Serving their personal careerist agendas, can the Democrats, Inc. be all things to all people? Not exactly. There is a line to be drawn. Since the mid-60s, the Democratic Party-- sometimes with great regret-- let overt racists gently, tepidly know that they were no longer welcome in the big blue tent. Once the party of the KKK, the Democrats decided they no longer wanted to accept racism. And now that homophobic sociopath Dan Lipinski has been defeated by Marie Newman, I think the Democratic Party is pretty much free of at least overt LGBTQ-haters and bigots. You can't be a Democrat and be anti-union, right? In fact in 2019 when 6 reactionary Blue Dogs voted against raising the minimum wage to $15, the party continued coddling them, while grassroots Democrats wrote them off and refused to vote for them the following year. 5 of the six were defeated for reelection and the 6th-- corrupt right-wing asshole Kurt Schrader of Oregon-- is a marked man.
The 5 anti-labor Dems who were defeated are Anthony Brindisi (NY), Joe Cunningham (SC), Kendra Horn (OK), Xochitl Torres Small (NM) and Ben McAdams (UT). The DCCC and its associated House Majority PAC lavished around $27 million on the 5 of them, despite their voting against the minimum wage bill. What a waste! Democrats in their districts didn't vote for Republicans; they just didn't vote for these Democratic incumbents in numbers necessary for reelection. How many were union households or households where raising the minimum wage was of paramount interest? Who knows, but probably enough to defeat each of them. Good riddance; the Democrats should know better than backing politicians opposing a living wage, the same way they no longer support politicians who would like to enslave African-Americans again. Those people have their own party; it's called the GOP.
Yesterday, Astead Herndon looked at the Democrats' Big Tent concept and noted that in his campaign last year, Biden, a lifelong reflexive conservative from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, "contorted his campaign to appease both wings of the Democratic Party, trying to excite progressives with an ambitious policy platform while assuring moderates he opposed structural changes to the political process. Now, faced with the realities of governing and dual crises of public health and economic stagnation, Biden is increasingly squeezed by members of his own party who see an inevitable collision course between his deference to Washington norms and his promises of far-reaching change."
Biden has already begun betraying progressive voters, many of whom held their noses and reluctantly voted for him, on the minimum wage increase and on cancelling student loan debt. Biden's positions on just those two will keep enough voters home in 2022 to give the GOP the House majority. The honeymoon with progressives is rapidly coming to a close. And if Joe Manchin wants to fuck him on hiss OMB appointment-- horrid establishment shill Neera Tandem-- right on, Joe! This was a quick poll I stuck up on Twitter yesterday:
Three-quarters seem to approve of Manchin blocking Tanden, for whatever lame reason he's doing it for. I wish some progressives would back him up; they won't.
[E]ven though Democrats control Washington, they are hardly united by the same governing goals: The party’s ideological blend of moderate and progressive voices helped it win back the White House and the Senate, but elements of that coalition could threaten the most ambitious parts of Mr. Biden’s agenda.
“History tells us two years after Obama won, two years after Clinton won-- Republicans did phenomenally well,” said Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a leading progressive and presidential candidate last year. “And they did because Democrats had the power and they did not exercise that power for working families. And I think Joe Biden understands that.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who endorsed ending the filibuster during her own presidential run, said in an interview that Democrats “can’t give Mitch McConnell a veto over the same things as the American people sent us to Washington to do.”
“Our job is to deliver for the American people. Period,” she said. “And I think that Democrats are unified on that. But the point is not the unity. The point is the things we’re trying to get done.”
Progressives see issues like a $15 minimum wage, canceling student loan debt and expanding voting rights as a baseline to determining whether Mr. Biden’s legacy will be his defeat of Mr. Trump or, as his campaign slogan promised, building the country back better.
Worthless conservative garbage in the party-- like Manchin and Sinema in the Senate and House members Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX), Abigail Spanberger (Blue Dog-VA), Jared Golden (Blue Dog-ME), Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ), Jim Costa (Blue Dog-CA) and Stephanie Murphy (Blue Dog-FL)-- vehemently oppose any and all attempts to pass progressive, or pro-worker, legislation. None should have ever been allowed into the tent. "The debate among Democrats," wrote Herndon, "exposes the difference between vague pledges made during campaign season and actual governing values. For more than a year, the party was held together by its shared goal of defeating Trump, a mantra that kept moderates at bay and progressives in line in addition to driving activism and grass-roots fund-raising. Now, with Biden in office, the divisions that always lurked underneath the surface are taking shape."
Herndon wrote that Bernie "took aim at the recent news" that a right-of-center, corporately funded, generally reactionary think tank, Third Way, "was working on a project seeking to push Democrats toward the center for the midterm elections. He said that issues like canceling student debt, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and combating climate change were 'political winners. The American working class today-- white, Black, Latino-- they are hurting. They want us to respond vigorously,' he said. 'If we do so, I think that they will reward us in 2022. If we fail them, and the Republicans can go around and say, Hey, you gave these people the House, the Senate and the White House and they did nothing for you, we will not do well in 2022.'"
The Rev. William J. Barber II, a co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign who organized the West Virginia workers’ meeting with Mr. Manchin, said the debate reflected an ugly underbelly of Democratic politics. While poor and low-income workers, particularly those who are racial minorities or young people, make up the core of the Democratic base, he said, the policies that they care about most have often been sacrificed because of political calculations.
They are the human cost of the big tent, he said.
“Democrats ran on this, they put it in their platform and they said this is what needs to happen,” Dr. Barber said. “It would be the ultimate abandonment and betrayal to then get here and have the power to do it, and then retreat.”