Last chance for progressives to show they aren't gaslighting us


I like how this headline is worded. Because is there anyone is America today that doesn't expect the progressives to fold like an accordion?

The White House's $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation is out, and make no mistake: Progressives got rolled.
The question is what they'll do next. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) insists this version of Build Back Better "needs to be improved," while Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D), more bluntly, says she feels "bamboozled." The Democratic majorities are so thin legislation can be defeated if only a handful of members go rogue, to say nothing of the whole Progressive Caucus. This fact has given moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) enormous influence on the process up to this point. Now it's time for lawmakers further left to flex their muscles. They will, and they speak for more Democrats than Manchin or Sinema, especially in deep blue districts.

But Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) still have one ace in the hole: As much as the progressives may talk like the Freedom Caucus, they don't define success the same way. The Freedom Caucus is often content to tank a bill and get nothing. Progressives don't work that way.

Hell, they haven't even finalized the wording on this joke of a bill, and they expect progressives to simply approve it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aiming to hold a vote Thursday on the $550 billion measure, but progressives have insisted that a larger social safety net bill proceed alongside the Senate-passed infrastructure package. Democrats, however, have yet to finalize the social policy bill due to sharp disagreements between moderates and progressives.

Biden's expected visit on Thursday, first reported by CNN, could briefly delay his planned departure for overseas summits. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that “there’s flexibility” built into his schedule.

He's expecting progressives to fold within a single day.
[Update: Biden already left the country.]
And they probably will. I just spotted this.

House progressives say they're willing to stop holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage based on a presidential promise.

Why it matters: A key sticking point for progressives supporting the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was their requirement the Senate first pass the nearly $2 trillion social safety net expansion they favor. Now, they say senators only have to promise they'll do so before they support the BIF.

I don't know if this is true, but it sounds true, and that would explain why Pelosi/Shumer/Biden are pushing it through now.
Congressional Black Caucus mis-leadership is all ready to cave in.

"I don’t think we’re in a position to keep kicking the can down the road," Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said Tuesday.

"Is it perfect?" Beatty said when asked how she feels about the reconciliation bill, and whether a deal is close. "We don't live in a perfect world, and we're not going to give you a perfect answer, but I'm going to give you another ‘P,’ and it's called progress."

18 users have voted.


Pricknick's picture

I haven't laughed this hard in a while.

14 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

I agree with this

There are actually quite a few gains for progressives if they take a page out of Manchin’s book and play hardball like this.

One is protecting their own credibility. Progressives have, rightly, made much of the fact that they haven’t rolled over under pressure like they’ve tended to do for years and years, and these negotiations were meant to herald a new era of progressive backbone, turning them into a real force that wouldn’t be pushed around anymore.

Acquiescing now after virtually every one of their red lines has been crossed, and all at the behest of a much smaller faction of corporate-bought lawmakers, would undo all of this, prove their most cynical detractors right, and ensure their threats are never taken seriously again.

Two, progressives shouldn’t forget they’re not the only ones with something to lose here. For all of Manchin’s posturing, remember the full sum of what he told Sanders last week, as recounted by Senator Chris Coons: “We should just pass the infrastructure bill and, you know, pause for six months.” [emphasis mine]

As Manchin let slip, he’s not actually “comfortable with zero.” In fact, he and his fellow naysayers are quite desperate to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, with its much-needed improvements to physical infrastructure and its corporate giveaways, because it’s what their corporate masters want. While opposing the reconciliation bill, corporate America — from the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers to the National Retail Federation and many more big business groups — are fully behind that part of Biden’s agenda. Call Manchin’s bluff and see how much he sweats when he goes back to his corporate patrons empty-handed.

On top of this, progressives should thirdly keep in mind that digging in puts the onus on Democratic leadership to finally put pressure on this desperate right-wing bloc. Remember that if both of these bills fail — which they will, without every single Democratic senator and almost every House Democrat on board — Joe Biden potentially goes down in history as a failed president with only one significant legislative accomplishment.

Progressives should simply go home and turn off their phones for the weekend.
They won't, but that's what they should do.

14 users have voted.


Progressive House Democrats intend to vote for both the domestic investment bill and the infrastructure measure but want to see a text of the spending bill first, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal said on Thursday.

Jayapal, who leads the progressive wing, said her caucus was working on a resolution backing U.S. President Joe Biden's Build Back Better framework but that there was not enough support yet to move forward with a vote on the separate infrastructure plan. Lawmakers were willing to work through the weekend, she added.

So they are only holding up this garbage bill because they want it in writing first.
I guess this is what passes for "standing up for the voters".

[edit] So they haven't totally caved for now.

The House again delayed a vote on the president's bipartisan infrastructure bill Thursday after opposition by progressives made it clear the legislation would not pass.

Why it matters: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had told Democrats earlier in the day she would call a vote after President Biden said "my presidency will be determined" by the passage — or lack thereof — of his two massive spending bills.

The Speaker pulled out all the stops on Thursday to pass the bill, including a caucus-wide visit from the president, a release of the text for the $1.75 trillion spending package and a Rules Committee hearing — but to no avail.

Pelosi has no respect for progressives either. This will just piss her off.

15 users have voted.

Our last hope is a 2022 wipeout, but then he'll have to find the ruthlessness to purge all his quisling "friends."
Repeat after me, "We survived Trump once..."

11 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973