Not a day goes by that I don’t
get a text or three from the Democratic National Committee asking for
contributions. Sometimes they come from Vice President Harris.
Sometimes, from President Biden himself. Occasionally, from House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi or DNC Chair Jaime Harrison Not to mention the
texts that come from Congressional candidates all over the country,
looking for $10, $17, or $27. I don't know where they get these odd
numbers from, nor do I know where they got mine. I suppose someone I
donated to sold their list, and I am likely to be cyber-panhandled
sometimes contribute to Democratic political candidates, as well as
to the Democratic party. I’m not so in the mood to contribute
these days because Democrats are so busy fighting each other that
they won’t put up an aggressive fight for people's economic
rights. They seem willing to streamline the Biden Build Back Better
plan instead of insisting that our human infrastructure – child
care and elder care, school improvement – is as critical as our
be sure, politics is the art of compromise. Someone needs to send
Mitch McConnell the memo. He does not want to raise the debt
ceiling, putting a vote on that off until December. He does not want
Biden's $3.5 trillion infrastructure repair plan. He does not want
to guarantee voting rights. And few Republicans are willing to stand
up to him, instead of hiding behind party unity, even when they know
I’m not worried about Republicans. I’m angry about the
dithering Democrats who can't seem to get off their rusty duffs and
do what they were elected to do. I'm mad at the amount of power that
has been ceded to West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s
Krysten Sinema, who would cut the Biden proposal by more than half.
If Manchin had his way, the Biden plan would be whittled to $1.5
trillion from the initially proposed $3.5 trillion. Manchin’s
colleagues need to invite him to a small room to have an impactful
conversation about his role. He also needs to be reminded that many
of his constituents in one of our nation’s most impoverished
states would benefit mightily from the Biden plan.
Republicans don't seem to roll their sleeves up and get into the
trenches, some Democrats behave as if they are sipping tea and
munching on scones at an afternoon garden party, a portrait
incivility. Dems seem reluctant to call Some Republicans the liars,
hypocrites, and scalawags the liars that they are. While
name-calling can be perceived as uncivil, so can lying, cheating, and
stealing. Civility plus the filibuster will get the American people
nothing. It is time for Democrats to play hardball.
Democratic members of Congress get hardball. They’ve been
playing hardball with the older Democratic establishment, vowing not
to vote for beneficial legislation if it does not honor their
demands, especially for human infrastructure needs. They’ve
dug their heels in and have threatened to withhold votes until their
demands are heeded. I like their fighting spirit, but not the likely
results. Are they prepared to walk away with nothing? A pared-down
infrastructure bill? No legislation at all?
Biden and Vice President Harris, along with other members of the
Biden-Harris team, need to take this to the people and the streets.
Most people support most provisions of the Build Back Better
legislation. West Virginians and Arizonans need to get in Manchin
and Sienem’as faces and demand flexibility from them. And
Republican senators also need to face a deluge of telephone calls,
emails and more, demanding that they budge and put some
infrastructure money in the economy.
are imperiling their chances to keep Congress and the Senate in 2022.
Their inaction lets indifferent voters know what going out on a limb
for Democrats may not have the desired results when we live with
politics and usual. The filibuster elevates the minority over the
majority and favors predatory capitalism over fairness.
be sure, the Biden-Harris has been productive in their short nine
months in office, with appointments, regulatory corrections, and
more. They've also committed too many unforced errors and exposed
themselves to public ridicule because of the mistakes (Afghanistan,
Haiti, more). And Dems have allowed themselves to be portrayed as
weak quislings who won’t fight for people’s rights.
some ways, Dems are great at fighting, especially when we are
fighting each other. Memo to Dems. Fight enemies of progress, not
each other. And don’t expect either votes or contributions if
you are unwilling to fight for the people who voted for you.