Without many tangible accomplishments, many voters who could be reasonably expected to vote blue in the midterms will probably stay home instead. Smart money is betting that swing voters will hold their noses and hand Congress to the Republicans. Conservative Democrats in Congress-- the most likely to lose their seats in November-- have obstructed Biden's popular agenda and deserve to see their careers ended, preferably in primaries. In the Senate, the fate of the party rests in the hands of extremely right-wing Democrats Joe Manchin and crazy-woman Kyrsten Sinema, each of whom is contemplating jumping the fence in 2023 and neither of whom is too concerned about the Democrats losing their majorities.
Manchin is dangling a pre-election deal under Schumer's, Pelosi's and Biden's noses again. Politico reported that the response from Bernieland was "I’d love to be wrong, but I’m not holding my breath." And Manchin is playing coy with the media, knowing it's either his way or the highway for the Democrats. People thinking that Manchin-- or anyone else-- can "deliver" the mentally-unbalanced Kyrsten Sinema could be in for an unpleasant jolt even if the rest of the conference comes to an agreement on something. Sinema, who has virtually no grassroots support in Arizona, is never going to sell out her billionaire and corporate backers. Corruption oozes from every pore on her body.
Burgess Everett's take on the last shot for reconciliation includes a much more modest bill that will do very little for average American families, so is unlikely to save the Democrats in November. Manchin says he's in favor of a tiny tax increase on the rich as long as at least half of the revenue goes to the kind of deficit reduction that is popular among economic illiterates like himself-- and will instantly be used as an excuse for Republicans to lower taxes on the rich when they get back into power. But even a tiny increase in tax rates on the wealthy is too much for Sinema who has the power to kill it. (Reminder, she was the single worst Democrat in the House-- chair of the Blue Dogs and the most anti-progressive voting record-- when Schumer decided to pick her for the Senate. He should pay for his political crimes. The DSCC and DCCC are still working to elect more Manchin-Sinema types to office-- from Conor Lamb, Val Demings and Cheri Beasley to Tim Ryan, Abby Finkenauer and Trudy Busch Valentine in the Senate to Max Rose (NY), Rudy Salas (CA), Nikki Budzinski (IL), Val Hoyle (OR), Jackie Gordon (NY), Christina Bohannan, (IA), Liz Mathis (IA), and Hillary Scholten (MI) in the House, ton name just a few. The DCCC can't seem to decide between 2 vomit-inducing candidates in CA-27, Quaye Quartey and Christie Smith-- anyone but progressive Ruth Luevanos.
In any case, Manchin supposedly says he's open to lowering the price of prescription drugs but it's highly unlikely that either he or Sinema-- both of whom take massive bribes from Big PhRMA-- will actually allow anything significant to happen and certainly not enough to give the Democrats a platform to stand on for the midterms. In the House, corrupt, right-wing Democrats Kurt Schrader, Scott Peters, Ed Case, Stephanie Murphy, Kathleen Rice, Lou Correa and several others are also opposed to lowering the price of drugs.
Once the Progressive Caucus bought Biden's and Pelosi's worthless assurances that if they stopped blocking the shitty and completely inadequate Manchin-Sinema infrastructure bill Manchin and Sinema would play ball on the social spending bill. That was obviously a lie but only 6 Democrats were savvy enough to stick with holing the line. Once the Progressive Caucus surrendered, the basically handled the presidency, speaker's gavel and Senate majority over to Manchin. Brilliant!
There’s plenty of skepticism to go around regarding Democrats’ prospects for success. One Democrat who regularly talks to Manchin doubted whether any party-line bill checking his boxes is achievable at this point, citing the mismatch between Sen. Kyrsten Sinema‘s and Manchin’s tax positions. The Arizona Democrat prefers surtaxes on the wealthy and big corporations, not the tax rate increases that Manchin likes.
...Democrats insist they already agree on plenty of things, like plowing money into alternative energy and cutting prescription drug prices. Giving up now would amount to a huge wasted opportunity as they get closer to a midterm that could erase their House and Senate majorities, but a prolonged fight that ends in failure wouldn’t go over well either.
“We still have a chance to get something not just significant, but unprecedented, done. And I think we should use every possible ounce of energy we have to do that,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). “April and May is a good window within which to do it. If it went a little later than that, fine. I don’t think this should be dragged out over four to five months.”
With their time dwindling before campaign season, Democrats have a path to assemble a bill that fights inflation, raises taxes and delivers on their promises about climate change and drug prices. But all parts of the party will have to concede significant ground to get it done; that includes embracing Manchin’s push for short-term fossil fuel production in exchange for alternative energy, as well as completely dropping progressives’ hopes for government expansion.
“I totally think it’s doable. I can’t say exactly what I think would be included, but gosh, since like early January I’ve been saying figure out where you’ve got 50 votes and do it. Joe has been saying he wants to get it resolved,” said Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN). “It’s not like people need more information.”
Today, Bernie told his supporters that "To my mind, at this difficult moment in American history, there is nothing more important than bringing working people together in the fight against corporate greed and oligarchy. At a time when corporate profits are at an all-time high, and the wealth of billionaires is soaring, it is unacceptable that half of our people live paycheck to paycheck and millions cannot afford the basic necessities of life. Bernie's got this right but Manchin-- let alone Sinema-- absolutely disagree. And neither Manchin nor Sinema is going to do anything good for the Democratic Party, let alone for the working-class.