Earlier today I broached the idea of a 3 party system-- since the two party system is obviously no longer working for Americans-- which would include a fascist-oriented party made up of people like Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Traitor Greene, Ted Cruz, Paul Gosar; and progressive party made up of the members of the Progressive Caucus who are serious about 2022 progressive issues (so not the corporate whores like Donald Norcross, Dwight Evans, Brad Sherman, Joe Morelle, Jimmy Panetta, Darren Soto, Adam Smith, Juan Vargas...); and a mush in the middle made up of anti-Trump Republicans and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- Democraps such as Blue Dogs and New Dems. Oops-- one of the mushy-middle guys, John Katko (R-NY)-- just bowed out of politics a couple of hours ago, going from insane about being the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee to wanting to spend more time with his family in the blink of an eye. Another win for fascism and Señor Trumpanzee:
Today would be a very good day to contribute to the progressive Democrat running for the Syracuse based seat, Steven Holden, keeping in mind that the corporate interests who have backed Katko, are also backing an utterly worthless conservative "Any Blue Will Do" Democrat.
Which side would Bernie be on? No one has to ask. A few days ago, Steven Greenhouse wrote up an interview Bernie did with The Guardian, Bernie Sanders Says Democrats Are Failing: "The Party Has Turned Its Back On The Working Class". And that was before Sinema got up on the Senate floor and proved that the Democratic Party is a captive of the Big Money special interests. This was the "course correction" interview that we've discussed here before. Basically, Bernie is calling for a new version of a pre-Clintonian Democratic Party that "focuses on fighting for America’s working class and standing up to 'powerful corporate interests.' ... The White House is likely to see his comments as a shot across the bow by the left wing of a party increasingly frustrated at how centrist Democrats have managed to scupper or delay huge chunks of Biden’s domestic policy plans."
Bernie is still insisting the Democratic Party put its energy into the programs the GOP, Sinema and Manchin will never allow, from cutting prescription drug prices, raising the minimum wage to extending the child tax credit, forgiving student debt and getting serious about the Green New Deal. He told The Guardian that "It is no great secret that the Republican party is winning more and more support from working people. It’s not because the Republican party has anything to say to them. It’s because in too many ways the Democratic party has turned its back on the working class.
"[H]is comments," wrote Greenhouse, "appear to reflect a growing discontent and concern with the Biden administration’s direction. 'I think it’s absolutely important that we do a major course correction,' Sanders continued. 'It’s important that we have the guts to take on the very powerful corporate interests that have an unbelievably powerful hold on the economy of this country.' The individual bills that Sanders favors might not attract the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster, and a defeat on them could embarrass the Democrats. But Sanders, chairman of the Senate budget committee and one of the nation’s most prominent progressive voices, said, 'People can understand that you sometimes don’t have the votes. But they can’t understand why we haven’t brought up important legislation that 70 or 80% of the American people support... there is a disconnect between the realities of their lives and what goes on in Washington.'"
He said millions of Americans were concerned with such “painful realities” as “low wages, dead-end jobs, debt, homelessness, lack of healthcare”. In that statement, he said, many working-class Americans have grown disaffected with the political system because “nothing changes” for them “or, if it does, it’s usually for the worse.”
In the interview, Sanders repeatedly said that Democrats need to demonstrate vigorously and visibly that they’re fighting to improve the lives of working-class Americans. “The truth of the matter is people are going to work, and half of them are living paycheck to paycheck,” Sanders said. “People are struggling with healthcare, with prescription drugs. Young families can’t afford childcare. Older workers are worried to death about retirement.”
Sanders has long been troubled by America’s increasing wealth and income inequality, but he made clear that he thinks it is time for Democrats to take on the ultra-wealthy and powerful corporations-- a move he said vast numbers of Americans would support. “They want the wealthy to start paying their fair share of taxes,” he said. “They think it’s absurd that Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk don’t pay a nickel in federal taxes.”
He praised Biden for pushing for improved childcare and extending the child tax credit. But he said it would also be good to “show working people that you are willing to step up and take on the greed of the ruling class in America right now.” He pointed repeatedly to the high prices for prescription drugs as an example of “corporate greed.”
“There is no issue that people care more about than that we pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world,’’ he said, adding that the pharmaceutical industry has 1,500 lobbyists in Washington who “tried everything to make sure we don’t lower the cost of pharmaceuticals.”
The senator said: “I think the Democrats are going to have to clear the air and say to the drug companies-- and say it loudly-- we’re talking about the needs of the working class-- and use the expression ‘working class’. The Democrats have to make clear that they’re on the side of the working class and ready to take on the wealthy and powerful. That is not only the right thing to do, but I think it will be the politically right thing to do.”
...Sanders voiced frustration with the lack of progress on Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, which the Democrats sought to enact through budget reconciliation, a process that requires only a simple majority to pass. That effort was slowed by lengthy negotiations with the centrist senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona-- and then blocked when Manchin said he opposed the $2tn package, sparking leftwing fury and deep frustration in the White House.
“We have tried a strategy over the last several months, which has been mostly backdoor negotiations with a handful of senators,” Sanders said. “It hasn’t succeeded on Build Back Better or on voting rights. It has demoralized millions of Americans.”
He called for reviving a robust version of Build Back Better and also called for holding votes on individual parts of that legislation that would help working-class Americans. “We have to bring these things to the floor,” Sanders said. “The vast majority of people in the [Democratic] caucus are willing to fight for good policy.”
Sanders added: “If I were Senator Sinema and a vote came up to lower the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs, I’d think twice if I want to get re-elected in Arizona to vote against that. If I were Mr Manchin and I know that tens of thousands of struggling families in West Virginia benefited from the expansion of the child tax credit, I’d think long and hard before I voted against it.”
Sanders also called for legislation on another issue he has championed: having Medicare provide dental, vision and hearing benefits. “All these issues, they are just not Bernie Sanders standing up and saying this would be a great thing,” he said. “They are issues that are enormously popular, and on every one of them, the Republicans are in opposition. But a lot of people don’t know that because the Republicans haven’t been forced to vote on them.”
Bill Clinton says he likes Sinema; I think Americans are far more interested in lower drug prices, a higher minimum wage, Medicare for All and a serious approach to Climate Change. That isn't likely to happen while we have a two-party system controlled by Wall Street and corporate special interests whole own most of the politicians in both parties-- at least not any time soon.