The Biden Administration, well-stocked with political veterans from the Clinton and Obama White House frontline staff, were on their game for the traditional first hundred days agenda. The passage of the $2T Pandemic Relief package (six months overdue) on a straight party-line reconciliation vote showed an uncharacteristic political discipline, and marked a new scale for the size and scope of policy proposals.
The Biden team had all been traumatized by the fact that eight years of the patient boring of the hard wood of incremental policy change and Obama’s calm demeanor, sweet reason and eloquent words was immediately followed by a manic short-fingered vulgarian with proto-fascist tendencies, who took a sadistic pleasure in mocking their culture of civility. This has stiffened the core Administration staff’s resolution to take a hard line with the Republican obstructionism. The beaten dog eventually bites back.
The fact that old Joe is one generation past ever getting really woke has endeared him to the general Democratic base. The mass public views him as a beneficent ruler.
That said, the Democratic Party is really not a coherent political party in the sense of European parliamentary social democratic parties, which are highly disciplined and ideological, and that dependably vote with the leadership in the final roll call. We’re not that lucky.
Right now, any plans we might have for passing voting rights protections, rental assistance for economically distressed and psychologically damaged low-wage gig and service workers, the American Families Plan to make it rational to have kids, the PRO Act, which would revive a decimated US labor movement, all depend on the whim of a couple of Democratic senators.
Failure to reform the filibuster will lead to the effective end of the Biden Administration. None of these concerns seem to move unprincipled grifters and political opportunists like Joe Manchin D-WV or Kirstin Sinema D-AZ.
These standard issue centrist Democrats that have a bottleneck role in the party have made me finally realize, after two painful defeats at their hands as part of the Sanders 2016 and 2020 campaigns, that this is not the party that will lead us out of the wilderness. But, as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield said, ”You go to war with the army you have, not the army you wished you had”.
Democrats are based in tech, finance, entertainment and the arts, and the essential professional managerial class. Republicans are based in oil & gas extraction, the manufacturing sector, transportation, regional retail monopolies, real estate and development.
Politics in contemporary America is largely a form of self-expression, rather than a serious engagement with the momentous realities of the present crisis. We don’t have parties; we have political identities.
On the local front, a broad coalition of political actors, staff, and consultants lead by veteran political consultant Terry Price have come together in agreement that they don’t want plutocrat developer Bill Gallaher to use his vast real estate fortune to dominate regional politics.
Ravitch, the district attorney for a decade, said last year that she would not seek re-election in 2022. “While this bully millionaire developer freely spends his millions seeking vengeance, we the taxpayers have to pay $900,000 for the cost to conduct a special election.’’
No on the DA Recall.