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Conservative columnist George Will said that President-elect Joe Biden “would probably be just as happy” to have a Republican-led Senate during his presidency.
Will wrote in June that GOP voters should vote to remove President Trump’s “enablers” in Congress. Will was asked if he’s concerned that many of the Republican lawmakers who support Trump were reelected in the Nov. 3 election.
“I’m not. I think they feel chastened,” Will said during a recent discussion organized by Jews United for Democracy and Justice. “There is zero, and I mean zero, affection in the Senate for the president. He has no friends, no admirers and when he’s gone, as soon he shall be, some of these people are going to snap back to a position of recognizable dignity.”
The outcome of the runoff elections in Georgia will determine party control of the Senate next year. Will said a GOP-led Senate would give Biden a way out of catering to the desires of the progressive wing of Democratic Party.
“Some of them [GOP lawmakers] deserved to lose, they didn’t lose, but you know, the American people must like divided government, because they certainly produce it often, and their instinct is not wrong,” said Will, who left the Republican Party in 2016.
“Joe Biden would probably be just as happy to have a Republican Senate,” he said, “because then he can turn to some of his critics on the left and say, ‘Pack the Supreme Court, statehood for Puerto Rico, abolish the Electoral College, can’t do that because of the Senate. So let’s get on with things the American people are actually worried about.'”
Ahead of the Nov. 3 election, Will said he was planning to vote for Biden. Will was asked if he feels “safer” with Biden’s foreign policy and national security selections compared to the Trump administration.
“Yes. I mean, these are veteran people, they know government, they don’t think government is a foreign country or the adversary,” he said. “They’re vastly experienced, temperate people. No one at this point, it seems to me, can be alarmed by these people. Mr. Trump selected some good people early, but he ran through them a mile a minute.”
“What Mr. Biden is trying to do, communicate and to produce is continuity, stability, calm,” said the anti-Trump commentator. “Adult supervision has come back to Washington.”
Will was also asked if he thinks the anger and frustration of Trump’s supporters is something the country is going to have to address in some way.
“I don’t think the American people as a whole are angry,” he replied. “I think they’re exhausted. I don’t think they want a revolution, I think they want a restoration of civility and something like normality. The cable television audience on both sides, is kind of angry. They’re at a perpetual rolling boil because they enjoy that, I think.”
Will said Biden was able to garner more votes than Trump because of his demeanor and his “almost electric Jack Nicholson smile.”
Will also weighed in on the issue of some Americans choosing not to wear masks during the pandemic as a political statement.
“I am, as you say, libertarian-ish, which is to say I believe that if the government interferes with the freedom of the individual it ought to have a good reason, and it ought to say what it is,” he said. “Well, a communicable disease is a really good reason.”
Compulsory mask-wearing “is a minor excision from your liberty, and it will save your life and perhaps that of your friends,” he asserted.
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