Progressives won a huge victory on Friday: They blocked a standalone vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill for violating the promises made by President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that it would the bill would be promoted jointly with a budget equalization law that was only passed with the support of the Democrats. This second bill would implement much of Biden’s agenda last year: expanded support for child and elderly care, paid family vacations, strengthening the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicare, protecting the climate, and more.
In a moment of drama, we heard Biden himself driving up to Capitol Hill late Friday afternoon, and it wasn’t clear if it was about empowering progressives or allying with them. Ally he did. He blessed the decision to postpone a vote on the bipartisan law. “I’m telling you we can do it,” he said after meeting both moderates and progressives. “It doesn’t matter when. Whether in six minutes, six days or six weeks. We’ll make it. ”He walked out of the meeting, holding hands with Pelosi, showing support for her decision to postpone the vote.
How did The New York Times represent the moment? “Biden throws in with the left, leaving his agenda in doubt. “It’s amazing how many things a piece of paper can do wrong with so few words.
First and foremost, Biden’s “agenda” was called into question because unruly moderates turned down an existing deal to tie the infrastructure to a robust reconciliation law. Had the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill on its own, the reconciliation bill would be unlikely to pass, as Conservative Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema say they oppose and have not shared what concessions could change their minds.
Second, it’s not the left’s agenda; it’s Bidens. This is exactly what he suggested during the 2020 campaign. The “left” version of the Atonement Act was $ 6 trillion; it has already been reduced to $ 3.5 trillion with Biden’s encouragement. In fact, Manchin and Sinema even voted to debate that $ 3.5 trillion bill, but made it clear that they still had some problems with it (and still fail to clarify what those problems were). The real “left agenda” includes Medicare for All, free college, an ambitious Green New Deal, higher tax hikes for businesses and the rich … and so on. Biden is not with them on many of these agendas.
the Times Piece also claimed that candidate Biden “had few firm political plans”. Forgiveness? Folks, the Biden 2020 website is still active. It contains this page outlines a plan to “Build Back Better” as well as this promise:
Joe Biden is about to announce a plan designed to make it much easier to afford childcare and provide older relatives and people with disabilities with better access to home and community-based care. increase salaries, benefits and career opportunities for caregivers and educators; Creation of millions of well-paying new jobs in these areas with the possibility of union membership; and freeing millions of people so they can join the labor market and build a stronger economy in return….
It’s all in the Law of Atonement, folks. That’s why Biden wants to let it happen.
So it is indeed the progressives who have compromised; they are the pragmatists. The so-called “moderates” – let’s call them conservadems; they are far from moderate – indeed are the whiny babies here. In short, an alliance with progressives is the only way for Biden to carry out his agenda; it is the conservadems that are putting it at risk.
Tiny baby – oops, he prefers the term “problem solver” – Rep Josh Gottheimer made a statement that blistered both Pelosi and the Progressive Caucus of Congress. “This radical left group is ready to jeopardize the President’s entire agenda, including this historic bipartisan infrastructure package…. You have jeopardized politeness and bipartisan governance. ”Note to Gottheimer: Your statement was anything but polite and put off a kind of“ do what I say, not how I do ”mood. Again, you protect “the President’s entire agenda”; you risk it.
Why can’t the media properly understand this story? It’s not just that Times– that headline was just too horrible to ignore – it’s the media in general that keeps screwing up this story. For too long it has been popular belief that moderates have the winning message of the Democrats and that Democrats are being dragged onto the crazy left by The Squad and Senator Bernie Sanders. They can’t make it clear that Biden won the very same agenda that they claim is somehow unpopular – although most of its components are doing better with the American public than some of the infrastructure laws.
Now it is also true that the Democrats in the House of Representatives lost a few seats in the 2020 elections. The reasons, however, vary, from mediocre candidates to a questionable decision not to promote or hold in-person events during the pandemic. The Democrats narrowly won the Senate, and the two new Senators from Georgia and Mark Kelly from Arizona are on board with the Reconciliation Act.
Is there any hope that one day our leading media institutions will get everything right? Maybe. On Monday morning the politics Playbook, a leading pamphlet of centrist wisdom – it even gave the “moderates” of the house a cool nickname, “The Mod Squad” – saw some hope that Biden’s move would get him to carry out much of his agenda. Headed, “How Democrats Might Do It,” the story says that leading progressives like MP Pramila Jayapal know they need to cut the $ 3.5 trillion – not Manchin’s proposed $ 1.5 trillion, but clear. “While it’s hard to say that the Democrats are in full swing – we keep hearing that all sides are talking about trust issues – the path to a … deal this month seems possible.”
If it is possible for politics To pause one’s cynicism even for a day is possible for other major political media outlets.