Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Conservatives bash ‘uniparty’ Republicans in push to dissuade bipartisanship

By 37ci3 Mar3,2024

WASHINGTON – The faction in power Donald Trump-aligned Republicans are trying to redefine the deal as an insult by using the phrase “unipartisanship” to attack their colleagues working with Democrats and slam deals that fall short of what their base wants.

The growing use of the word among the GOP’s rising culture warriors represents efforts by conservative lawmakers, activists and commentators to decry bipartisan deals on issues that have broad support in Congress, such as government funding, infrastructure spending and aid to US allies. Ukraine.

Rep. Bob Goode, R-Va., chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus, called the recently passed House bill. to avoid a partial government shutdown an example of “one-party voting,” with Republicans who “talk about spending cuts and talk about fiscal responsibility” but ultimately support compromise spending measures.

“Bipartisanship is when the rubber hits the road and Republicans and Democrats join hands to hold on to the American people,” Goode told NBC News.

He added that “unfortunately, many Republicans are too eager to compromise with Democrats.”

While Republicans control the House of Representatives, Democrats hold the Senate majority and the White House, with President Joe Biden on Friday. signed the law to keep the government open, House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. short-term financial bill discussed with

Republicans attacking the so-called single party in the House and Senate, including Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Marcory Taylor Greene of Georgia and Matt Gaetz of Florida, as well as Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and JD Vance of Ohio, all voted against it. the latest government funding law.

The House voted 320-99 to pass the measure, and the Senate voted 77-13—proof, according to Boebert, that Washington is “definitely” a “single party.”

“That means Republicans who vote Democratic Light, side with the other party because they’re weak, and refuse to take a stand,” he said. “Unfortunately, too many Republicans campaign like conservatives and govern like Nancy Pelosi.”

Vance, a leading critic of additional funding for Ukraine’s military effort, said he did not know where the term “unipartisanship” came from, but pointed to recent discussions about helping Ukraine defend against Russia as an example.

“Whether you call it uniparty or whatever, I think it shows that something is broken in our democratic process,” he said.

Where did the term come from?

The modern usage of “unipartisanship” goes back several years, although its roots are much deeper. The coining of the term has long been a favorite of Steve Bannon. Former Trump White House official and has been a right-wing media personality placement for years. Trump has himself reposted items from supporters Using the descriptor on the Truth Social platform.

The right has previously adopted similar phrases such as “regime” that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly used to describe the federal government during his 2024 presidential campaign, and “draining the swamp” from Trump’s 2016 campaign. there is also “the cathedral,” a term used by some on the right to describe institutions they see as controlling acceptable political discourse.

Meanwhile, left-wing and third-party candidates have sometimes adopted similar terminology. Former President Barack Obama’s aide called the foreign policy agency “Blob”, former Green Party presidential candidates Ralph Nader and Jill Stein They used “one party” against the US political system.

In his 2024 campaign, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. used the term, among others. he wrote Last month, The Baltimore Sun wrote that special interest groups “control our government to such an extent that many Americans now refer to the two parties as ‘one party,’ regardless of which party is in charge.”

Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Spear said in a statement that “more Americans of all political persuasions agree that both establishment parties represent basically the same corporate interests.”

“The term unipartisanship is therefore quite natural, and Mr. Kennedy is pleased that it has gained traction,” he said.

Sen. Rand Paul, son of libertarian former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, noted the third-party roots of the uniparty framework, saying: “I’ve had the uniparty since I was a kid, and I would have come here in the 1970s.”

Paul, R-Ky., said in an interview that “Libertarians always used it when they ran as another independent party.” “It hasn’t been used as much in the Republican Party, but I think it’s attractive.”

Some Republicans don’t like the framework

This term is most often used when discussing two different issues – financing of Ukraine and public spending. And the leader who has found himself most under attack on that front, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently announced that he will step down as leader after the November election.

McConnell has pushed loudly He was able to cut a series of deals with the Biden administration for additional funding for Ukraine and during a divided government.

“Believe me, I know the politics in my party at this particular moment,” McConnell said in part of his speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday. pending retirement He emphasized the need for America to lead on the global stage. “I have many mistakes; Misunderstanding politics is not one of them.”

However, some Republicans, including lawmakers who voted against the short-term spending deal and blocked new funding for Ukraine, find the term odd.

“What, you can’t tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican here?” said Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas.

When asked why his colleagues used this term, he answered: “I don’t know. I think everyone should find something clever.”

“Frankly, they don’t like the term,” said a Senate Republican aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I think it went from ‘swamp’, which I like, to ‘regime’, which I like less, and then to ‘one-party’, which I like less,” this person said. “And they all mean the same thing. But I think it sounds weirder and weirder and weirder and people don’t really know what they mean.

The person said they felt some MPs used the language because it sounded “like a vague intellectual term, even though it’s not.”

As for what separates “unipartisanship” initiatives from bipartisanship, which some of these right-wing lawmakers may be involved in, the person said the distinction is simple: If leadership on both sides is in favor of it, it’s “unipartisanship,” but if leaders of both parties oppose it, it’s not. .

Democrats continue to celebrate bipartisanship

Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, a member of the Democratic Party leadership, said that the use of the term by some Republicans shows that they are only interested in serving a narrow segment of the electorate.

“If they want to make it clear that their coalition is 28% of the public, I welcome that,” he said. “They are a minority and they try to make a virtue out of the fact that their view is a minority opinion. But the truth is that they are outside the mainstream and any competent political party does not emphasize this point.”

Democrats aren’t afraid to celebrate acts of bipartisanship, even if they lead to legislation or policies they consider imperfect.

“As I’ve told the speaker repeatedly, bipartisanship is the only way to get things done here, and this deal is another proof point,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. floor Thursday’s short-term government funding bill. “When bipartisanship is prioritized, when getting things done for the American people is a high priority, good things can happen even in divided government.”

In a statement Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre used the phrase “bipartisan” three times in one sentence to describe the legislation.

“The bipartisan agreement announced today will help avoid an unnecessary shutdown while providing more time to work on bipartisan appropriations bills and allow the House to pass a bipartisan national security supplement as quickly as possible,” he said.

Does it apply to Trump?

Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., used the use of “one party” to describe “a group that always votes for more spending and more debt,” building it entirely around spending.

“The letter next to their name doesn’t matter: [They’re] Republicans who vote like Democrats and Democrats who vote like Republicans,” Burchett said.

By that measure, the term could apply to Trump, whose policies in office have driven up spending and deficits even as Republicans control both the House and Senate.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served in the Trump administration as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has repeatedly brought up Trump-era spending on the campaign trail as she tries to win the GOP nomination for her former boss.

“I’d like to tell you that Joe Biden did this to us,” he said last month in South Carolina when he expressed concern about the national debt. “But I have always told you the hard truth. I will do the same with you tonight. The Republicans did it to us. You see, President Trump has left us $8 trillion in debt in just four years. More than other presidents.”

One word he doesn’t use to describe this predicament: uniparty.

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By 37ci3

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