Well, speak of the devil. In the Wall Street Journal Rahm Emanuel advises the incoming Biden Administration on a strategy for getting things accomplished with a divided Congress:
When the election was called for President-elect Joe Biden, progressives across the nation breathed a sigh of relief. But as the congressional results became clear, many of us paused the celebration. Unless Democrats win both Georgia Senate seats in Jan. 5 runoffs, Mr. Biden will be the first Democrat to face a Republican Senate at the beginning of his first term since Grover Cleveland in 1885. How can he even hope to pursue a progressive agenda?
The concern is well-founded because continued gridlock would be a disaster, blocking America from working through its challenges. But there is a way forward. Pundits are prone to parse the electorate between red and blue, but voters are much more complex. Millions who cast their ballots for Mr. Biden or President Trump support policy positions held by the other candidate. That isn’t to argue that President Biden should walk away from his agenda and put his finger in the wind. But it does suggest that, while Republican senators may profess to oppose the Democratic agenda, on particular issues, they’re poised to join a “coalition of the willing.”
He looks to state referenda as a guide, bascially proposing a triangulation strategy that peels off individual senators in their own political interest:
A more promising approach would be to find issues on which individual senators would benefit politically from breaking with their leadership and supporting President Biden’s plan. That would allow for small compromises that build the trust needed to advance bigger legislative priorities later.
- Increasing the minimum wage
- Modest steps on the environment, e.g. tougher fuel economy standards, more incentives for renewable energy
- Criminal justice reform
- Modest health care reform, e.g. end of “surprise billing”, “make prescription drugs more affordable”
I remain unconvinced he’ll be able to gain Republican support for any of those measures. And DACA, in particular, has been stymied for years by Democrats insisting on another amnesty program which is poison to Republicans. Said another way President Biden may face as many problems gaining the support of the progressive wing of his own party as from the Republicans.