Politics Byron York's Daily Memo: No, there's no mandate to re-make America
Byron York's Daily Memo: Liz Cheney's game
Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.LIZ CHENEY'S GAME. What is House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney thinking? Is she trying to deliver tough love to the GOP's most ardent supporters of former President Donald Trump? Is she trying to administer bad-tasting-but-needed medicine to her party? Is she trying to curry favor with media opinion-makers? Is she trying to position herself for some big political move in the next year or so? None of that is really clear at this moment.
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NO, THERE'S NO MANDATE TO RE-MAKE AMERICA. Does President Joe Biden have a mandate to rebuild the United States? To remake American capitalism? To reshape the role of government? The president's Democratic supporters say yes. But the results of the election that brought Biden to office say no.
Biden advocates argue that he can bring change to America in the style of Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the New Deal and Lyndon Johnson during the Great Society. "Will Joe Biden take his place alongside FDR and LBJ?" asked a. Authors Stephen Collinson and Caitlin Hu seem optimistic -- if Biden can pass his massive "infrastructure" bill, they write, he "will lay claim to a spot in the Democratic pantheon alongside Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson who used vast government power to reorient the economy and benefit the poor with their New Deal and Great Society programs."
Byron York's Daily Memo: Joe Biden, crisis monger
Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.JOE BIDEN, CRISIS MONGER. Just last week, this newsletter noted that the Biden White House has a tendency to over-use the word "crisis." Senior staff routinely portray President Joe Biden as facing one crisis after another. Indeed, the administration came into office declaring that the nation faced four simultaneous crises -- the COVID pandemic crisis, the related economic crisis, the climate crisis, and the racial equity crisis.
"Can Biden Join FDR and LBJ In The Democratic Party's Pantheon?" asked. "Biden, Like FDR and LBJ, Sees Opportunity In A Moment of Crisis," said . "Biden is planning for a Great Society 2.0," wrote .
It's all wishful thinking. Yes, like FDR and LBJ, Biden has been elected President of the United States. But the voters have given Biden nowhere near the power they gave Roosevelt and Johnson. When voters want presidents to do big things, they give them big victories, both in their own elections and those in Congress.
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Byron York's Daily Memo: Why House Republicans have had it with Liz Cheney
Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.WHY HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE HAD IT WITH LIZ CHENEY. On January 25, Republican Representative Dan Newhouse sent out a press release announcing that he had been chosen to serve as one of his party's assistant whips. "I'm honored to have been selected," Newhouse said. GOP Whip Steve Scalise, who chose Newhouse, added, "I'm very excited to welcome Dan to the Whip Team for the 117th Congress.
Biden won the presidency with 306 electoral votes to Donald Trump's 232. Biden won the popular vote by seven million votes, but as has often been noted, Biden's Electoral College victory rested on a total of 43,809 votes in Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin.
Compare that to Roosevelt's victories. In 1932, Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover by an electoral total of 472 to 59. (At that time, 266 votes were needed for victory.) In 1936, Roosevelt was re-elected, over Republican Alf Landon, by an electoral vote of 523 to 8. (Yes, Landon got all of eight electoral votes, by winning Vermont and Maine.)
Johnson was elected in 1964, over Republican Barry Goldwater, by an electoral vote of 486 to 52.
Then there were FDR's and LBJ's congressional majorities. They were huge. In 1932, the year of Roosevelt's election, Democrats won 313 seats in the House. In 1934, they won 322. In 1936, the year of Roosevelt's re-election, they won 334. That year, Republicans won just 88 House seats. In the Senate, in 1932, Democrats controlled 59 seats, out of a total 96 seats. (This was before Alaska and Hawaii became states.) In 1934, Democrats had 69 seats, and in 1936 they had 76 seats. Republicans controlled just 16 seats in the Senate.
Byron York's Daily Memo: Polarization and Biden's ratings
Welcome to Byron York's Daily Memo newsletter.POLARIZATION AND BIDEN'S RATINGS. Some parts of Democratic Twitter go nuts when it is pointed out that President Biden's 100-day job approval rating is the third-lowest of any president since World War II. (Only Donald Trump and Gerald Ford were lower.) All that matters to the most partisan Democrats, apparently, is that Biden's approval rating is higher than Trump's.
In 1964, the year of Johnson's election, Democrats won 295 seats in the House. They controlled 68 seats in the Senate.
Now compare that to Biden. Democrats control the House by the barest of majorities, with just 218 seats. In the Senate, Democrats have no majority at all, with the body tied 50-50. Their ability to control the Senate rests with a Democratic vice president, who can break tie votes.
And that is supposed to produce the next FDR or LBJ? American politics just doesn't work that way.
Back in 1993, when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was pushing Congress to pass a universal health care bill,warned her that she needed big majorities for something so far-reaching and so momentous. Landmark bills don't squeak through Congress with a single-vote majority, Moynihan reportedly told Clinton. "They pass 70-to-30, or they fail."
Back then, Moynihan's Democratic Senate colleague Joe Biden would likely have agreed. But today's Biden Democrats believe the big-majority standard longer applies. Why not remake the United States on the strength of a vote or two in the House? Why not remake the U.S. on a 50-50 tie in the Senate, broken by the vice president?
NHL's COVID protocol-related absences for May 7, 2021
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Maybe Democrats can pull it off. But maybe the old rules -- and common sense -- still apply.
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Redacted Justice Department memo on Trump and obstruction raises fresh questions about Barr's handling of Mueller probe .
A federal judge's ruling this week ordering the release of a redacted Justice Department memo recommending that former President Donald Trump should not be charged with obstruction of justice could place new scrutiny on then-Attorney General William Barr's handling of the Mueller investigation. © Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images Attorney General William Barr participates in a press conference at the Department of Justice along with DOJ officials on February 10, 2020 in Washington, DC.