My frustration with the Democrats’ machinations over human infrastructure is increasing exponentially, and recently caused me to rip off the email set forth immediately below – admittedly not of the tone I generally try to maintain in these pages — to a few friends that tend to be more progressive than I am:
“Put [a]side whether or not the “Human Infrastructure” bill that Progressives are pushing, and its final size, is a good or bad thing. What they’re missing is: for the future of democracy, it doesn’t matter. Those that hatch all these conspiracy theories and the whackos that believe them aren’t going to be dissuaded by benefit structures. If Democrats had any sense, they’d pass a measure all could agree on, call it a victory (which, compared to where we’ve been, it will be), and focus on voting rights. That’s where our system will be lost or perhaps (only, “perhaps”) preserved. I’m very concerned … “
The responses were instructive:
“… The Human Infrastructure bill … matters in the sense that if the Democrats are trying to motivate all their voters they need to pass it to show the Progressives that voting with the Democrats can lead to progress on their agenda. … You are right the “wackos” aren’t going to be dissuaded by benefit structures nor will the denial of those benefit structures dissuade them. … I do agree that the final size is probably of less importance. … I agree that the voting rights bill is even more critical to our whole system of government and that’s where our system will be lost or perhaps (only, “perhaps”) preserved. The real battle will be over voting rights and the end of the filibuster necessary to protect those rights. … I am very worried.”
“My anxiety is growing (again) as well. … We are careening. Take the $1T infrastructure, take the $?T lowest common denominator of everything else and move on. Means test it. Roll back some of the Trump tax cuts as ways to reduce deficit and inflationary pressures. Seems obvious to us centrists. Indicates that “democrats” are not one party. The only unifying principle is ‘Never Trump.’ They need to boil up some statesmanship and act for the good of the country.”
“I agree completely. While sympathetic to the Progressive agenda, I’d tell them, look…the cold hard truth is that we simply don’t have the votes to pass what you want. You can piss and moan about that and not vote at the mid-terms, but be prepared for the dire consequences of that action. Plus, the orange Godzilla monster is going to follow that up 2 years later and you’ll really know what hell is.”
TLOML is in an exercise group composed of women who are all progressively inclined. She advises that a recent discussion indicates that all of these women are exasperated by progressives’ intransigence and unwillingness to face reality. They want what is doable to be done.
From this small and obviously anecdotal sample, I would suggest that Congressional Progressives are fighting for principle when the majority of those sympathetic to their views are willing to compromise in order to actually achieve … progress. While one can sympathize with Progressives’ annoyance with moderate Democrats’ objections to some parts of their human infrastructure proposal – U.S. WV Sen. Joe Manchin’s objections to certain of the measure’s climate-protection provisions, while understandable for a coal state representative, are perhaps particularly galling — it’s time for them to agree on infrastructure bills, pass them, declare victory, and move on.
To borrow the arresting phrase of a wise [at least, when he agrees with me ;)] man: Democrats need to start focusing on the prospect of the resurrection of the orange Godzilla monster. Yet, there’s scant indication, based upon their internecine antics to date, that they appreciate that their dithering may be paving hell’s way.