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Politics

Biden Tackles Infrastructure While Republicans Put Performative Outrage Over Ideas

Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

As President Joe Biden unveiled a sweeping, $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, Republican lawmakers detailed their party’s own carefully thought-out counter-plan, which consists of one word: No.

The GOP might consider broadening that plan to “Heck no!” but that’s only if party members have time between filming themselves standing awkwardly in the dark along the U.S.-Mexico border or angrily venting about rapper Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes.”

On Thursday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of Biden’s infrastructure plan: “I’m going to fight them every step of the way, because I think this is the wrong prescription for America.”

McConnell neglected to detail the right prescription for America, presumably because it’s buried on his desk beneath the Republican Party’s expansive health care plan, immigration plan, gun violence plan and a stack of 13,543 handwritten constituent letters expressing deep concern about liberals coming to take their guns and Dr. Seuss books.

This is what we’ve come to expect. Even under the former president, Republicans chose to stoke outrage and crank out a stream of Twitter and Facebook memes that “own the libs” rather than offer up actual policy.

Even when they do have policy ideas to talk about, Republicans and the right-wing media ecosystem thrive primarily on shouted slogans like “MIGRANT CARAVAN!” and “ANTIFA THUGS!” and “VOTER FRAUD!”

 

In the four years before Biden took office, every week was Infrastructure Week, a term that never meant anything, and we were always exactly two weeks from seeing an amazing GOP health care plan that would erase the tyranny of Obamacare. We remain, I assume, exactly two weeks away from seeing that plan.

In the right-wing world, ideas, like facts, have become irrelevant. What matters is anger and the steady white-noise (pun intended) of huffy politicians and pundits delineating the reasons their supporters/fan base should feel deeply aggrieved.

While congressional Democrats were pushing through Biden’s coronavirus relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, with zero Republican support, GOP lawmakers and right-wing pundits were tied up with myriad issues of great importance to struggling Americans. Those issues ranged from continuing to undermine the foundation of our democracy by questioning the outcome of the 2020 presidential election to continuing to undermine the health of our country by stirring doubt about the safety of the very safe COVID-19 vaccines.

Remarkably, those same folks still found time to discuss, at length, a toy potato’s penis and start hollering xenophobically about the border being overrun by “diseased” criminals and terrorists.

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