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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

President Joe Biden

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

It's not particularly surprising that Congressional Republicans—desperate for something to paper over their Trump-inspired rifts—would rally around blocking key pieces of President Biden's agenda.

What is notable, however, is them falling in line against Biden's concerted efforts to get a handle on the pandemic, get Americans back to work, get schools reopened, and restore a sense of normalcy to everyday life. Those efforts are now winning Biden a similar level of support among the American public as his wildly popular COVID-19 rescue plan is.

A new Associated Press-NORC poll released Friday found that 70 percent of Americans back Biden's handling of the response to the pandemic, including 44 percent of Republicans—a very similar level of support to what most surveys have found for Biden's COVID-19 relief package.

Biden's overall job performance approval came in at a strong 60 percent, but it's notable that he's doing ten points better on pandemic-specific issues. It suggests the popularity of Biden's pandemic relief is redounding to his benefit more broadly, along with his other efforts to speed up vaccine distribution and more generally provide palpable leadership on the issue. A Harris tracking poll this week also found public approval of vaccine distribution has risen to 66 percent, a 15-point jump in a single month.

Republicans, by prominently opposing that relief bill, are also broadly seen by the public as trying to jam Biden's efforts to improve the economy and combat the pandemic. A new Navigator Research poll found that 52 percent of Americans say Republicans in Congress are "blocking" Biden's efforts to improve the economy (just 20 percent say Republicans are helping) while a plurality of 40 percent say the same about Biden's efforts to combat the pandemic (just 31 percent say Republicans are helping).

Bottom line, in numerous polls, the American public likes both Biden's show of initiative and his specific initiatives on the pandemic.

Republicans, not so much. And this is the hill they have apparently chosen to die on.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Kathy Barnette

MSNBC Screenshot

Kathy Barnette, a Trumpist conspiracy-peddling Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race who has been rising through the ranks, speeding even past big-spending rivals, is facing waves of criticism and public backlash for her past anti-Muslim tweets.

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, after bobbing and weaving on questions probing her military service, Barnette tried to downplay the gravity of Islamophobic tweets that she had penned.

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