All of a sudden, Republicans need a fainting couch because they heard some “naughty words,” said Karen Tumulty in WashingtonPost.com. In an interview last week with Glamour, Jen O’Malley Dillon, President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign manager and incoming deputy chief of staff, defended Biden’s pledge to work with Republicans in Congress but added the caveat, “I’m not saying they’re not a bunch of f--kers.” Her F-bomb led to a spate of pearl clutching from Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who claimed Biden’s staff had already betrayed its pledge to bring “unity and healing.” These are the same Republicans, said Molly Jong-Fast in TheDailyBeast.com, who defended President Trump after he said he grabs women “by the pussy,” called numerous critics “dogs,” tore children from their parents, and described impoverished countries as “shitholes.” Republicans “are f--kers. That’s the brand.”
So much for “lowering the temperature,” said Becket Adams in WashingtonExaminer.com. If Biden is remotely sincere about “finding common ground,” then his staff shouldn’t curse out members of the opposition party or call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “terrible,” as O’Malley Dillon also did. She’s since grudgingly acknowledged using “words that I probably could have chosen better,” which is hardly an apology. Biden’s pledge to seek bipartisan compromise is a fantasy anyway, said John Podhoretz in the New York Post. He’ll probably use it as a “cudgel against Republicans,” making it seem like “they just want to see the nation burn” if they block his agenda. That’s actually a smart, if cynical, strategy.
Republicans’ “phony outrage” over an F-bomb provides “a preview of the next four years,” said Alex Pareene in NewRepublic.com. “Having run on healing” and bipartisanship, “Biden has effectively laid a trap” for himself: If he or any Democrat accurately describes the GOP’s cynical, win-at-all-costs approach to politics, they will be accused of violating “that spirit of unity.” And Republicans will seize on any harsh words from Democrats to “excuse” their own coarseness “during the Trump years.” As President Obama’s failure to make deals with Republicans revealed, “it is trivially easy to sabotage an opponent who promises to bring everyone together”: simply refuse to cooperate. If McConnell and crew return to a strategy of sabotage, the Biden administration should “be honest” with the American public about “why you can’t work with these f--kers.”