Alan Cohn is a successful journalist, who ran for Congress in the Tampa area a couple of times. Today the Tampa Bay Times published an OpEd he wrote for them warning about what happens if the Democrats in Congress fail to pass Biden's agenda. Like the schmucks from Third Way whose memo we looked at earlier, Cohn is warning Democrats there'll be hell to pay if they don't pass a robust reconciliation bill that gives Democratic voters what they're expecting to make their lives better. He asks Democrats to " to consider the consequences for America if they fail," not for the party-- for the country.
The long drawn-out negotiations have already "damaged Democrats," he wrote, "at a moment when they need to show they are a competent alternative to the Republican insanity. Democrats, unfairly, get a shorter runway than Republicans. It’s doesn’t matter to Republican voters that Donald Trump is unstable, incompetent, a liar and couldn’t get his infrastructure deal passed."
Biden was elected under the promise he’s competent, stable, and knows how to get things done.
After four years of chaos and a president who not only didn’t know or care how the legislative process works, Americans overwhelmingly voted for a guy they knew and trusted.
...The reality is American public opinion is increasingly binary. You’re either strong or not. Competent or not. Effective or not. You get things done or not.
At a moment when Democrats need to be ruthlessly effective and disciplined when it comes to messaging, they are neither.
The consequences, however, could not be graver if they fail to deliver.
Right now, polls are showing Donald Trump with a higher approval than Joe Biden. So, let’s be blunt, another Donald Trump presidency will be the end of the United States of America.
It’s not hyperbole. We’ve seen Trump models himself after his authoritarian friends like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. We’ve seen his supporters turn the word patriotism into a punch line as they beat police with the American flag. If Americans can be fooled into believing a deranged lie about the election and rationalize away an insurrection where gallows were erected to hang their own vice president, they can do anything.
Real patriotism is working toward a country that is better, fairer, and more prosperous for everyone.
Today Biden dumped the free community college provisions in the Build Back Better Act, something conservative Democrats opposed from the very beginning-- since, like Republicans, they hate poor people. He also told progressives that co-President Manchin will not allow any more than one year extension of the child tax credit-- and that, as Manchin insists, it will be means tested. Also-- Biden has allowed Manchin to dictate that homecare for the elderly and disabled will be cut in nearly a half.
Thank God we have members like Pramila Jayapal in Congress, not just ones like Alan Cohn. Cohn's advice-- and why Blue America refused to endorse him last cycle and why he lost miserably to a GOP nobody-- 55.4% to 44.6%-- is uninspiring and "moderate," messaging that didn't engender much enthusiasm beyond... "better than a Republican." He wants progressives to just give up and let the corrupt conservatives in Congress to call the shots for the Democratic Conference. "If Democrats," he wrote, "don’t take this opportunity to get it done, they won’t just lose their majority in Congress and the White House. There’s no virtue in being an ideologically pure Congressman Don Quixote, Democrat from La Mancha, dreaming a dream that’s impossible for the moment.
Get a win that fixes our crumbling roads and improves people’s lives, and keep fighting. This is a moment that history will remember. It’s the moment when the United States gave itself a chance to continue its 245-year effort to form a more perfect union. Or it’s the end."
We can all agree that "there won’t be any coming back from a second season of Donald Trump," but an inadequate yawn of an infrastructure bill isn't going to stop Trump. Lower drug prices, universal pre-K, free community college, Medicare expanded to include dental, vision and hearing, building more affordable housing and reforming the immigration system... those are the kinds of things that will inspire the voters that well-meaning Alan Cohen couldn't.
He warns that "If you thought [Trump] was vengeful against his perceived enemies last time, you haven’t seen anything yet. If like Mike Pence, you think we’re unfair to focus on one day in January when some good people got a little carried away, you’re a fool." He's right about that-- but not about his definition of this: "If you’re a Democrat in Congress and won’t seize this moment to do something good, prove Democrats deserve to lead, and save the country as a result, then you will bear a measure of responsibility for what’s sure to come." A crap bill will just turnoff voters from going to the polls, especially with Trump not even directly on the ballot.
More conservative, less visionary Democrats-- like Steny Hoyer-- are now opting for a whittled down plan dictated by Manchin, Sinema, Josh Gottheimer, Kurt Schrader Ed Case, Lou Correa Stephanie Murphy, No Labels, the banksters, the Blue Dogs, K Street and the whole Republican wing of the DemocraticParty that has crapped all over the Democratic brand and made it barely worth saving at all.