GOP Calls for Unity 'Cynical, Self-Serving' After 4 Years of Trump: WaPo Editorial Board

Republican supporters of former President Donald Trump have accused President Joe Biden of making disingenuous calls for "unity" since taking office. However, The Washington Post editorial board says they should "look in the mirror" when making such hypocritical claims.

A wide range of Republicans made it clear this week they plan to push back against Biden's presidency for the next four years, with many ridiculing the Democratic administration's inaugural calls for "unity." Arkansas GOP Senator Tom Cotton said Biden "promised unity," but instead sought to "kill jobs" with his first executive actions. And evangelical Pastor Robert Jeffress warned Friday "there's not going to be any unity" in America under a president who defends LGBTQ lifestyles and access to abortion.

But the Post editorial board fired back at the GOP's glaring double-standard now that they lost control of the Senate and the White House. A scathing opinion piece told Republicans bluntly "unity does mean that one side gets everything it wants" in an appeal to pre-Trump compromise.

"Republicans will feel pressure to deny Mr. Biden wins of any kind and to paint his agenda as radical," the editorial board wrote. "Instead, they should look in the mirror. Their party spent four years indulging and enabling President Donald Trump, who at every turn sought to divide the country for political gain. Their sudden demands for comity, now that they are no longer in power, ring as cynical and self-serving."

The editorial board highlighted several "big initiatives" Biden is poised to involve Republicans with—that is, if they can show "good faith" in his calls for unity. Pandemic relief package negotiations, bipartisan immigration reform and massive investment in U.S. infrastructure are the mutual appeals Biden has made even to his most fierce GOP opponents.

"Republicans should allow Mr. Biden to exercise the usual powers of the presidency without accusations that he is promoting disunity by advancing policies he campaigned on," the Post board wrote Saturday. "Then they should seek to have their views represented in COVID, infrastructure, immigration and other bills through good-faith negotiation. That's what unity, in a democracy, should look like."

"In a dictatorship, unity is easy; one must agree with the leader on all matters or suffer state retribution. In a pluralistic democracy, unity is the 'most elusive of things,' Mr. Biden said in his speech," the piece continued.

The White House on Wednesday issued a slew of executive orders, including one which codified the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling and another that seeks to "prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation."

Competing op-eds and major editorial pieces emerged in Biden's first week with headlines like "Do Democrats really want unity?" and the New York Post's almost paradoxical piece declaring, "Joe Biden's far-left 'unity' will divide us." Trump's most staunch supporters appear willing to dig in on longtime divisive issues such as abortion while simultaneously pointing out Democrats are actively impeaching the former president for a second time.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for additional remarks Sunday morning.

president donald trump leaves office
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Marine One as they depart the White House on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Trump is making his scheduled departure from the White House for Florida, several hours ahead of the inauguration ceremony for his successor Joe Biden, making him the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend the inauguration. ERIC THAYER / Stringer/Getty Images