Democratic Party Seems Determined to Allow the Perfect to be the Enemy of the Good

I wish I could believe when the Dems are holding these urgent meetings they are just sipping tea and refining the moment when they pass both bills and get some Republicans to do . . . well anything on any issue. But the truth seems to be that they are going to blow up the building, the two bills, and themselves with all this infighting.

The great imploding of the Biden Agenda where the Democratic Party proves again they can clutch defeat from the jaws of victory and make the Republicans look competent while they do it. Why not hand Mitch McConnell a stunning victory for being an obstructionist tool of evil with the added bonus of reminding recent crossovers like me that the only thing dumber than a stubborn Republican holding on to ridiculous policy is a stubborn Democrat standing on ridiculous principle.

If the left lets this opportunity slip through their fingers - - - well I may not ever vote for a Republican ever, ever, ever again – but I am damn sure not going to get off my ass to ever support a Democratic initiative again! Go ahead Dems, prove to me you are not any more capable of governing than the bunch I just abandoned! I dare you! Fail to pass not only one, but both of the Infrastructure bills while you hold the White house and at least small majorities in both houses of Congress! Prove you are not the grown-ups either, fight over pettiness and show the GOP correctly named you Libtards!

Prove to me it doesn’t matter who is in charge because you are as bad as they are!! Go on, do it – I double dog dare you, say reconciliation one more time.

(Gee, I hope I did not come across as frustrated or impatient- either way I cannot wait to vote against Sinema at the next possible opportunity.)

Negotiations are ongoing. I know we Democrats like to panic and assume the worst, but the last few days have greatly increased the chances that both bills will be passed, at least in some form. Until a few days ago, they weren’t even negotiating. Now they are.

If there’s a path to both bills, Pelosi will find it. We’re extremely lucky to have her, perhaps the most legislatively skilled speaker in decades, if not longer. Just wait and see. If they both fail, then you can panic.

Pelosi irritates the hell out of me, and I’m a Democrat.
Biden may believe this is the Democrat’s only chance to get this done, while they hold small majorities in the House and Senate.

I keep getting the impression that there was an agreement to split things into the two bills, one bipartisan and one using reconciliation, and vote them through together. And that, later, Manchin and Sinema are trying to back out of voting for the second one. So, there’d be a kind of fraud used to get the parts they want (or at least the parts Manchin wants, as nobody knows what Sinema wants).

I don’t know if this is true and would be very happy to get some kind of reporting on what has happened so far. Please, anybody with information on this, let us know!

Trouble is, from the progressive point of view, they’re either getting tricked into caving on the agenda they got elected to pursue (more or less), or they’re getting blamed for killing a very popular bill.

Sigh. I wish you were wrong, but I am afraid you aren’t.

FWIW, I think Pelosi is brilliant, but has a weak hand. Unfortunately, I am afraid McConnell is too. He also has a weak hand, but somehow is holding his caucus together.

I’m very pleased with the progress so far. It was always going to be extremely difficult to keep all 50 Democratic senators together. Up until a few days ago, it seemed like Sinema was ready to torpedo the whole thing, for no apparent reason other than to be a headline. But now they’re negotiating. I think the most likely outcome now is a deal with Sinema and Manchin, somewhere in between the original 3.5 trillion and Manchin’s 1.5.

Lots of work to do, and we’ll see.

If Democrats don’t pass big, bold legislation that makes a big, bold and immediate impact on working people, they should blow it all up so Repubs can’t scavenge the remains, because Dems will be out in 2022. What we’ve seen so far from Dems is business as usual – start with a major bill, let Republicans cut it to small bits, with most of the benefit going to corporations. The infrastructure bill is a fraction of what’s needed & Republicans will take full credit for both the bill and keeping Dems from overspending. Working people will barely notice. Now Dems are letting two Democrats do the same to the social infrastructure bill. It’s going to be cut to nothing much, with little impact. This country is so far behind on both social and physical infrastructure spending, and now the spineless Democrats are backing down instead of playing hardball against Republicans. They may not be destroying our country, but they’re not doing much to save it either.

I might be mistaken but IIRC, I think McConnell’s refusal to vote with Dems to raise the debt ceiling threw a wrench into the plans. I’ve read differing opinions on this but one explanation I’ve read is that the Democrats wanted to shame the Senate Repubs into having a vote on raising the debt ceiling - that did not work. They probably won’t get a straight vote on it until/unless they agree to drop the larger $3.5 social infrastructure bill (Build Back Better Act). They can still raise the debt ceiling on their own, but now they will probably have to use reconciliation to do it, and it would have to be the reconciliation bill that they’ve already voted on for 2022. It gets complicated.

In short, the Republicans will probably succeed in holding the dollar and the stock market hostage. Better yet, they get more bang for their buck because there’s already a good chance that merely the uncertainty over the debt ceiling will shave about a percentage off GDP growth for the final quarter, and it gets worse with each passing day. So the damage is already inflicted, and the bleeding will only continue. They’re forcing the Dems into a corner, and a choice between fighting for their larger stimulus now, or economic carnage. It’s easy to see where this leads.

I’m a supporter of the BBBA, but candidly, the smart play all along was to pass the bipartisan budget bill first and to score a layup victory. The progressives didn’t want to accept that because they were afraid that nobody would fight for the broader stimulus once their smaller harder stimulus was passed. And they were probably correct in calculating that they would have lost leverage. But the truth of the matter is, progressives never really had that kind of leverage over the broader congress; the only leverage they’ve ever had is over their own party, and whether they can remain unified in the face of Republican misrule and obstructionism.

I started voting Democrat in 2016 and I admit I’m a little tired of them. Granted, I’m only voting for the Democrats because I feel the other party has zero integrity and is determined to take us to hell in a handbasket, so I’m kind of an odd voter I guess. But when I talk to my Democratic friends, they seem more interested in maintaining some sort of ideological purity rather than working together. When Texas passed their horrid anti-abortion law, one of my friends wanted to remind us all not to forget the role white women have played in white supremacy and anti-abortion laws so that we can build a true intersectional movement. Which sounds great, I guess, but doesn’t seem like the type of statement that’s going to rally the troops. It seems more likely to alienate people.

Not that I have much I can do about it. I’m not voting for a party that’s cool with insurrection.

Worst part for you Dems is now the perception is the Pubs are right. We are a unified team(1) and you guys are fracturing under Biden.

(1) Note: the big problem is that it is a team of Trumpinistas.

If the Dems can’t pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by the end of the year the party of Trump will rule this country for the next 6 years. I think that the far left will torpedo this deal rather than moving towards the center so I’m bracing for the worst.

Yes, I’m blaming the left rather than the moderates because they already have the moderate/republican votes to pass the infrastructure bill and that is the one they need to show they are doing something for the people rather than the human infrastructure bill that is just going to be neutered programs that expire shortly after Biden leaves office.

Progressives sometimes mistake the power that they wish they had and the power that they actually have. I personally think the United States needs to go in the direction of other Western democratic nations on things like healthcare for all, paid leave, expanded holiday, and so forth – I’m with progressives on these. But the sad truth is, much of the country isn’t, and will need some convincing that we should shift the paradigm.

I understand the frustrations of Sanders, AOC, and others, but the only leverage right now that they have is to ensure that absolutely nothing gets accomplished. In a lot of ways it’s unfair that they would get most of the blame with in fact the GOP is by comparison, much more irresponsible. But at the end of the day, they have the power to bring people some relief and bring us closer to where we need to be in terms of repairing infrastructure.

As a side note, it’s curious that Biden has stood this long with the Bernistas. I guess he’s concerned about the rifts within the Democratic party, and with apparently good reason. Maybe there’s some backroom theater being orchestrated such that an outgoing Speaker Pelosi can be seen as the one who sacrifices herself in trying to cut a bargain with moderates, thereby preserving Biden’s standing with progressives. If such efforts are deliberate, it could turn out to be a smart strategy.

Not just progressives. Whenever the Republicans win elections, the party becomes convinced that “the people” want government slashed, anti-abortion laws passed, and guns everywhere. The problem here is that the Progressives are viewing a 5 seat House majority and a tie Senate as some sort of broad mandate to go semi-Socialist.

That is a very narrow margin and it is unremarkable that you cannot do major things with razor thing majorities. Roosevelt and Johnson had large super majorities when they passed their programs. Bottom line is that the country is pretty center oriented and once one party leans too far, a correction happens. The parties need to understand this and stop the see-saw battle.

It’s a bit of a failure to understand what happened.

The Election 2020 was about putting a normal person in the office of the President. That was THE issue. And while Trump lost the reelection, by keeping it close he gained more control of the Republican Party agenda. The Democratic Party lost seats in the House. The Senate made a tie in a runoff.

In any normal world it should have been a Democrat blowout across the board, and they failed to achieve that. It was NOT a “progressive mandate”.

There is the opportunity to make good, solid, significant but still incremental movement in the positive direction. Making an "it’s ALL or nothing!" stand, means you assume the risk of winding up with the “nothing” part. Though let’s be frank, if they had gone ahead and taken the deal w/o a fight, then the very next day the Hard R’s would turn around and say of the compromise they themselves signed on, “no, wait, what, the Progs are OK with? OMG then it means even THAT is too much socialism. NO!”.

In the last couple days I’ve been hearing that Manchin wrote to Schumer about his 1.5 trillion limit, and did so about two months ago, so in his case at least, he doesn’t seem to be backing out of a deal he made, or at least not recently.

I saw a brief report somewhere (seems like it was print, if it was broadcast it was very brief) but never any follow up that both Sinema and Manchin are taking money from the same corporations who are trying to defeat the Build Back Better portion of the infrastructure efforts. They might as well conference with the Republicans at this point, they have more in common there than they do in their own caucus.

I have been tired of Sinema for a while now and she was one of the first “big” (statewide) Dems I ever voted for-- better said, that was the first election cycle where I voted for multiple statewide Democratic candidates. I have a hard time believing Arizona cannot find a better candidate somewhere and she seems to be pissing off people all across the spectrum of affiliations. On the other hand, we manage to have a former TV personality running for governor who is claiming she would have never certified the last election. Boy, can we find 'em, huh? Well, as long as we don’t pick 'em!

I can understand the emotions behind this type of remark. Similar ones are seen all over social media.

But we really do NOT want Mitch McConnell back as SML, deciding what legislation can come to a vote.

I do not think they see it as a mandate. I think they see it as a rare opportunity that should be exploited while they can.

If you feel like seeing some fireworks, ask that friend about Margaret Sanger’s racist statements.

This is certainly true, but why not take limited success on the way to more success? I understand that the debt ceiling is a monkeywrench in the works (although I keep hearing conflicting information about how to handle that mess) but let’s take a first step and stay devoted to a second step. It is a given that McConnell will be as obstructionist as possible- it is his only tool since his goal is not doing for the American people, it is beating the Democrats. He is a slimy hypocrite who is very comfortable in that skin out to consolidate power and cares about nothing else.

I will trust the experts for a while longer, but if everything blows up I am out. At this point my advice to the Democratic agenda is “Do Something!”. Take a few weeks if necessary, but get something done.

If the Dems want to get aggressive, bring the debt ceiling to the floor for a vote and make it clear if a filibuster is used there will be NO reconciliation to overcome it. Let the economy tank and let it be a Republican problem. Bring it for a vote everyday until the Republicans realize you are serious. They may think at first they want the economy to tank under a Democratic administration, but they will learn that the bulk of US citizens will know the truth of their fault despite the quarter of Americans who so rabidly support them no matter how insane they are.

They are bold because we are wringing our hands. These are simple creatures, if Biden decides and announces a hard line (with the support of Schumer and Pelosi) and does it without remorse, they will start wringing their hands. They are bullies and they are bullies because they themselves have been bullied; once they realize 2022 will be the occasion of their slaughter – they will be the ones to blink. When Dems start acting united and sure of themselves (firm and resolute) they will back down after the first encounter. Despite their personal enmity, perhaps Biden can give McConnell an amount of credit for working together to preserve . . . .