This week, Democrats are grappling with whether to press ahead with their own COVID-19 relief package or to seek some consensus — by drastically reducing the scope of the effort — with their GOP colleagues.

In OtherWords, Mitchell Zimmerman says that would be a terrible idea.

Republicans, he points out, don’t simply have different ideas about how to respond to crises like the pandemic, climate change, or racial injustice. In many cases, he argues, they’ve denied — and accelerated — these problems altogether. What’s needed isn’t less partisanship, he concludes. It’s more.

Jim Hightower agrees.

Biden promised an “FDR-sized presidency,” Hightower reminds the new president (a promise cartoonist Khalil Bendib beautifully illustrates this week). That can’t just mean undoing the worst of Trump’s directives, he argues. It needs to mean engaging meaningfully with the groups who got him elected, who have the least to gain from restoring the old status quo.

On the subject of reversing those directives, other writers agree.

Domenica Ghanem offers a personal reflection on Biden’s reversal of Trump’s Muslim ban — and what needs to happen next. And Rebekah Entralgo says that Biden’s ban on renewing private federal prison contracts is a welcome step, but it needs to be expanded to include immigration detention too.

New This Week…

We Need More Partisanship, Not Less | Mitchell Zimmeran
Democrats shouldn’t compromise their solutions to pander to a GOP that is part of the problem.

After the Muslim Ban | Domenica Ghanem
I’m glad Biden repealed Trump’s Muslim ban, but the work of repairing the harm is just beginning.

Take on the Punishment Profiteers | Rebekah Entralgo
Biden’s order rolling back for-profit prisons is a good first step. Next we need to end for-profit immigration detention.

Biden: Listen to the Outsiders | Jim Hightower
The new president is a lifetime insider, but his legacy now depends on working with those the status quo has failed.

Filling FDR’s Shoes | Khalil Bendib
Biden promised an FDR-sized presidency. Can his grow into one?

In Case You Missed It…

Three Steps to Prevent Future Election Violence | Kerri Kennedy
I’ve spent my entire career on peacebuilding after conflict. Here’s how we avoid becoming a failed state.

Essential Workers Take the Risk, CEOs Take the Reward | Sam Pizzigati
Walgreens employees got just 18 cents an hour in hazard pay while their CEO made $17 million.

The GOP’s Resentment Theater | Jill Richardson
When President Biden condemned violent white supremacy, leading Republicans complained. Why?

Workers Need Paid Sick Leave ASAP | Sarah Anderson
Congress let mandatory paid leave end on Dec. 31. Lawmakers — and employers — need to restore them immediately.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org.

OtherWords commentaries are free to re-publish in print and online — all it takes is a simple attribution to OtherWords.org. To get a roundup of our work each Wednesday, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.