic texts and long-running philosophy debates and average people about something else.
Read 6 tweets
24 Jun
Biden says bipartisan infrastructure deal has to be paired with D-only reconciliation bill.

"If this is the only thing that comes to me I'm not signing. It's in tandem."

Asked about Pelosi plan to hold first bill in House until second bill arrives, says he supports it.
Biden and D leaders are quite clear heading into the bipartisan deal that it's all contingent on a reconciliation bill passing with other D priorities. R's are approving this deal knowing that's Biden's publicly stated plan. So are Manchin and Sinema.
Doesn't mean it's going to work! But everyone is going in with clear eyes here.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jun
Politicians and federal nominees have been dragged down by all-white club scandals for decades and decades, it's not like there wasn't fair warning or this is some new 2020s social standard washingtonpost.com/politics/senat…
Read 4 tweets
17 Jun
The Manchin voting rights bill is what a real negotiation between Manchin and voting rights advocates looks like, which is why the latter sound encouraged. But there's not even the beginning of a constituency in the GOP to work on this. It's a virtually 100% internal D debate.
This isn't like other issues, where there's a GOP version of how to approach it and a D one and maybe they can find some overlap. They just fundamentally are not working on the same issue here. Outside Murkowski, almost no interest in making significant federal changes, period.
In other words, the only q that matters: Are Manchin (and other Ds) willing to change the rules to pass a D-only bill on voting rights? No indication his position is budging there. If it does, this is what a deal looks like. If not, it's just an interesting thought experiment.
Read 4 tweets
7 May
Trump lost and R's lost the Senate, yet R's near-universally conclude they need him. Why? They're not wrong exactly. Trump's leverage isn't so much his ability to grow the GOP, it's that he could *destroy* them if he wanted and not think twice about doing so. It always has been.
Graham is correct that Trump brings millions of people to the GOP who are loyal to him and him alone. He also repels millions more. What Graham is hinting at, but not saying is that Trump -- unique among R leaders -- is willing to tell his voters to stay home or go third party.
Trump's lack of loyalty to the GOP has been one of his biggest strengths since the start. Many in the party would have loved to expel him in 2015 when they feared he hurt the brand. But he was threatening to run as an Independent -- and they believed him. nbcnews.com/politics/2016-…
Read 5 tweets

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