The Republicans’ efforts to demonize President Biden so far have met with no success. Currently, Biden enjoys a 60% approval rating and his approval rating for handling the pandemic is 67%. Similarly, the American Rescue Plan is supported by 70% of Americans.
Initially, the Republicans tried to slow down Biden’s agenda by emphasizing Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. However, the Republicans’ emphasis on kid’s books and toys didn’t work so now they are trying to scare everybody with the immigration issue. I expect Fox to report that a caravan will soon be making its way to the U.S. border.
Let’s do some fact checking on the immigration issue. Republican propaganda relies heavily upon voter amnesia and bad memories. It’s our job to refresh those memories. The reality is that Biden inherited a broken immigration system from Trump. (What didn’t Trump break?)
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) recently tweeted: “An uptick of apprehensions and illegal border crossings last fall was evidence that Biden’s inauguration had not triggered a surge of migration.”
In a recent interview, Murphy pointed out that: “The surge at the border began last fall, in the last four months of Donald Trump’s presidency there was an 80 percent surge in apprehensions at the border.” The Connecticut Democrat also pointed out that the eleven year high in border apprehensions occurred during the previous administration. (Border apprehensions hit an eleven year high in 2019.)
Murphy followed up that interview with another tweet on immigration: “I’m not contesting there has been an increase in apprehensions. What I’m pointing out is that it didn’t start when Biden became President.
Here’s the rough data on % increases in border encounters:
Jun-Aug — 73%
Sept-Nov — 44%
Dec-Feb — 38%”
We should look at this increase in border crossings in the context of the fact that the D.C. Republicans have sabotaged immigration reform for years. During George W. Bush’s second term, a bi-partisan immigration bill sponsored by Senators Edward Kennedy and John McCain was killed by a right wing GOP filibuster in the U.S. Senate.
President Obama’s immigration reform agenda suffered a similar fate. In 2013, the Senate passed a compromise immigration reform bill by a 68–32 vote. This legislation consisted of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and more money for border enforcement. Deb Fischer opposed this bill.
Due to pressure from the likes of Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith, John Boehner refused to allow an up or down vote on the bill in the House, where it died. Otherwise, the Senate immigration bill would’ve passed in the House with a combination of votes from Democrats and moderate Republicans.
In 2018, Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats offered to appropriate $25 billion for Trump’s ridiculous wall with Mexico in return for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Trump rejected the deal after he caved to the hardliners in his Administration.
President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have both introduced immigration reform proposals. Those bills will pass the House but McConnell is expected to kill them in the Senate with a filibuster.
We currently have this problem at the border due to years of Republican obstruction. The D.C. Republicans would prefer to keep the immigration issue on the boil rather than actually solve the problem.
The Republicans’ dissembling on the recent increase in gas prices is as dishonest as their attempt to blame Biden for the problems at the border. Once again, let’s do a little fact checking.
Politifact on March, 2, 2021: “Are gas prices higher than they’ve been “in years”?
No. Today’s prices are the highest they’ve been in about 18 months.
Gas prices were similar to or higher than their current level for much of the time between October 2017 and January 2020 — that is, more than two years of Trump’s presidency. Prices were higher than today for all of the time between March 2018 and November 2018, and all of the time between April 2019 and August 2019.”
Republicans believe that Trump can control world oil prices but was helpless in the face of a pandemic. In 2008, when gas prices were $4 per gallon, Republicans told us that the president had no control over gas prices. I agreed with the Republicans on this issue in 2008 and I agree with them now.
The D.C. Republicans are trying to change the subject to immigration and gas prices because they are deeply saddened by the good news on the economy and the pandemic. The D.C. Republicans are invested in the failure of Biden and the country in a cynical attempt to grab power.
According to a recent projection from Moody’s, President Biden’s recently signed COVID-19 relief bill “could create up to 4.3 million new jobs, in addition to the estimated 2.9 million jobs that the firm says would have been added anyway.”
Economists at Goldman Sachs are similarly optimistic. Economists at this Wall Street firm raised their GDP growth expectations for the U.S. economy to 8% for 2021. When Trump was president, GDP never reached 4% in any quarter. The best Donald could do after his failed tax cuts were two quarters of 3.5% growth.
In this same forecast, Goldman Sachs explained that it has raised its forecast for domestic economic growth “to reflect the latest fiscal policy news.” In other words, we can credit the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan for this improved forecast.
The good news from the Federal Reserve will also enrage the D.C. Republicans. The U.S. central bank is predicting 6.5% growth this year, a 4.5% jobless rate at the end of 2021, and a moderate inflation rate of 2.4%. (In comparison, inflation was 13.5% in 1980.)
The developments on the vaccine front are equally encouraging. Since Biden has taken office, daily vaccinations have increased from 900,000 to over 2.5 million! This was after Trump left Biden with no plan to distribute the vaccines.
Already, this spate of good news has made the American people feel good about the country for the first time in years. In a new Morning Consult poll, a majority (55%) of Americans feel the country is moving in the right direction. That’s up from 20% on January 13.
We Democrats need to constantly message to the voters the profound differences between the two parties. We Democrats are the party of the people. The Democratic Party created Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans are the party of the rich, sabotage, mass unemployment, mass illness, mass death and violence.
The Republicans will always be the party of Donald Trump. We must never let the voters forget that. History matters. Now let’s get it done!