David Harsanyi explains at National Review Online why Republican policymakers should use caution when approaching infrastructure proposals.

The Washington Post informs us … that Democrats are open to concessions on their infrastructure bill. And isn’t that generous? Joe Biden, the Post says, is even willing to break up his $2.3 trillion boondoggle-to-be into smaller, more palatable bills for the moderates — even if it only attracts “a handful of Republicans.”

Democrats, explains the Post, “are hunting for a framework to sell the infrastructure proposals that doesn’t sound too liberal,” hoping to entice centrists by framing the bill as “bold moderation.”

Well, as long as it doesn’t sound too liberal, that’s what’s important.

Why would any sentient conservative participate in this deception? Biden’s bill has as little to do with genuine infrastructure as his COVID-relief bill had to do with the pandemic. Approximately 7 percent of spending in the bill is aimed at boosting roads and bridges, or projects traditionally viewed as infrastructure by the public. Besides, are conservatives interested in further nationalizing green policy, or building more useless choo-choo-train tracks, or bailing out unions again? Are they interested in continuing to participate in the creation of bloated spending baselines? As it is, the United States already spends somewhere around $440 billion each year on infrastructure.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell now says “zero” Republicans back the plan in its current form but has opened the door to a smaller plan. However, Republicans have no civic duty to negotiate or pass leftist indulgences — or anything — incrementally or otherwise. These partisan debates are usually unfurled in the same dishonest way: Democrats stake out a position and offer some colossal “reform” to tackle the alleged emergency. The establishment media, circumventing the debate over whether such interventions are necessary, frame the issue in liberal terms and infuse it with liberal assumptions. …

… When conservatives balk, they’re cast as recalcitrant nihilists or professional obstructionists.