Politicians and members of the press love to drone on about bipartisanship, waxing lyrical about the way things used to be.
Back in the day, a congressman could debate a member of the opposing party on the House floor, only to grab a beer with him after the work day ended! Isn’t that swell?
They used to let bygones be bygones. It was a simpler time — and it’s now a cliché in politics that we should be striving to return to those good old days.
But guess what?
After seeing Senator Mitch McConnell and President Joe Biden slapping each other’s backs in Kentucky on Wednesday, the only thing both sides of the aisle might be able to agree on is that bipartisanship is overrated.
The president landed in Covington, Kentucky, to tout the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill he signed into law in 2021. He also wanted to thank McConnell for his help in getting the monstrosity through the Senate.
CNN described the scene as a “stark message of bipartisanship and pragmatism sent by Biden and McConnell.” But does anyone actually buy that?
For Republicans, this PR stunt is just further proof that Mitch McConnell is a creature of the Swamp. The case against Mitch and his “RINO” ways was compelling even before he greeted Joe Biden at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport with a giant adoring smile spread across his face, to celebrate the passage of an egregiously expensive state expenditure.
And before the Christmas break, McConnell helped Democrats push through the pork-filled $1.7 trillion omnibus bill — complete with $47 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, $3.6 million for a Michelle Obama walking trail in Georgia and $3 million for bee-friendly highways.
Perhaps that spending boondoggle can be chalked up as bipartisan “pragmatism” brought to you courtesy of Biden, McConnell and other ancient, white-haired spendthrifts in DC.
If McConnell’s backing of the omnibus bill wasn’t enough of a slap in the face to conservative voters, this cringeworthy love-fest between the two octogenarians certainly sealed the deal.
Biden laid the praise on thick for his friend McConnell. And why shouldn’t he? At this point, McConnell has done more for Joe Biden’s agenda than most of the Democrats in his party.
“He’s a man of his word,” the president told the crowd at the Brent Spence Bridge. “When he gives you his word, you can take it to the bank, you can count on it, and he’s willing to find common ground to get things done for the country. So thank you, Mitch. Thank you.”
I’m glad at least someone feels as though they can take Mitch McConnell at his word. The rest of us won’t make that mistake again.
If any Americans still think that “bipartisan” publicity stunts by power-hungry politicians are worth celebrating — well, I have a giant bridge I’d like to sell you.