Republicans are getting desperate -- just not enough to compromise on their right-wing policies: Conservative columnist
Composite image of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) via screengrabs

It is a little over four months (106 days) before Election Day and even less time before mailed ballots will be sent out and Republicans aren't looking good. According to Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, they're unwilling to do the work it takes to get reelected.


Writing in a Monday column, Rubin explained that it has become clear that Republican senators are getting desperate, just not desperate enough to compromise with Democrats or stand up to President Donald Trump.

Republican primaries are almost completely over, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) coronavirus bill still won't give funding to states and municipalities struggling in the COVID-19 crisis.

“The spiraling pandemic and the increasingly virulent politics around Washington’s handling of the novel coronavirus are raising the pressure on Senate Republicans as they try to craft a fresh coronavirus relief package," Rubin cited a Sunday report from The Post. “As the Senate returns this week for a three-week sprint before the August break, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is facing competing demands from President Trump and Republican senators, including some who are up for reelection in states hit hard by the virus and are coming under withering attacks by Democratic challengers over the pandemic.”

In a New York Times report Sunday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) is clearly struggling with the need for more from the White House, but without the drama to which Americans have become accustomed for the past four years.

“I want more briefings but, more importantly, I want the whole White House to start acting like a team on a mission to tackle a real problem," said the Nebraska senator. "[Peter] Navarro’s Larry, Moe and Curly junior-high slap fight this week is yet another way to undermine public confidence that these guys grasp that tens of thousands of Americans have died and tens of millions are out of work.”

McConnell's second demand in his stimulus package is for corporate liability protection so that workers can't sue their employer if the employer refuses to take steps to protect workers from getting the coronavirus

Rubin thinks that if the House holds firm against McConnell's demands that he'll cave, because the policies he wants are so unpopular that senators can't afford to die on the hill of demands for ending unemployment insurance.

"They do not want to face the wrath of their state governments, police, firefighters, teachers and other government workers back home if they do not agree to hundreds of billions in new federal funding," wrote Rubin. "McConnell made a grave error in not striking a deal months ago. Now, as the virus surges and Trump’s standing collapses, he is in a far worse position to extract concessions from the House."

She noted that Republicans are also facing problems because the White House is trying to claim that COVID-19 data from states go directly to him and not to the Center for Disease Control. But having Trump's "lackeys" hide the data at the Department of Health and Human Services doesn't mean that Americans will suddenly forget about the pandemic and the people who have it.

The Senate is also facing off against the White House in a defense bill that includes a provision that bases named after Confederate generals be changed. Senators want to pass the bill, but Trump has indicated that he will veto it. Are there enough Republicans willing to stand up to the president and override his veto? It puts the senators up for reelection in a difficult position.

"Will they remain mute as Trump uses Customs and Border Protection agents as his private goon squad, attacking demonstrators, refusing to identify themselves and hauling demonstrators away in unmarked vehicles?" Rubin also asked. "Will they pass any sort of police reform bill before November?"

"Republicans’ self-created plight reminds me of the book title Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven But Nobody Wants to Die” Rubin closed. "In this case, Republicans all want to get reelected; they simply do not want to do the things they need to do — incurring Trump’s wrath along the way — to get to political heaven."