Can the GOP Push Biden to the Center Next Year?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Though anything can happen, the Republican Party will likely win back control of the House and possibly the Senate in November. Without one-party control of the government, Biden’s radical left-wing agenda will be dead on arrival in Congress. Fortunately, he’s already had a hard enough time getting his initiatives through the evenly divided U.S. Senate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell promises that, should Republicans win back control of Congress, the GOP will force Biden to the center.

“Let me put it this way: Biden ran as a moderate. If I’m the majority leader in the Senate, and Kevin McCarthy’s the speaker of the House, we’ll make sure Joe Biden is a moderate,” McConnell said on Fox News Sunday.

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McConnell expressed confidence that the GOP will win in November.

“The economy, the precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the domestic energy issue we’ve already been discussing, crime, problems in public education — this administration has really got its hands full, and I think they’re headed toward a pretty good beating in the fall election,” he said.

Other Republicans have echoed McConnell’s prediction.

“If Joe Biden is confronted with a Republican majority in both chambers, I’ve always thought that the onus is really on him,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told The Hill. “Because it will be a test of just how pragmatic and transactional he can be. … So, I think the test is really on him.”

S​en. John Thune (R-S.D.) agreed. “If we were to get the majority back … I think he’s going to have to move to the middle.”

In theory, this makes sense. But I think they’re being very optimistic in their presumption that Biden cares what party controls Congress when it comes to enacting his agenda. Barack Obama certainly didn’t, and Biden has modeled his presidency after his former boss’s.

“We are not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help that they need. I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone,” Obama said in January 2014.

Last September, after police reform legislation failed to pass Congress, Biden similarly said that while he hoped to sign a bill into law, he wouldn’t hesitate to use his pen and phone to accomplish those ends. “This moment demands action, and we cannot allow those who stand in the way of progress to prevent us from answering the call.” So far, no executive order has been finalized, but one is likely coming.

Obama famously decided that after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act was unable to get through Congress, he somehow magically had the authority to write law via executive action, and he created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Obama had previously acknowledged that he didn’t have the power to create immigration law unilaterally, but he did it anyway, knowing very well it was unconstitutional. So what did the Republicans in Congress do about it?

Let me refresh your memory: nothing. It took President Trump to move on DACA, and activist judges in the judiciary nevertheless decided that Trump repealing an unconstitutional program was somehow unconstitutional.

Does anyone really believe that Biden’s handlers won’t have Biden do precisely the same thing as Obama, figuring that they can try their luck in the courts?

Joe Biden ran as a moderate, knowing he had no intention of governing as one. There isn’t a chance he’ll change his ways just because Republicans have control of Congress. Obama didn’t. Biden won’t, either.

So, sorry, Mitch — don’t bank on Biden coming to the center. If his terrible polling hasn’t done that already, nothing will.


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