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

I heard a radio discussion on using the nuclear option on the filibuster at least as it pertains to this one time. If they extended the no filibuster rule to all budget bills, I wouldn’t object to it. The worst part is that McConnell is telling the Dems how to pass it through reconciliation (because ultimately he does want the debt ceiling raised) while Schumer is being a whiny li’l bitch about it “Get out of the damn way!” and “We can’t do that in 2 weeks.” to which McConnell’s retort (I’m not claiming it’s true) is “We told you about this starting in July.”

Between McConnell and Schumer, it’s Kentucky Mitch that looks like the real leader in the Senate. Between this and the Afghanistan pullout, I think the Dems need to higher people that know how political optics work.

“We told you in July” doesn’t change the fact that the debt ceiling could be raised with a quick vote. It’s possible for McConnell to agree to raise the limit with a straight up vote, just like it’s possible for the Dems to raise it on their own, without GOP support, using the reconciliation process. Protecting the full faith and credit of the United States over expenses that have already been incurred is not a choice; it’s among McConnell’s (and Schumer’s) greatest obligations – kinda like acknowledging the results of a free and fair election. And in both instances, we see that one party is committed to that responsibility, and the other is weaponizing it.

Optics? Keep forcing Mitch McConnell to vote it down - over and over and over again, as foreign investors begin dumping their dollars and yanking their money out of the market. Let’s see what kind of optics McConnell has then. Like you, I don’t assume that the voters are on the side of Democrats when it comes to the size of the stimulus package, but at the end of the day, people don’t want to devalue the dollar so badly that it takes sacks a thick wad of bills to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.

How about this optic?
“You don’t want us to eliminate the filibuster because it helps us reach agreement. You yourself have said the debt ceiling can and should be raised. So we will not engage the filibuster or reconciliation at all; not as Republicans and Democrats, but as United States Senators we will raise the debt ceiling.”

Then hold press conferences every hour of every day saying “The Republicans say they want to solve this important challenge to America’s economy and future – but they refuse to cast even ONE VOTE to avert a genuine crisis! When the economy tanks and your 401(k) loses half or more of its value, when your boss has to let people go, when a loaf of bread costs fifty or a hundred dollars, please remember that Mitch McConnell withheld all of the votes that could have averted this disaster!!” Hell, take it further: “I am sure many Republican Senators, real patriots wanted to vote for this debt ceiling hike, but their leader threatened them with committee assignments and fundraising obstruction, and primary challenges if they did not show loyalty to his power over them!!”

He can get out there and in his slow, plodding good ol’ boy voice try to spin that, but tie HIS name to the success or failure is the secret. If it passes then let him assume some victory-- but be damn sure if it does not it will be tied around HIS neck!

OK sure. But my point is the Dems are not doing that and are allowing the Pubs to tell the story as the minority party.

McConnell just blinked on the debt limit: GOP Sens. Ready To Blow Up Debt Crisis In Nakedly Political Gambit | Talking Points Memo

Good for the Democrats. Not sure if they’ll take this offer or see it as a sign of weakness, but McConnell blinking is a good sign. The debt limit will be increased, but not sure exactly how yet. This pretty much confirms that some sort of deal is going to happen.

No they won’t. The bulk of US citizens will know that the Democrats held the White House and majorities in both houses of Congress when the economy cratered.

With McConnell correctly insisting that the Dems don’t need GOP votes to lift the ceiling.

Believe me, I would love for Biden, Schumer and Pelosi to expose McConnell for the slime mold he is and finally make every sane American see how little the GOP truly cares for the good of the nation. I just can’t see this episode playing out that way.

Then again, I could be wrong. :roll_eyes: :grin:

Yes, he can say that, but let’s think about that for a moment – the Democrats barely control both chambers. It would assume that they get every single vote and absolutely no Republican votes.

More to the point, the Dems can come back and counter – correctly and in a fairly straightforward way, I think – that this is a bipartisan responsibility to protect the full faith and credit of the United States. Again, that’s like saying well the Democrats don’t need Republicans to recognize valid election results – that might be technically true, but everyone (even the Republicans) know it’s bullshit and self-serving.

It’s strictly a hypothesis, but I think that it’s easier to get away with self-serving votes when they don’t directly impact the average American’s financial future. It’s a different ballgame then. To be sure, there are going to be partisans on both sides of this issue, and I’m sure not every single person who views themselves a centrist will necessarily side with Dems on this, citing that they’re at odds with their social spending.

But I do believe that Democrats, if they play their cards right, can put pressure on the Republicans. I don’t think that they will get Republicans to agree to raising the filibuster - they will have to use the nuclear option, and then Manchin and Sinema would have the targets on their backs if they didn’t raise it.

The Dems need to take McConnell’s proposal…and shove it up his ass. Kill the filibuster.

Of course McConnell’s doing this because he’s hoping to break Manchin and Sinema, who would have been forced to side with Dems. Now the centrists can intervene and tell the Dems “Wait, let’s raise the debt ceiling now and keep the filibuster” I hope the Dems don’t fall for it.

And they’d be absolutely right. But that won’t stop the average American who doesn’t understand the machinations involved from blaming them if the economy craters.

This ^

To which McConnell says, “The Democrats need to stop spending above the debt limit and creating this crisis forcing America into bankruptcy.”

Doesn’t matter if it’s true. Just matters if Americans believe it to be true.

I fully agree - I’m pretty cynical about these things. I agree that it’s possible that the Dems end up getting the blame, but I think part of the reason that the Dems get the blame in these situations is that they don’t fight back and play hard ball. They fold and let the commentators write the narrative. I don’t think either party is going to escape entirely unscathed – the Democrats will leave this skirmish wearing a few new scars, but I think they can fight and win here if they stick to their guns. They’ve made Republicans pay for shutting down the government in the past, and they can make them pay here too. Republicans still pick up seats in Congress but that’s irrespective of this battle.

In the mean time, get the second bill together and get both passed! Get something!
Even if they only double the investment the bi-partisan bill will cost with the second bill, it is better than getting 100% of nothing! Arrive at a Two point one, Two point two number and hold Sinema and Manchin to that. The progressives will have to settle for a (still remarkable but) diminished victory. Then address the debt ceiling after the business of passing the agenda defining bills is done!

The Republicans, especially McConnell can claim a victory- they significantly diminished the bill. Manchin and Sinema can make the same claim, and throw in their devotion to the filibuster. The Democrats still would have a combined infrastructure package between the two bills that is quite something in a deadlocked Senate with a very small majority in the House. Everybody can claim “We Are Number One!” and everyone (especially the voters) will have won. I do expect only those on the right to throw themselves a parade and wave flags all over the place while blasting ironically inappropriate music and dancing awkwardly.

If the left can pull this off, let the facts be the success; the others may all claim they won but Biden and the left can actually win something real and substantial. Take the substance and give them the style, history will remember it correctly!

I think the Dems should take the current offer to kick the can, but not back down on passing the debt ceiling through regular order rather than Reconciliation when it comes up again in 3 months. Fuck this pussy footing politics by the Republicans. If you support raising the debt limit you vote for it like a responsible legislator. You don’t put up fake barriers so that its a pain in the ass for the other side to do what everyone agrees needs to be done.

The more the danger of letting the debt ceiling expire hits the news the better it is for Democrats. Its going to be harder to run ads against the spend thrift Dems voting for more governement spending, if everyone realizes that failing to take that vote would have destroyed the economy.

I don’t think McConnell’s attempt at spinning it so that it was the Dems who created the crisis and brought us to the brink are really going to fly beyond the already converted. Simpler messages always resonate better than complicated ones, and for once simplicity on on the Democrats side. The argument “it’s your fault because you could have used this special parliamentary procedure to get it done without our help”, is a much harder message to follow than “I voted 5 times to raise the debt ceiling, you voted 5 times not to raise it so its your fault if it didn’t get raised.”

I think I agree with this. McConnell just showed that he’ll blink before allowing default. So take the deal, pass the infrastructure bills, and in Dec just do the same thing – insist on regular order and McConnell will blink again.

100% agree.

Plus, it calls their bluff. One of the reasons the GOP has been getting its way so much is that the Dems haven’t wanted to test exactly how crazy the GOP really is. But at some point, you’ve got to show you’re willing to be just as crazy if you want them to back down.

The GOP is that one driver who speeds, ignores stop signs, and weaves in and out of traffic, because he knows the rest of the drivers on the road will go out of their way to avoid a crash. The day they stop driving like an idiot is the day they actually hit someone who decides to be just as selfish a driver as they are.

  1. This is President Biden’s agenda, not the progressive wing’s wish list.
  2. 96% of the caucus supports the reconciliation bill. As Biden says, he needs two more votes.
  3. The reconciliation bill is the bill that at least attempts to address climate change. The notion that we should give up on that and settle for the infrastructure bill is appalling to me. And quite understandably, the thing that’s more important than all else in the eyes of the progressives.

We may already be too late to forestall runaway global warming. It’s clear that the consequences of climate change have already arrived. But dammit, we’ve got to TRY.

ETA: I’d rewrite the thread title this way:

Biden and 96% of the Democratic Party Seem Determined to Prioritize Trying to Save the Earth over Not Bothering

Being completely in the dark on what is in the reconciliation bill, I will only point out that the infrastructure bill includes a number of provisions touching on climate change. Title I, Subtitle D of H.R.3684 is in fact titled, “Climate Change”.

I presume you already knew that and don’t think the ~$150 billion set aside there is a serious attempt to address climate change. To an extent, you are right… the title is concerning roads and highways, not every aspect of the U.S.

But this ties in with the OP. Surely you don’t have anything against the infrastructure bill on its merits?


Well, of course not! Like 96% of the Dems in Congress, I want both bills to pass.

But the reconciliation bill, with the climate change stuff in there, is the part that’s absolutely essential AFAIAC. If the only way to pick up those last few votes for the recon bill is to make the two bills an all-or-nothing package (as they’ve been for months now), then that’s the way it must be.