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

Getting back to the subject of the thread, the negotiations are ongoing, and I continue to believe that what leaks to the press is largely done for effect and PR rather than substantive indicators of how the negotiations are going. Just yesterday afternoon, Manchin and Bernie met and had an apparently friendly photo-op afterwards (this is also, quite obviously, a PR thing):

I continue to be optimistic that they’re going to reach a deal and pass some version of both bills, which IIRC would be by far the largest infrastructure/social investment in the US in a long time (and thus will be exactly the kind of thing Biden campaigned for, and Democrats in '22 and '24 can campaign on again).

Thank You.

And thank you! You would think, as often as I rely upon that factual argument, that I would learn to spell it but no luck so far. Thank you for a kind correction.

In the case of embracing Trump, as opposed to just embracing a political party, accepting conspiracy theories is pretty much a prerequisite of embracing Trump, as he himself is a full-blown conspiracy theorist. Remember, it was Trump who kept “birtherism” alive for years after it had been thoroughly debunked. It was Trump who started going on about “election fraud” even before the 2016 election. And he kept creating and promoting new CTs all the way through his term in office.

Easy mistake to make, as it is indeed something to laugh at.

Manchin planning on leaving Dems, to become Independent.


Yep, the ultimate leverage. Cave to me or I make McConnell majority leader. Looks like he’s got Biden by the balls, unfortunately.

Another strategic leak. We’ll see if it actually means anything, but all these leaks are more likely to be for PR and negotiating leverage than substance, IMO. If progressives start to panic, that means the leak is working.

Manchin calls rumor “bullshit”

Basically the whole damn nation has caved to him (and to a slightly lesser degree Sinema). Now they are touting the One point Nine number and hoping for something soon that has NO climate change, no free community college and short term everything else.

He has crushed the Democratic agenda and if he did it out of sincere concern for the spending-- or out of consideration for his benefactors in the energy sector sort of doesn’t matter. (When someone murders your loved one it matters little why they did it, your loved one is still dead.)

So pass the two bills - the bi-partisan one AND the greatly diminished other one. Then start working on the debt ceiling. Once the discussion is all about debt ceiling, DARE Manchin to leave the party! Let Mitch McConnell eat his words when he has to pass the debt ceiling and watch how well that shoe fits on HIS foot.

Manchin is what he is, period. He is going to be deeply conservative whatever his affiliation or lack there of might be. Sinema will not be in the Senate after her next election (a come to Jesus change of positions might derail that but it is unlikely). Then there will be no legislative agenda to consider for the remainder of the first term so focus can be placed on international policy, and other things that do not require the cooperation of the legislative branch.

At least then the Dems can say “While we were in power we delivered the largest most significant infrustructure . . . And while you were the majority, you twiddled your thumbs and gave Trumps lies even greater passes.”

I mean I’m a conservative, Manchin is not deeply conservative by any measure.

I dislike Manchin and Sinema so much. How horrible they are screwing everything up, (didn’t they agree originally agree with the bill that was much higher beforethe provisions?). I know people who use to hate Bernie and ‘The Squad’ that are really hoping that they pull through here, they wont, but…

All they care about are their donors. I would make a pit thread if I weren’t so burnt out on this subject, and I were a little more knowledgeable.

This isn’t a good look for Biden who can’t apply pressure. Good luck with 2024. :frowning:

I don’t see it as political blackmail. This is who Manchin is: he is not a democrat. At least he’s being honest about it. Wonder how long it is before Sinema does the same.

Manchin, Sinema, Kizinger, Cheney… the nascent core of a potentially new conservative party?

I don’t think that’s it. Most Democratic donations actually come from people who are to the left of the average Democratic voter IIRC. Sinema in particular is probably hindering her fundraising ability with all of this.

Do you have any links that would provide more information on that?

I mean, to think that democrats don’t take MAJOR donations from big corporations seems a little sus to me. If they aren’t major donors, the democrats are more pathetic at getting poop done than I previously thought.

Over time, I have had admiration – and a problem with each of them. But if they start a reasonable opposition party I am all for it. Romney might join in just to be away from the nuts he is constantly surrounded by.

The way I see it, what the left really has to worry about is supporting Joe Biden and his agenda and not letting Mitch McConnell make him look like an incompetent or a dottering old dementia patient. We already know Joe can beat Trump, we just have to keep Joe from failing as bad as Trump did. Biden has far too much character to just deny reality and change the narrative to what he wishes was true.

Well said, I agree. We have a person of substance with gandrews3367, not just a drive-by shooter. I have a little time tonight so I will address a few items but tomorrow is another day and we can see what that brings; hopefully a full and informed discussion.

Welcome back, I was not sure if you would return or not. I am glad you have decided to participate

Just for the record, I want you to know that I have been for the biggest part of my life, an upper class, straight, white male who has had quite a bit of privilege. I have been small ‘a’ affluent, and I have struggled financially. In every case I am proud to say, I have payed my bills and never stuck anyone else with my obligations. I have also worked in blue collar industries for most of my adult life so I know what it is to be the boss, the owner, and the worker bee. One thing I have learned for running jobs-- and from working for others is that competence and ability do not belong to any specific gender or race or religion, or any other way you can divide up humankind. I would much rather work alongside hardworking, competent persons of integrity of any color, race, religion, than work exclusively with people who look like me.

I don’t think anyone on this board has any hatred or dislike of anyone based upon their being white or not. The lot of us disagree with each other quite a bit and the only thing we ask is that you know what you are talking about, that you can cite a respectable source to back up those views, and that you do it without making disagreements personal. I may really dislike an idea you have (in fact there are a few I intend to question), but I will try not to attack you as a person but rather an idea, a concept I find offensive.

Just to start, diversity does not mean “anyone who isn’t white”. Diversity means not being made up of only similar people… Have you ever been in an all black church? Or an all black bar? Have you ever worked on a job that is all women, or all Mexican, or all homosexual? You seem to have a very narrow minded understanding of diversity (my cite is that I am quoting your own claim). Diversity means accepting others even if they are different from you – it also means being accepted in groups that are not similar to you.

Now I am aware that many people who have similar views to you believe that “diversity” is a code word for people of color. I forgot to mention above that I have been a registered Republican for several decades and even before I was old enough to register to vote I held very conservative views. I did finally change my affiliation to “None” after the Senate refused to convict Trump when he was so very obviously guilty, but even after January 6th I tried to stay with the party until they proved they were not worthy of my support in the most extreme way possible. So I am not a Democrat, I am an Independent, although that may change depending on what happens. But I do embrace many issues from the Democratic agenda because I believe they are the right and moral thing to do in this time and place.

I should go on, but I am going to give you an example of how messed up the idea of diversity you are promoting can become. I was working in a warehouse driving a forklift because it is an easy job that I can do and I needed to be working while something else was being resolved. I was promoted to an office job and worked with all the other straight, white, male supervisors in our little block office in the middle of the warehouse. I walked into the office I was sharing and all the guys at my level and above were in there. One leadman had quit a week or two earlier and another got fired that day so they needed to promote someone up to leadman right away. There were no women to select from, only blacks and Mexicans (some of whom were not from Mexico originally- but that was too fine a line for these guys to see) and the new lead had to be a minority as directed by corporate. They were trying to find the dumbest guy to promote because once years ago they had promoted a really sharp, hard working Hispanic who kept getting promoted and was their equal now (he had to move to a different plant to get that promotion however). They were determined to never allow themselves to have to work for a Black, or a Hispanic, and certainly not for a woman – so they only promoted people of color who would never ever get another promotion and would be so thankful for being selected over all the more qualified candidates they would never cause any trouble. When I walked into the room, they were discussing which of the minority candidates was the dumbest and least likely to succeed. They were trying to protect themselves by promoting only those who never obtain higher success, just muddle though the lowest level of supervision. It was wrong, and immoral, and a disservice to the company. They were very open about it and assumed I would agree with them because I looked like them. I became a part of the ‘old boys club’ without meaning to.

I went and talked to each of the guys in that room and told them that they were making a mistake, that just promoting the best candidate would serve everyone well but they were not having it. I was able to be very successful in my life because I was willing to accept directions from those not like me. There are people of value from all over the world, and while I have to admit I am most comfortable in the kind predominately white suburb that I grew up in, I have gained a lot from living and working in big cities and in very rural communities and with people with whom I did not share much culture. To summarize, my people are not all white, or all straight, or all Christian, or all male; my people are sincere hard working people who want to do a good job- their best job and be kind while they are doing so.

This board is quite left leaning, but perhaps not as many dyed in the wool Democratic as you may think. Most posters on this board tend to think for themselves, but they also allow better arguments to influence their thinking in certain areas. As a result, there are a few issues which are the result of a consensus, but we are not as monolithic as we may seem at first.

In my experience, Mexican labor was first brought to this country by business owners who tend to be and vote Republican. They needed a large pool of workers who could endure long hours, hot sun, minimal housing, and temporary employment. So they brought up workers from below the borders. Over time, those workers branched out to do other, non agricultural work. Since their new work was not exclusively seasonal they tended to stay year round. They had babies who were born citizens and contributed to society as all other citizens. It was not the Democrats who first brought Mexican workers to the United States, it was farmers from both parties (but presumably majority Republican as most business owners are Republican and have been).

Now we have a different dynamic. It is not just underemployed Mexicans wanting to cross our Southern border. There are places with horrible living conditions and corruption within their governments (often governments that the United States has fucked with under Republican presidents and I am sure Democratic presidents-- does Reagan’s scandal south of the border ring a bell with you?) We set up many “Banana Republics” and changed them as soon as it was convenient. Perhaps if we had allowed stable governments of any stripe to exist in Central and South America refugees would not be constantly trying to find - - you guessed it REFUGE from civil war and poverty and corruption and inhumane treatment at our doorstep.

We could have rebuilt Haiti after their disasters and everyone would have stayed there. But Trump’s isolationist “what is in it for me” world view left them alone to care for starving people with no clean water, not enough food or shelter. It is no wonder they came here for more than they had. if we had spent a small portion of our budget to help a very needy neighbor, we could have saved ourselves the whole debacle in Texas a few weeks ago.

Question for you; do you know what the Marshall Plan was? It was one time when the United States spent a small fortune rebuilding other nations and stabilizing governments that were brand new or otherwise in peril. It was one of the most successful endeavors ever tried by our country and had huge benefits for us-- and for every nation that became our allies. It stabilized the world and it happened because we acted like a world power for real. We lead the world, we set an example, we helped others (many of whom were our enemies very recently!), and we moved the world ahead by skipping over fifty to a hundred years of economic and infrastructure recovery.

Listen, I know it is a Republican talking point that the left is trying to replace the white man through immigration. I hear it ALL the time from my former compatriots in the Republican Party. Can you show me one, ONE study conducted by a University or any reputable source that is NOT a right wing think tank?? It is easy to write a tweet or a Facebook post, but has any academic claimed that this is a strategy of the Democratic Party? Immigration is happening all the time, not long ago Asian immigration had surpassed Hispanic immigration. The world is changing and so is the United States. Instead of trying to stop the inevitable, don’t you think it would make more sense for Republicans to find a way to not hate and diminish the immigrant but to win him or her over with more inclusive policies?

It is getting late and tomorrow is another day. Just so you know, most of the hard drug users I know are very conservative Republicans (and many of the pot smokers I know tend toward Democratic ideals). Prisons are full of Republican sympathies and ideas. They also cost the government a bunch of money. We can discuss this more tomorrow, but please ask yourself this: who says Democrats are trying to buy votes with free money? Try to remember where you first heard this idea, and where you hear it from now. See if you are just repeating something you heard that sounded like it might be true-- or if you know this to be a fact?

Look forward to hearing more from you soon.

I believe Manchin is planning a run for president in 2024. (He has big dreams and little chance of being re-elected as senator in WV). Switching to Independent would serve him well. And it’s consistent with his career of fence-sitting and flipflopping. It removes the stench of ‘Democrat’ for Trumpers, without adding the ‘Republican’ label that would destroy him on the left. He is clearly planning to present himself as the moderate, reasonable candidate – they guy who engineered a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill, stopped profligate Democrat welfare spending on the social infrastructure bill, etc. With this in mind, everything he’s doing makes sense.

I doubt he’s interested in running for president. Manchin’s behavior is much more easily explained by how Washington really works. He’ll plan to “retire” from public life while simultaneously remaining involved in the system privately, which will ensure that he goes to his grave a wealthy man. He’ll probably sit on the boards and own stock in all sorts of companies, steering legislation and favors through the Senate on his way out.

And this is why progressives are getting burnt out on the Democratic party, despite the fact that there’s really no other place to call home. The corporate influence is so strong, and its grip over both parties is strong enough to dilute or completely block any measurable “reform.” Private power dominates public interest now, and I don’t no how this gets corrected without upheaval.

410,000,000,000 hours.

It’s a number which should be taught in American high schools, but if you mention it in, say, Texas, you will then have to (a) frame it in a way which is not negative, or (b) offer a countering, positive, connotation to this number.

410 billion hours. Remember it. For the rest of your life, @gandrews3367.

What is this number?

According to the National Institute of Health, it is the total number of hours worked by the near 10,000,000 slaves which existed in the colonies and the US from 1619-1865.

That’s 41,000 hours of labor for which each of 10,000,000 human beings received merely sustenance. Not ‘sustenance-level wages’, but sustenance. 20.5 years of as cheap labor as one can get, per person. While being beaten. While being bred. While being raped. While being kept purposely ignorant.

By white people. (Again, your preferred phrasing.) A crime perpetrated against black people.

So why is it that I, and most people reading this far, am hearing of this number for the first time? 410 billion hours is a vast amount of time - 46 million years of enslaved labor went to enrich their white owners. The black slaves in this country lost 46 million years of productive earnings, hell man, they lost 46 million years of savings and compound interest.

No… wait. It wasn’t lost. It was stolen. By, as you prefer to say, white people. 46,000,000 years of productive capacity just poured into the pockets of the white slaveholders, not the workers themselves. No… their reward was being whipped. And raped. By white people who told themselves that they, the white people, were doing all the work, taking all the risk.

So… why can’t we just say this? Why are laws being enacted to ensure that the phrasing of history is not emotionally jarring to the historical narrative white people like to tell themselves?

Here’s why: Because to admit the true scale of slavery, the 46 million years of stolen labor and capital, would cause legitimate damage to the conservative heterodoxy, a system of beliefs and policies which depend upon these assumptions being true:

  • America was a pristine, undeveloped land (it was not – 15, 20 million lived on this continent when Columbus arrived, and they weren’t foragers.)
  • White people came over and discovered it.
  • By our own rugged individualism, white people tamed the countryside.
  • Through grit and hard work, white people civilized a continent
  • The American (white) ideals of freedom and capitalism propelled this country to greatness, a shining city on the hill
  • In America, anyone can be a success
  • In America, you will be rewarded for your hard work
  • In America, you are free

You cannot reconcile the above with 46 million years of stolen labor. You cannot reconcile the above with Jim Crow. You cannot reconcile the above with 19th century labor conditions… or even the labor conditions of the first half of the 20th century. You cannot reconcile the above with 100,000,000 indigenous lives lost. You can’t even reconcile the above with indentured servitude, a moral horror which white people subjected themselves to.

And so, to me, anti-CRT laws are pathetic, frightened, weak-minded shit. Imagine being so scared of your history you need to legislate how it is taught. Imagine being so scared of accepting the moral ambiguity of ones ancestors and the origins of a country that you prefer, by supporting these initiatives, to self-brand yourself an emotionally and intellectually stunted weakling.

I don’t know, man. At one time, white people were better than this. They were better than modern conservatism, and if I had to take the same racial view of things which allows one to say “white people invented everything”, I would hope to also be man enough to accept that white people are doing a shit-poor job of running the United States of America and we’ve really been slacking since, oh, 1980, the birth of the modern conservative age.

The litany of oppressed people who made good in oppressive societies is as old as Moses. And I would like to note that even Moses, in the end, was denied full citizenship (entry into the Promised Land), literally dying as a man without a country. :slight_smile: