The vanishing phantom of bipartisanship went around the same time as the media’s descent from bias into a political messaging apparatus. There’s still bipartisanship, but it mostly means that Democrats get twice their cash demands and their political agendas, while Republicans just get their cash demands.
The omnibus is the repetition of a familiar pattern that predates President Trump and that shows no signs of going away.
Democrats take spending on a vulnerable group hostage to their demands, and then rely on the media to browbeat Republicans into meeting most or all of their demands. If there were any time when Republicans seemed to have broken the code and bypassed the media through social media, it was this time.
But it didn’t happen.
The Democrats are brazen about not needing to negotiate. Speaker Pelosi’s pre-election pandemic relief routine was the single biggest act of political chutzpah. And, despite some media murmurs, it passed, with the media doubling down on blaming Republicans. And that’s why Democrats don’t need to negotiate.
Why bother with the give and take of trading concessions for benefits when you can just sit back and let the media browbeat Republicans until they give in.
After a few days or weeks of being accused of killing children and the elderly, shortchanging veterans and the unemployed, they’ll give in. It’s a political calculation. House members have elections coming up pretty soon and this time around there are the Georgia runoffs. But there’s always something and there will always be something.
The media apparatus leaves Republicans with very little leverage. Democrats believe that they can refuse without paying a political price. Republicans don’t believe that they can. And as long as a huge segment of the population gets its news from the media, that’s not about to change. The confrontations start strong and fizzle out because Democrats have the media as their ace in the hole. And as social media censorship intensifies, Republicans will have even less ability to get their message out.