But the practical result of trying to pass something so ambitious when the party’s margins in Congress are so narrow is lots of infighting and delay. And that’s not good for the president. Most Americans don’t care about, and a fair number positively loathe, Washington process battles. The longer this drags on, the more it looks like no one is acting as captain of the ship of state, with the crew consumed by bickering and the vessel drifting on aimlessly, listing to the port side. (How many weeks this year have articles about the ultimate process story, whether or not Democrats will “nuke the filibuster,” dominated the news?)
So can Biden look forward to a strong bounce back once Congress finally does pass something, a month or so down the road? (This assumes, of course, that something does pass and negotiations don’t break down entirely.)
It’s possible, but the evidence is pretty thin. Another poll this week, from Morning Consult and Politico, shows that fewer than half of respondents (47 percent) credit Democrats for the $300-per-child checks that began to go out earlier this year, and that only 38 percent credit Biden. Meanwhile, half support the payments in general, but only 35 percent want to make them permanent. (They are scheduled to expire next year.) That’s hardly a blueprint to a strong path back to popularity for the president when and if his agenda finally triumphs in some form on Capitol Hill.