The next 90 days will make or break the Biden Administration. The window for the legislative season will start shutting down after Labor Day and the 2022 primary will be off and running. After an impressive first hundred days, culminating in a significant pandemic rescue package, in the Democratic leadership the momentum is stalled.
My sense of dread, rooted in decades of watching the Democratic Party fritter away their winning hand by submitting to Republican hostage-taking and scorched-earth legislative tactics, is rising every day. When will they finally get it that they don’t have a good-faith governing partner in the Trump, Inc. Republican Party?
The late 20th century Washington Consensus that fetishizes a mythical bipartisan process still has an inexplicable grip on the senior leadership of the Democratic Party. It’s a dead cult that needs to end.
The fact that it has been plainly stated by the entire Republican leadership that Job #1 is to obstruct the Biden Administration agenda should direct them to get on with unilaterally passing the critical American Families Plan for the devastated service and gig worker sectors. Co-president Joe Manchin really needs an LBJ-type Senate enforcer to bully him into compliance with the president’s agenda. Sadly, Chuck Schumer is not that guy.
Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell’s plan is to stonewall every bill and make sure that there is enough ambient social suffering from the unaddressed pandemic recession to engineer a takeover of the House and Senate, thereby reducing Joe Biden to a ceremonial president in his last two years of his term, just like they did to Obama for 2010-2016.
The Republican Party will never lose an election going forward. If they win, it was a legit election. If they lose, it was fraud because of “illegal voters,” i.e., people of color and poor whites in Democratic districts. It’s a foolproof logic trap. Heads we win, tails you lose.
You’re probably vaxxed by now: that’s about as good as it’s going to get. Activists need to come out of mothballs and get to work. We need to challenge our pandemic-induced collective paralysis of the will and get out in the world, walk in the sunshine, and activate the progressive plan for 2021 to move us towards a more just and kind society.
The magnitude of the crises ahead requires all hands on deck. This will be a century for the strong at heart. If you’re scared by the background level of threat now (Covid, fire season, and earthquakes), you are definitely not ready to deal with the coming century of escalating climate calamity.
As Hunter S. Thompson said: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” It’s never going back to “normal” again. We have a golden opportunity to collectively intentionally reformat the psychographic territory of daily social and political discourse. Decline is not inevitable.
We need to get busy with our part in building a decent, sustainable, resilient social democratic civilization for the 21st century. Go out and get it, whatever it is you need to do. Test the boundaries of your cage. Try new things; see what happens. Fool around and find out.