There was a report by Catie Edmonson and Luke Broadwater in the NY Times this morning that made me think how Sinema is still moving along her career-long trajectory towards full-blown fascism. Next stop: the GOP. 5 of her advisors quit today. They sent her a letter saying "You have become one of the principal obstacles to progress, answering to big donors rather than your own people. We shouldn’t have to buy representation from you, and your failure to stand by your people and see their urgent needs is alarming." Watch:
She's firmly of the camp that says "any press is good press," so I'm sure she doesn't give a hoot what they say. Sinema, who no one had ever heard of before this fight over Build Back Better is now a nationally-known figure, albeit a largely hated one, a comic book villain and character of derision. Not a problem for her-- as longs people know her name. In a recent >national poll by YouGov for The Economist, registered voters were asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Sinema. Results:
Her overall unfavorability is very high among Democrats-- 46% to just 9% favorable. And among Republicans it's just 21% unfavorable and 35% favorable. In Arizona, where she's obviously better known, Democrats hate her and she couldn't win a Democratic primary at this point.
As you can see, Arizona voters-- like voters across the country, would like to see the Build Back Better Act pass and they are more likely to support a candidate who votes for the provisions in the Act than for a candidate who opposes the provisions. If Sinema care about this kind of thing-- she doesn't-- it would worry her, maybe even influence her behavior. But, as I've been explaining for years-- as as New York Magazine political pundit Jonathan Chait is coming to understand-- she isn't a rational player.
This morning, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, Eliza Collins and Tarini Parti wrote that Democratic voters in particular are growing impatient with all the bullshit, game playing and foot dragging from conservatives to hold up the bill. And that includes both progressives and conservatives in the party, all of whom "have largely rallied around the push to increase government spending... Several recent polls, bolstered by interviews with more than 50 Democratic voters across six swing states in recent weeks, indicate broad party support for legislation to expand social safety net programs and pass measures aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change... Top Democrats acknowledge that would have been considered too liberal a few years ago but say that it now has broad party support... Most of the Democratic voters interviewed said they believed that if their elected leaders didn’t act on the most ambitious legislation possible, the party risked losing congressional seats in next year’s midterm elections and the White House in 2024." Again-- neither Sinema nor Manchin cares at all.
A CNN poll released last week found that 75% of Democrats preferred a bill that included all of the social safety net and climate-change provisions proposed by Biden. Another 20% of respondents backed a scaled-back bill that costs less. A Pew Research Center poll released in late September similarly found that among those who identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, 75% said they favored Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion package.
When Republicans and independents were included, the CNN poll found that 41% of Americans supported a package with all the proposed provisions; another 30% supported a scaled-down bill. The same Pew survey found 49% of Americans supported the original $3.5 trillion package.
Many of the Democratic voters interviewed also said they were frustrated with the Biden administration and congressional Democrats over issues including voting rules and immigration. Yet, they said, the social policy and climate package, and a separate infrastructure proposal, were unifying priorities.
...Failure could depress turnout, they say, possibly costing the party its narrow majorities in the House and Senate.
Depending on its final contours, the package could include expanded paid family and medical leave, prekindergarten for every 3- and 4-year-old and an expansion of Medicare benefits, among other measures.
Democrats would address climate change with provisions intended to substantially reduce carbon emissions. The proposal has become tied to a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package that passed the Senate. House progressives have said they won’t vote for it until there is agreement on the larger legislation. A tug of war over the bottom line has slowed negotiations.
This summer, the president and Democratic leaders settled on a $3.5 trillion package, saying it would be paid for by taxes and other sources of revenue and offsets. Progressive Democratic lawmakers, who typically represent safe seats and seldom worry about courting swing voters, had said anything lower meant important programs would be lost or trimmed. They have since said they were willing to negotiate. Biden has floated a roughly $2 trillion package as a compromise.
[Corrupt conservative] lawmakers, many of whom represent competitive states or districts, have concerns about cost. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona wouldn’t support the initial price tag. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Ms. Sinema has pushed back on raising taxes to pay for the legislation.
Collins and Parti further reported that "Most Democratic voters say they are ready to move forward [and that] they weren’t too concerned about the cost... Over the past several years, many Democrats have coalesced around increased government spending and taxing the wealthy and corporations to pay for programs. Centrists say the party shift accelerated in the pandemic because many people suffered economically. Progressives also credit growing popularity of their ideas. Democratic lawmakers have already used their narrow majorities to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package early in the president’s tenure... Matt Munsey, chairman of the Northampton County Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, said local Democratic support of Biden’s proposals goes up when voters learn more details and that it would raise taxes on the wealthy to help pay for new programs. Northampton County was one of the counties that swung back to Democrats in 2020 after Trump narrowly won it in 2016. 'People like what they’re hearing,' he said, 'and just want to see something get done.'"
Manchin said if voters want more progressive policies, they should elect more progressives to Congress. I couldn't agree more. This thermometer on the left will take you to an ActBlue page that has only one function: helping progressive candidates beat Blue Dogs in the upcoming primaries. Please click on the thermometer and give what you can to help replace corrupt problem members of Congress and replace them with people with an entirely different set of motivations. We've had enough of slime like Henry Cuellar, Ed Case and Lou Correa polluting Congress and holding back progress for working families. Really-- you can help do something about it, even if you only give $5 or $10. In a grassroots campaign, there is no contribution that is too small.