I find Jennifer Rubin interesting, because she’s one of the smarter and more realistic never-Trump Republicans. Her ideal end state for the Republican Party would be one where folks like Romney and Cheney were back in charge. So, we get today’s back-and-forth column that vacillates between acknowledging reality (we need a huge stimulus) and trying to find a place for Republicans in the creation of that stimulus. It’s a hard lift. For example, here she is talking about the measly $600 billion counteroffer to Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus:
The counteroffer underscores several aspects of the dynamic between Congress and the new president. First, despite the media hounding the White House about when they will resort to reconciliation, the outreach from the White House has induced at least some kind of response. This is how negotiations work: posturing, initial offers and more discussion before you can determine if there is a bill to be had. Second, the Republican counteroffer suggests there is some segment of the party nervous about pure obstructionism. […]
For JRubin, what happened in the first two years of Obama’s term wasn’t manipulative bad-faith bargaining, it was compromise. She just doesn’t see the bad faith, so she is excited that a couple of Republicans pooped out a joke of a counteroffer. That said, I think she comes by her blindness to bad faith honestly, otherwise how could she write this piece of fantasy fic:
A promise from Republicans, for example, to not filibuster on voting rights, green energy or other agenda items could substantially sweeten the pot for Biden. That really would be a step in the direction of unity.
Frankly, this is kind of refreshing, because it acknowledges that Democrats won and that Republicans need to give something meaningful to get something, since the $1.9 trillion can be more-or-less passed via reconciliation. That said, it describes a fairytale world where Republicans somehow come to the table with an agenda other than delay and sabotage.
Here’s the general deal about Never Trumpers like Rubin, David Frum and the Lincoln Project: they have an agenda, and it isn’t anywhere near ours. Like others on this website, I’ve enjoyed Lincoln Project ads from time to time, though I’m highly skeptical that a dollar sent to the Lincoln Project has anything like the impact of a dollar sent to your average candidate on ActBlue, or to the organizations that delivered Georgia for Democrats. Plus, some of the Lincoln folks are are grifters and one is a sexual predator. David Frum is a fucking warmonger of the first order. Rubin’s the best of the bunch, and this column shows just how myopic she can be at times.