Opinion

OPINION: Pelosi-McConnell Bipartisanship In The New Congress? Don’t Count On It

Jen Kerns Contributor

Call it an olive branch. Or perhaps a momentary lapse of judgment.

Whatever the case, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell penned an op-ed extending an offer to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to work together in a bipartisan manner when the 116th Congress convenes in January.

There is no word on the offer yet from Pelosi, who is busy fending off an intramural attack within her own party in her bid for Speaker of the House. With up to 19 Democrats now revolting against the current minority leader, she’s got a mutiny on her hands.

However, if Pelosi were to succeed in attaining the coveted gavel once again what are the odds for bipartisanship?

As the Magic 8-Ball would say: “Outlook not so good.”

Past behavior is an often accurate predictor of future performance, and Pelosi has been one of the more divisive leaders of an already-divisive Democratic Party.

For her part, Pelosi is nothing if not hypocritical. Despite her unveiling last week that one of her top-ten goals for the new session is to give “dreamers” citizenship, it was actually Pelosi along with Chuck Schumer who reneged on a bipartisan DACA solution after claiming they had a “deal” with President Trump following a White House dinner last February. The deal went nowhere with Schumer and Pelosi even after Trump held a nationally televised bipartisan meeting congressional leaders and his cabinet in which the president said he would sign any deal the leaders brought to the table.

The fact that Pelosi’s other stated goals for the House include a push for gun control and a war with big pharma leaves little common ground to work with Republicans.

Pelosi’s counterparts in the Senate have not been much better on bipartisanship.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Democrats’ partisan obstruction on Trump administration nominees has been nothing short of record-breaking. The average length of time for an appointee during the Obama administration was just over two months. However, it took Democrats seven months to confirm Richard Grenell, the Ambassador to Germany. (Grenell, an openly-gay Republican should have been a shoo-in.) Numerous other appointees, such as a Civil Rights Division chief and head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice still await their approvals a year later. In fact, Democrats have obstructed so many other Trump appointments that dozens of Obama holdovers remain in place a whopping 22 months into the Trump administration. That is anything but friendly, bipartisan behavior.

Democrats have gone beyond gridlock by making physical threats against Republicans.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that Democrats “kick” Republicans.

California Rep. Maxine Waters incited a riot by ordering her supporters to create crowds and “push back” against Trump administration officials.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called for his supporters get up in Republicans’ faces.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took it one step further, saying of Trump, “I’d beat the hell out of him.” He didn’t mean at the ballot box, either.

Of course, how could we forget that the call for political violence really started in 2008 with then-candidate Barack Obama bragging, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” (Ironic for a guy who favors gun control and once accused Republicans of clinging to their God and their guns.)

With colleagues like these, McConnell’s open call for bipartisan stands little chance with the exception of perhaps an infrastructure deal to kick off the session to give Americans the warm and fuzzy feeling that the two sides are working together on at least one issue.

However, don’t be fooled. Even though Democrats won back the House, with the 2020 presidential election looming they won’t be looking to get chummy on a range of issues with the GOP anytime soon.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.