There are two possibilities and I have not the slightest idea which one of them is correct, but we will find out quite soon. The first possibility is that Biden genuinely believes that he can reach out across the aisle and legislate in the way that he did 30 years ago, continuing to believe that despite the experience of the Obama administration in which he played a central role. If he believes that, then he will continue futilely to reach across the aisle and get his head handed to him again and again until it is too late to accomplish what he needs to accomplish in order to win the midterms.
The second possibility is that he quite well understands how little he can get done in a bipartisan fashion and has decided to make an enormous show of trying for a short period of time before “his hand is forced” by the virus and the economic crisis and he is “compelled” to opt for killing the filibuster, after which he can give statehood to DC, enact the progressive program of legislation that he is laid out, and leave the Republicans to stew in their own juices.
As I say, I do not think we will have to wait months and months to see which way this plays out. Biden is not stupid and he may have understood from the start that the pandemic was politically a blessing in disguise precisely because it would make it possible for him to appear to be doing things out of necessity that he actually wants to do. We shall see.
While I have your attention, let me note on another matter that if Dr. Anthony Fauci is correct that we need to vaccinate 75% or 80% of the population by the end of the summer to go back to something resembling normal, then that means (the arithmetic is simple) 2 million vaccinations a day from now until then. We are currently above 1 million a day before any of Biden’s bold plans have been put into effect at all so 2 million a day is, I believe, quite achievable. It irritates me to see the White House spokespersons continue to describe 100 million vaccinations in 100 days as a brave, bold initiative when that level has already been achieved, but I grant that it is good politics so I will grumble on my little blog but otherwise keep my mouth shut.