President Biden campaigned on unity and bipartisanship, but his governing philosophy has been the opposite. So now the White House is redefining the concept.
“If you looked up ‘bipartisan’ in the dictionary, I think it would say support from Republicans and Democrats,” Anita Dunn, a senior White House adviser, said recently. “It doesn’t say the Republicans have to be in Congress.”
To take Mr. Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid spending spree: The thesis seems to be that if polls say it’s broadly popular, then it’s “bipartisan,” though zero Republicans voted for it. That’s certainly a novel way to look at it.
Mr. Biden also got into the act last week by rewriting the history of how he handled his bill on partisan lines. On Feb. 1, before the bill went through, 10 GOP Senators (enough to break a filibuster) visited Mr. Biden at the White House with a $600 billion counteroffer. A day later, Democrats in Congress began to push through their $1.9 trillion budget resolution, so they could pass Mr. Biden’s plan wholesale. The Republican offer was dismissed out of hand.
“I would’ve been prepared to compromise,” Mr. Biden said last week, “but they didn’t. They didn’t move an inch. Not an inch.”