As Biden nears an elusive infrastructure deal, Trump is saltier than ever
Think back and try to remember a period in the past five years when it wasn't Infrastructure Week, that Groundhog Day-esque stretch of un-time which became the defining shorthand to describe the Trump administration's perpetual ineptitude when it came to getting a single goddamned thing done. By The New York Times' counting, there have been at least 10 infrastructure weeks, not one of which actually yielded anything close to progress toward fixing the nation's crumbling highways, bridges, and other fundamental armatures without which we'd be hopelessly screwed.
Now, as President Joe Biden stands at the cusp of actually delivering on a real, honest-to-god infrastructure deal that would change what had once been a long-standing joke into an actual, tangible legislative victory; his predecessor has reportedly chosen to revive the hoary cliche that is "infrastructure week" by actively working to derail what might become one of the most consequential government endeavors of the past half century.
"Who are these RINO Republicans that are so dedicated to giving the Radical Left Democrats a big and beautiful win on Infrastructure?" Trump mused in a statement this week. "Republican voters will never forget their name, nor will the people of our Country!"
More than anything else, that sense of entitlement — and self-absorbed dismay at having missed his own opportunity for a victory — is what seems to be driving Trump's dedicated efforts to sabotage the Biden administration's infrastructure negotiations. According to a recent report from Politico, his nagging and interfering has gotten so bad that even Republican lawmakers are hoping he'll shut up and get onboard with the pending deal.
"The last time I told him there’s not going to be any tax increases, and I’m of the opinion let’s do a deal that’s good for the roads, ports, and bridges," longtime Trump carbuncle Sen. Lindsay Graham said, adding "Let’s do it."
"I’ve read [Trump's] statements,” GOP Sen. Kevin Cramer said. “It’s a little short on specificity."
That Republican lawmakers would be so open in their dismissal of Trump's seemingly serious effort to deny Biden an infrastructure win may be a sign that the former president's seemingly ironclad grip on the GOP could be slipping when it comes to dictating actual legislation. While Trump may still be able to move the GOP base, it seems his influence among actual lawmakers making actual laws might not be so profound. For Republican senators worried about burning their bridges with the former president, the prospect of being able to laud a long-sought-after infrastructure bill to their constituents means there's no bridge that can't be rebuilt, or replaced, as necessary.