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September 26, 2021

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There are times when sweeping changes are necessary. But trying to enact them is not without risks. Not so much that they may not work as intended, or may have unexpected negative side effects.

The problem is that something like the Minneapolis proposal amounts to going "All in." Maybe you get everything you think you want. Then again, maybe you spend a lot of political capital and end up with nothing.

Whereas, if you adopted a more incremental approach, you might get a bunch of stuff that focuses on the worst problems. And you can always go back for more, once you have those things in place -- especially if they work as advertised, the next steps become easier.

Note the parallels to the current flailing around in Congress. The all-or-nothing folks are currently making a lot of noise. But with any luck, they will figure out that getting nothing is not a good idea by any stretch of the imagination.

Given the way the city charter works, I don't see how they could have an incremental approach.

https://www.startribune.com/need-to-know-about-the-minneapolis-charter-amendments-police-mayor-rent-public-safety-city-council/600097438/

The way that incremental change actually works, though, is usually that the smallest, least controversial change gets passed first and the people involved in the change congratulate themselves on accomplishing something and put everything else off, hoping they won’t have to take on any of the more difficult questions.

If you doubt this, I invite you to read several thousand student draft revisions, and revisit your expectations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_race_relations_and_policing_in_Minneapolis%E2%80%93Saint_Paul

Start at 2010.

2015: In Minneapolis, the "duty to intervene" policy was enacted as one of the police reforms introduced following the 2015 police shooting of Clark.[87] "Duty to intervene"—when an officer saw a colleague doing something to endanger a member of the public— was one of the newly introduced policies considered to be "key to the swift firing and arrest of the four officers" in the 2020 Floyd case.[87] Minneapolis city council member, Alondra Cano, said that the reforms had not worked since "none of the officers took the initiative to follow the policy to intervene." Cano said in 2020, that "it just became really clear to me that this system wasn’t going to work, no matter how much we threw at it."

I posted this earlier,
https://www.mpd150.com/wp-content/themes/mpd150/assets/mpd150_report.pdf

“ The all-or-nothing folks are currently making a lot of noise. ”

If you are talking about the intro- Democratic fight, the corrupt corporate Democrats are going against Biden’s largely centrist proposals ( Bernie likes it, but it is not what he ran on) and trying to force the vast majority of Democrats to bend to their will.

I understand that when faced with soulless people who are willing to blow everything up sometimes you have to cave in, but let’s be clear about what is going on here. The progressives compromised already. The moderates now want them to compromise on the compromise. And they don’t care if they wreck the Democratic Party’s chances in 2022.

Now if you mean the debt ceiling, I wish the Democrats would just go ahead and raise the ceiling themselves. Waiting for Republicans to do the fair and decent thing is a ridiculous waste of time and endangers the economy. Do the adult thing and tell the voters they had to do it on their own, because the Republican Party is without any scrap of honor or decency. It frankly is ridiculous for the Democrats to try and shame the Republicans into doing the right thing. They don’t give a damn about that.

I pretty much agree with Donald's take.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/democrats-latest-crisis-comes-courtesy-110005388.html

I'm not following this super closely, and a lot of the arguments track with previous patterns, but if anyone has something that they feel is insightful, please toss a link up here.

if you mean the debt ceiling, I wish the Democrats would just go ahead and raise the ceiling themselves. Waiting for Republicans to do the fair and decent thing is a ridiculous waste of time and endangers the economy.

Totally agree. Thank God there is already provision to raise the debt limit via a reconciliation (i.e. not subject to filibuster) bill. Since it's not a particularly complex bill, they should just ram it thru at warp speed. The last thing we need right now is to get our credit rating downgraded (and our interest rates therefore raised) just because McConnell is an assh*le. Just do it.

If you are talking about the intro- Democratic fight, the corrupt corporate Democrats are going against Biden’s largely centrist proposals ( Bernie likes it, but it is not what he ran on) and trying to force the vast majority of Democrats to bend to their will.

They are. And the most liberal Democrats are insisting that they won't let any proposals go forward unless they are guaranteed that they get everything they want. I'm praying that Biden and Pelosi find a way to let both sides save face (without which McConnell gets a gift demonstration that the government doesn't work) while getting done.

A little something for those who insist on focusing on the hole, rather than the doughnut:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/09/27/no-matter-what-happens-congress-biden-administration-has-done-big-things/

I’m not going to equate the two sides. Progressives have been acting in good faith. The various moderates ( Neal, Manchin, Sinema) are working for their corporate donors.

I would sacrifice a few things to get their votes, but to be clear, I would be sacrificing policies that would help working people. This isn’t a compromise between people who have honest differences of opinion on issues. It is a hostage situation.

And the most liberal Democrats are insisting that they won't let any proposals go forward unless they are guaranteed that they get everything they want.

That is simply not even remotely true.

but if anyone has something that they feel is insightful, please toss a link up here.

Asked and answered:

Jonathan Chait who is pretty good when not hippie punching.

The irascible Charles Pierce

and last but not least, one of my favorites, Brian Beutler.

and what Donald said.

I could get on board with this. It would be a pleasant change from the left always getting rolled.

The so-called "moderates" positition boils down to "We get the goodies or we burn it down!" It is, simply put, inchoherent.

Yeah. Burn baby burn. I recall saying stuff like that 50 years ago when young and callow. You have to admit...it did get a few results.

Time will tell.

I have two more paragraphs describing the savage horror that is upon us at the hands of the conservative subhumans killers of America, if anyone needs them.

There are no options remaining in the “fair and decent” category.

The vermin Republican Party murdered fairness and decency long ago.

Passenger airlines, hospitals, and government agencies, and all of their employees, among many of the items we take for granted, are no longer safe from the violence of the conservative insurrectionary civil war, now being waged by the malignant filth.

One of the “astronauts” who returned from his Musk adventure, got home to find his entire family, even though vaccinated, infected with Covid-19 in Florida, deliberately infected by the genocidal Republican Party murdering Floridians at will.

A well-known right wing cartoonist and his are now suffering from severe Covid-19. They lie about and disparage the vaccines, even this minute, as they tweet for air, and are self medicating their suicide attempts with veterinary treatments and beet juice.

Yet another case of their horrible deaths coming too slowly to save America, given all of the weapons and ammo Americans have stockpiled all these decades to take out their enemies foreign and domestic.

Joe Biden should mandate that all hospitals in America turn away all conservatives and republicans showing symptoms of this fake disease the chinks and commie democrats made up and direct them to their local morgues, for efficiency’s sake.

The states of Alabama and Idaho are increasingly relying on mobile refrigeration units (what’s next, republicans, mobile gassing units?) to keep their murder victims on ice. Do these people even believe in the science of refrigeration?

Wouldn’t leaving the bodies to rot in the midday sun be more constitutionally correct, like we used to do when America was young and knew all there was to know about sciencey shit.

It’s obvious the fascists know they have already stolen the 2022 and 2024 elections in their favor via radical gerrymandering and replacing state electors with liars, cheats, and thieves. Else, why would they be murdering at will and steering America to certain default, ruination, and savage killing violence in broad daylight.


https://digbysblog.net/2021/09/27/we-are-in-a-wretched-situation/

Act ferociously now or they will kill all of us..

And the most liberal Democrats are insisting that they won't let any proposals go forward unless they are guaranteed that they get everything they want.

That is simply not even remotely true.

No? And yet,
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/573840-pelosi-bipartisan-infrastructure-vote-will-happen-monday

"It cannot pass," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Friday. "I don't bluff, I don't grandstand. We just don't have the votes for it."

Behind Jayapal, liberal lawmakers have been lining up by the dozen to oppose the infrastructure bill

Sounds pretty close to me.

This is definitely a variation: Trump endorsing a Democrat over an incumbant Republican governor:

"Of course, having [Abrams] I think might be better than having your existing governor," Trump said. "Might, very well, be better."

"Stacey, would you like to take his place?" Trump asked. "It's okay with me."

Who knows, maybe Trump's fanboys will vote accordingly. That would be amusing.

I've sworn off the Hill as a source. For every link that it has identifying real problems, there seems to be 3 or 4 built on false premises.

https://thehill.com/changing-america/468763-changing-america

The kind of fuzzy lens 'oh, how can we let our imaginary differences divide us' leaves me cold.

I'll keep my open for the more egregious ones, but looking at the links, this one

https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/573680-progressives-spending-proposals-out-of-step-with-battleground-voters

It's also useful to see whose byline that is
Will Marshall is president and founder of the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).

Progressive! It's right in the name! However...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Policy_Institute

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/15/the-new-democratic-party-proposal-to-rival-bernie-sanders-socialism/

The Progressive Policy Institute is the latest centrist Democratic institution to try to counter that image. Today it will release what its president, Will Marshall, calls a "radical" agenda to get America working for the working class again. The report is called "Unleashing Innovation and Growth: A Progressive Alternative to Populism," and it is organized around a straightforward, if not perfectly simple, principle.

“Innovation is not the problem; it’s how we solve the problem," Marshall says, previewing a 20,000-word agenda that aims to energize America's investment, entrepreneurship and education. "Right now, you’ve got Bernie basically making an argument against the economic changes that have swept away the industrial landscape that he loves so much. Somebody’s got to stand up for the new economy.”

That new economy, in PPI's imagining, draws heavily on public investments — read: government spending — to help the United States lead the world in new ideas, new products and new jobs.

That was 2016. You tell me how well that has worked out...

Is this better, lj?
https://www.kpcnews.com/news/national/video_c2faab46-6cf9-5668-a579-790d866fd61f.html

House Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal tells CNN's Jake Tapper that she does not believe the House will vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Monday because progressives are threatening to block it [Emphasis added].
Still sounds close.

It wasn't that I was disputing the facticity (which I thought I made up, but is actually a word) of the cite, just that if you are reading The Hill all the time, you are going to have a warped view of what is at stake and what is happening. Did Biden win because centrist voters rose up and said 'hey, let's go back to staying in the middle of the road'?

If you look at the wording of 'the progressives are threatening to block it'. Well, I guess that is true in one sense, just like emergency rooms are preventing people from recovering from COVID.

I mean, all this stems from Jayapal's appearance on the Sunday talk shows, I think specifically on the CNN show, so it would be good to look at the transcript:

JAYAPAL: So, that's all the stuff that's in the Build Back Better Act, what we're calling the reconciliation bill.

And our point is just, we're ready to vote for both. We are excited to vote for both. And we will vote for both. But we need to actually get the reconciliation bill done. That was what we said three-and-a-half months ago, Jake.

TAPPER: Yes.

JAYAPAL: And so our belief is that we will get there. We're very close. But it has to -- we have to get to that reconciliation bill first.

TAPPER: Would it be enough if there were an agreement on the Build Back Better Act, the $3.5 trillion spending package, but not an actual vote tomorrow? Would that be enough for you and the House progressives to vote for the infrastructure bill?

JAYAPAL: Well, the reconciliation bill does have to start in the House, because it's a budget reconciliation bill.

TAPPER: Right.

JAYAPAL: But everything should be agreed upon.

What we don't to have happen...

TAPPER: So, an agreement is good -- an agreement is good enough?

JAYAPAL: Well, no, but an agreement of exactly what's in there. The language needs to be worked out, because...

TAPPER: And a commitment that everybody's going to vote for it.

JAYAPAL: And everyone's going to vote for it, and, if Republicans offer amendments in a vote-a-rama, that we're not going to have Democratic senators suddenly vote with Republicans.

So, the idea here is, unlike many other bills, many other times that we do this, where the House passes a bill, it's not necessarily something that the Senate can do, the Senate then goes and passes their bill, and then we conference, or we have back-and-forth, this is a pre-conferenced bill, which means everybody, everybody in the Senate right and everybody in the House has to agree on every piece of it. [09:05:05]

TAPPER: But Pelosi says that she's bringing the infrastructure bill, the bipartisan bill, to the floor of the House tomorrow for consideration.

Are you going to vote for it or against it?

JAYAPAL: I don't believe there will be a vote.

I mean, the speaker...

TAPPER: You don't think there's going to be a vote tomorrow?

JAYAPAL: I mean, the speaker is an incredibly good vote-counter. And she knows exactly where her caucus stands.

And we have been really clear on that.

TAPPER: The votes aren't there? She's not going to bring it up?

JAYAPAL: The votes aren't there.

So, I just -- I don't think she's going to bring it up. But I think -- look, I think the urgency is important. I mean, this -- in some ways, the fact that this is there has finally provided the urgency for senators to engage in reconciliation, for the president to really weigh in.

And, ultimately, we're delivering on the president's agenda. I mean, this is -- the Build Back Better agenda is not some crazy agenda that just a few people support. It's actually the vast majority of the Democratic Caucus. And there's a few people in the House and a couple in the Senate who aren't quite there yet.

But even moderates in front-line districts all support this Build Back Better agenda.

TAPPER: Right.

But just to clarify, there, you don't think there's going to be a vote tomorrow, but, either way, you're looking for an agreement on the reconciliation, not necessarily a vote first, when it comes to infrastructure?

JAYAPAL: Well, it's just the logistics of it, right?

TAPPER: Yes.

JAYAPAL: Everything has to be done. There has to be kind of an ironclad...

TAPPER: Are you guys close to that at all, an agreement?

JAYAPAL: Well, I think we're finally talking, which is important, because that hasn't been happening for the last couple of months. TAPPER: Yes.

Pelosi says it's going to happen this week. Is that realistic?

JAYAPAL: I mean, we want to have that happen as soon as possible. So everybody -- I know I worked every single minute of every single day for the last several weeks -- for the last week, last several days, trying to try to talk to people and get this done.

That's our hope, is to try to get it done. But we need the Senate to engage with us if that's going to happen.

TAPPER: Well, let's -- let's listen to what West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said on the show two weeks ago about the threat by progressives to tank the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): If they can go home and tell people that, hey, I don't care about the roads and bridges, you don't need it, I don't care about Internet service, you don't need that, I don't care about fixing water and sewer lines, if they play politics with the needs of America, I can tell you, America will recoil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: What do you say to that?

JAYAPAL: I mean, look, we need to bring down the temperature, but I would just say, I could say the same thing about anyone who votes against the reconciliation bill.

If you want to go back and tell people that you don't want child care, or you don't want housing, or you don't want to take on climate change, or you don't want to provide health care to people. I mean, that's not good either.

This is the president's Democratic agenda. We will deliver on both of them, Jake. I am absolutely confident of that. But it's going to take work. And it's going to take the Senate, Joe Manchin and others, sitting down to actually negotiate.

And I am ready, willing and able to talk to anyone about anything at any time to get that done.
https://transcripts.cnn.com/show/sotu/date/2021-09-26/segment/01

To extract from that 'the progressives are threatening to block it', well, it's a good soundbite, but in no way presenting the full context.

From bobbyp's excellent Beutler article
Just this week, a tiny group of centrists with ties to the pharmaceutical industry forced the party to remove provisions that would allow the government to directly negotiate prescription prices for Medicare beneficiaries from the Build Back Better Act. These provisions are extremely popular and generate huge cost savings. It’s the most destructive and selfish single thing any of the centrists in Congress have done, and they’ve justified it with disingenuous pablum about bipartisanship.

Schrader's tweet is referenced and it has to be seen to be believed.

Buetler's point that
This is all great news, and the furthest thing imaginable from demonstrations of bipartisan comity. But neither the vaccine rules nor the Newsom campaign required any input from centrists. The coming weeks, by contrast, will test whether party leaders intend to keep allowing centrists to drag down the whole party unimpeded or not.

Manchin alone is a veritable professional corporate fluffer. He wears knee pads at all times and his corporate handlers set their drinks on his head as he circles the room on his knees collecting his money shot payoffs through his unmarked mail slot of a lying mouth.

He lives on the Love Boat. Rats fuck each other in admiration of his lavishly greased palms.

Torpedoes away.

Border state West Virginia will be torn apart and split up in Civil War II, just as they tried having it both ways the first savage go-round in 1861.

wj,
Please do read the Chait article i cited above. I would offer he has an accurate portrayal of the politics. Both sides are escalating, but the nut of the matter is this: BOTH sides agreed to a path of bringing BOTH bills out and passing them simultaneously. The left members of the caucus have repeatedly conceded to centrist demands to try and make that happen, but apparently to you that actuality does not matter.

Well, it does. And now the centrists have ratcheted it up to demand passing only the infrastructure bill, tossing the heart of Biden's agenda. But yes, by all means, let's blame the left....after all it is your default position.

As an aside, I would sooner swallow RoundUp* than take anything in The Hill seriously.

*I've done the research. It stops aging in its tracks.

Krugman weighs in.

Message: "Get your heads out of your asses, moderates*, 1999 was over twenty years ago".


*Extremism in defense of moderation is still extremism.

They're still partying like it's 1999, but Prince is dead.

All too many still have their head stuck in stagflation circa 1977 also, too.

The music you like, the economic concerns you consider "serious", and the bodies you consider "hawt": all leftovers in your brain from puberty through mid-teens.

Imprinting: it's not just for ducklings.

Please do read the Chait article i cited above. I would offer he has an accurate portrayal of the politics. Both sides are escalating, but the nut of the matter is this: BOTH sides agreed to a path of bringing BOTH bills out and passing them simultaneously. The left members of the caucus have repeatedly conceded to centrist demands to try and make that happen, but apparently to you that actuality does not matter.

Actually, I did read the Chait article (when it came out). (lj Note: Chait is someone I read fairly regularly. The Hill is something I occasionally cite. Mostly when I'm doing a quick Google for something I remember, but not from where.)

My personal take is that the moderates, especially the moderates in the Senate, really, really need to get a grip and quit posturing. Not just because the country needs to get this stuff done, but because failing to get it passed will be electoral suicide in 2022 and 2024. And the likely results of that are horrifying.

That said, the Progressive Caucus in the House is displaying some of the same behaviors. My guess is that it is mostly a negotiating tactic . . . but it might not be. And whether my view on that (from a long distance) is correct or not, it is still the same threat.

wj,

How much are you willing to bet that the GOP and its "moderate" Dem collaborators are NOT going to torpedo the budget bill once they get their grubby hands on the "bipartisan" infrastructure bill?

He Who Thinks He's Alone In His Tree may seem immoderate to devotees of civility, but I predict He will sound more and more reasonable quite soon.

--TP

How much are you willing to bet that the GOP and its "moderate" Dem collaborators are NOT going to torpedo the budget bill once they get their grubby hands on the "bipartisan" infrastructure bill?

Sorry, Tony, you're not winning any sucker bets today. ;-)

I hope they don't. And I think Biden will bring them around. With enough concessions that they can claim a "win", whatever that means (and for whom). But with most of the budget bill intact.

Still, I'd rather have at least the "bipartisan (except it's not)" bill than nothing. And sooner, rather than later. So I hope the procressives in the House grit their teeth and approve it. Now.

I hope they don't.

Hope is not a plan.

And I think Biden will bring them around.

Around to what, exactly? You mean like this?

But with most of the budget bill intact.

Define "most".

Still, I'd rather have at least the "bipartisan (except it's not)" bill than nothing.

A trillion spent over a 10 year time frame is 100B/yr. So basically, the progressives have to sacrifice everything they want policy-wise so a couple "moderates" can renege on the deal they made and get a few more miles of freeway built in their district?

That is simply incoherent.

If the "center" is allowed to get away with this highjacking/blackmail, then burn it down. Let the GOP and renegade Dems pass their own 'effing infrastructure bill and put it on Biden's desk if it is so damned good.

burn it down

yeah, we tried that. and we got four years of Trump. enjoy the contradictions, did ya?

Not even close to an argument, cleek. That ground has been covered to death since 2016. Clinton lost for a variety of reasons, none of which had anything to do with that particular phrase.

More here. Suddenly the $1trillion "infrastructure" bill is only half that number. Who coulda' known?

anarcho-communist Duncan Black....

this

n'that

Gene Debs Josh Marshall weighs in as well.

And I think Biden will bring them around.

Around to what, exactly? You mean like this?

Around to delivering on "most" (see below). That is, I don't agree with your assumption that, as soon as the "bipartisan" bill passes, the moderates will renege.

But with most of the budget bill intact.

Define "most".

The obvious definition would be >50%. Although in this case I'm thinking more in the (extremely approximate) 80% range.

Still, I'd rather have at least the "bipartisan (except it's not)" bill than nothing.

A trillion spent over a 10 year time frame is 100B/yr. So basically, the progressives have to sacrifice everything they want policy-wise so a couple "moderates" can renege on the deal they made and get a few more miles of freeway built in their district?

Other than massive dislike for them, why do you assume that the moderates would make a deal and then break it? If we were talking about Trump, or someone like him, I'd totally agree, of course. But if you can't see an enormous difference between the moderate Demicrats and Trump, I'd say you have lost touch with reality.

Other than massive dislike for them, why do you assume that the moderates would make a deal and then break it?

Because that is what they have done by proposing something themselves and then voting against it once they have gotten another thing they wanted more.

Because they have turned on their party's voting rights bill and massively disadvantaged their party in the process.

Why wouldn't we assume they were going to turn on this, too?

That is, I don't agree with your assumption that, as soon as the "bipartisan" bill passes, the moderates will renege.

What assumption? They already have.

Although in this case I'm thinking more in the (extremely approximate) 80% range.

And it is the left that has it head in the clouds? That assumption is simply daft. If the "moderates" were willing to concede "80%" of the bill it would have been a done deal by now.

why do you assume that the moderates would make a deal and then break it?

Because they already have. What part of "they already have" do you not understand?

But if you can't see an enormous difference between the moderate Demicrats and Trump, I'd say you have lost touch with reality.

LOL. Well I would say that whole sentence is a pile of bull cow poop. It is you who is violating your own political touchstone here, you know 'the perfect being the enemy of the good' yadda yadda yadda. The moderates are basically saying, "Give us the infrastructure deal now or you get nothing."

Well, perhaps the time for nothing is now. If you and "moderates" like you desire to kill the heart of Biden's agenda, why not just say so?

But you don't.

Not even close to an argument, cleek.

from the guy who just gave us a "burn it down"? commenter, please.

Prediction - if AZ starts to go any more purple, Sinema does a reverse Ben Nighthorse Campbell and tries to position herself as the heir to McCain’s maverick streak.

What nous said.

I think there are decent honorable moderate politicians because I am willing to think that about some politicians on every part of the political spectrum ( though it has gotten really tough to think this about Republicans) but Sinema and Manchin and probably Neal just seem corrupt. Sinema also seems weird— the curtsy during her vote against a higher minimum wage was almost Trumpian in its bizarre inappropriateness.

Is Mitch McConnell honorable? Of course not. I don’t trust Manchin or Sinema much more than I trust him.

Manchin had been described as having a built-in political compass. Which may spin erratically during uncertain times. Someone who has worked with him has said that on a number of occasions he has entered the Senate floor for a major vote not knowing which way he was going to vote.

This is not original to me, but I think Manchin and Sinema are basically out in front, but there is a group (small I hope) that encourage them in their fecklessness. I don't want to get into CharlesWT territory of they are all worthless so the problem is the whole concept of government, but I feel like they are seeing how much Manchin and Sinema can get away with and will follow that. The calculations are obviously different in the House, but I think a similar thinking is involved. In the other thread, we have speculation about a small group of individuals (in that case, alpha males) and how they apparently license behavior. If one want to argue for it there, why don't you see it in operation here?

Earlier:

And the most liberal Democrats are insisting that they won't let any proposals go forward unless they are guaranteed that they get everything they want.

That is simply not even remotely true.

And now:
perhaps the time for nothing is now.
That latter sounds like you (if not the progressives in Congress) think exactly "My way or the highway. All, or nothing at all."
If you and "moderates" like you desire to kill the heart of Biden's agenda, why not just say so?
I have no desire at all to kill the heart of Biden's agenda. I may take exception to bits of it here and thete, but overall? Go for it. However, that does not, for me, mean I can't see the merit of taking part of it immediately, while thrashing out the details on what parts of the rest will follow.

Given that Jayapal's quote shouldn't be rendered as "progressives are threatening to block it", and it seems that moderates are reneging on the course of action that was agreed to, it's hard to understand why you are riding this horse so hard.

It seems to me that moderates want to NOT agree to the bill that they have control over (reconciliation) while pushing thru a bill that they know will be subject to Manchin and Sinema rules. Jayapal (and I assume other progressives) are pointing out that this isn't going to work. Given that bobbyp's not in either chamber (that I know of), taking his expressions of frustration and saying 'a ha, so you admit progressives want to burn things down' is not really compelling.

I hate to suggest this, but the whole 'it's the progressives that are screwing things up' seems to have the same object permanence for you as 'government is always wrong' does for CharlesWT.

That latter sounds like you (if not the progressives in Congress) think exactly "My way or the highway. All, or nothing at all."

To your tin ear, perhaps. To most it sounds like fair play...you renege on a deal, you don't get your way. There was an agreement in place to move forward together. Again I ask, what is it about this that you do not understand?

However, that does not, for me, mean I can't see the merit of taking part of it immediately, while thrashing out the details on what parts of the rest will follow.

There is no guarantee that anything will follow. The tell is this: These so-called moderates have not told us what exactly it is that they want. This is a tell.

In what discussions that have been going on over the reconciliation bill the progressives have bitterly swallowed a great deal. They have compromised to get something passed. Now the rug is pulled out from even that. The moderates demands are insane and should be defeated. If you really believe that "something" can be negotiated later, then why the fuck not negotiate everything "later". I'm sorry, but you are making absolutely no sense.

a remarkable talent for bring nothing to this conversation. nice job.

I hate to suggest this, but the whole 'it's the progressives that are screwing things up' seems to have the same object permanence for you as 'government is always wrong' does for CharlesWT.

I don't think that it's progressives who are screwing things up. If I'm coming across that way, I definitely need to work on my communications skills!

What I'm trying to say is that both the moderates and the more extreme progressives are threatening that nothing will happen if they can't get their own way. (The sincerity of those threats, for either side, is beyond my ability to estimate.)

What I'm trying to say is that both the moderates and the more extreme progressives are threatening that nothing will happen if they can't get their own way.

And what bobbyp has been posting about in the links is how that framing is not reflective of reality, which is that everyone had agreed on a course of action that was already a compromise consensus and then two members backed away from that consensus agreement in order to pose as moderates opposing radical demands. And when asked what they want in place of the current course of action as a further compromise, they refuse to say what they want.

So it's not about compromise or about wanting a result, it's about wanting to be seen to be obstructing the desires of the "radicals."

Take away the moderates vs. radicals frame and you are left with the two rightmost Dems grandstanding to burnish a pose they rely upon for reelection.

wj,

I think I can guess who you mean by "the more extreme progressives", but I have no idea who might pass muster as a NON-extreme progressive in your book. I'd love to know. Seriously.

--TP

I think I can guess who you mean by "the more extreme progressives", but I have no idea who might pass muster as a NON-extreme progressive in your book. I'd love to know. Seriously.

I haven't done an in-depth survey. But off hand, I'd say about 80% of the Democratic caucus on the House. Slightly more in the Senate. If you want a list of names, that would be a research project I'm not sure I'm up for.

In short, I'd classify pretty much all of those outside the self-described moderates as varying degrees of liberal/progressive. Not sure that's what you're after, but that's where I'm at.

Not trying to bust your chops, but I’ve been busy and not following it closely, but it’s pretty depressing to see how 90% of news stories identify progressives as the problem when, as nous points out, is so-called moderates. And when you look at the actual quotes, it seems like a pretty egregious misreading. I don’t think you are doing it in bad faith (which raise a whole nother set of problems) but I’m hoping to suggest that you loosen your grip on the whole moderation in all things approach. Two yen from me.

https://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-infrastructure-house-progressives-tank-bill-nancy-pelosi-2021-9?amp

Sanders reiterated that a deal had been struck between House and Senate Democrats on how the basic package would pass the lower chamber as long as senators pushed the more comprehensive version through by using filibuster-proof budget reconciliation.

"Let's be crystal clear," Sanders tweeted, using one of his signature phrases. "If the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed on its own on Thursday, this will be in violation of an agreement that was reached within the Democratic Caucus in Congress."

He added: "More importantly, it will end all leverage that we have to pass a major reconciliation bill.

This thread has moved from Defunding the Minneapolis police to progressives, what can you do? so probably as good a place as any to drop this link

https://shingetsunewsagency.com/2021/09/27/my-ex-father-in-law-the-japanese-radical/

If nothing else, Narita makes a mockery of the cliche that Japanese culture always strives to harmonize and transform discordance into consensus. Not conceding was the whole point of the struggle.

https://digbysblog.net/2021/09/29/worse-than-worst-case-scenario/

The conservative movement will kill all of us.

The federal government is a dead piece of shit as America is made ungovernable and ungoverned by the malignant dogshit of subhuman genocidal conservatism and Republican filth.

Two further paragraphs deleted.

.

Josh Marshall, noted pie in the sky utopian socialist writes: If it’s the BIF and nothing else, kill the BIF.

Really. Read it for yourself and tell me how he is wrong.

Marshall seems to think the average Democratic voter is paying close attention to any of this and that she cares deeply about the inter-party politics that has screwed-up this situation.

that's how he's wrong.

Strip them of their committees and see how they deal with that. There must be a cost.

Do what you must for the rest, but put them both in a position where their power and influence in committee is curtailed to where they are no use to the lobbyists.

If all they have to offer is opposition, then there is a party for that they can choose to caucus with instead, and better that narrative for the midterms than what this current shitshow will bring.

cleek,

Do you think the average Republican voter is paying any more attention?

I don't disagree with you, BTW. The "average voter" has stronger opinions about which team should win the next ball game than about intramural shadow-boxing in the Congress. But this seems to imply that, in electoral terms, it doesn't matter who cheats, who blinks, or even who "wins" on Capitol Hill. Right?

--TP

Unfortunately, them doing nothing and blocking others from doing anything suits the donors quite well (the status quo is in their favor). It's not that there are any major tax cuts for the rich on offer at the moment that need some help getting passed.

If all they have to offer is opposition, then there is a party for that they can choose to caucus with instead

The trouble is, Congress is so narrowly divided. And they just might do that. Giving them a huge bribe to do so would, after all, be right in McConnell's wheelhouse.

wj - I realize that. What that has to offer that this current situation does not is clarity of message. Kicking them out and leaving them to deal with Mitch eliminates the appearance of a disunited party. It gives the Ds more control over the narrative, and it puts Mitch in the position of having to move left to get to the middle rather than dragging the Ds further right.

Do you think they will show any more loyalty to the other party than they will the Ds? I don’t see this as losing any close votes that weren’t already at risk.

Do you think they will show any more loyalty to the other party than they will the Ds? I don’t see this as losing any close votes that weren’t already at risk.

On legislative matters, perhaps not.

However,
- executive branch appointments (already painfully slow)?
- Potential Supreme Court nominations?
- For that matter, other judicial nominations?
Just for starters.

Even if they vote as Rs the same way as they vote as Ds, I submit that having McConnell once again in charge of the Senate is a Bad Thing.

clarity of message

To the extent that the average voter cares, the critical message is about can get things done. Even if it's just a basic (and, I agree, inadequate) infrastructure bill. Demonstrating that McConnell and company are right that government doesn't work is a vote loser.

it puts Mitch in the position of having to move left to get to the middle rather than dragging the Ds further right.

And your reason for believing that McConnell will feel the slightest inclination to move to the middle, under any circumstances, would be what, exactly?

that's how he's wrong.

That's not the question at hand. The discussion is about what we dyed in the wool political observers think about this issue. Is this yet another case of the perfect being the enemy of the good? Political treachery by the moderates? Democratic Party stoopidity? Should Congressional progressives fold or hold?

You have not weighed in on the question.

To the extent that the average voter cares, the critical message is about can get things done. Even if it's just a basic (and, I agree, inadequate) infrastructure bill. Demonstrating that McConnell and company are right that government doesn't work is a vote loser.

And if you give them a win and they kill the rest of your agenda and call it too extreme, government still doesn't work and your own party is talking trash about you and confirming the other side's message.

If you take a strong stand on the issues that you are trying to get through - which are winning issues - and the lines are clear, then it's a clearer choice and the two you kicked out are just sore losers.

And if Mitch doesn't want to budge, and Manchin and Sinema actually have a position, then they will just pull the same shit with them they did with the Ds and be his obstructionists.

I (no big surprise) tend to agree with nous, especially when he says that (and I'm sorry I can't find the exact phrase) they (Sinema and Manchin) have to be some consequences.

There's an interesting conundrum here, at least for me. If I were to take one of them out, pour encourager les autres as it were, it would be Sinema. The whole West Virginia vibe (even though Tester has a similar situation and doesn't act like a shithead) and his longer tenure would have me suggest they drop the hammer on Sinema. I think that bizarre performative vibe that Donald mentioned and the fact that if it were done to Manchin, she would not be smart enough to read the writing on the wall, but I really have to wonder if there is a dash of sexism that has me suggest it. But then I read this

https://www.salon.com/2021/09/29/activists-helped-elect-kyrsten-sinema-launch-crowdpac-to-fund-a-primary-challenger/

And think, well, them's the breaks.

I wondered myself if my dislike for Sinema is partly unconscious sexism. Maybe. But I despise Manchin about as much, so maybe not. He is corrupt and she is corrupt, but that little curtesy when voting down the minimum wage bill strikes me as an extra seasoning of narcissism or something weird. I am sure there are weird Republican male politicians but I don’t pay much attention to them. Sinema has gotten a lot of attention as a traitor and she seems to like it.

I don’t think making Manchin a Republican helps us. For Manchin it might be a natural fit. Sinema would probably lose as a Republican. Arizona Republicans are probably happy to have her as a Democrat, but wouldn’t vote for her. Demanding she leave the Democrats, however, would probably just enhance her self image as a maverick and we are stuck with her for a few years.

If the Democratic Party (at least its leaders)** aren't working seriously, if covertly, on a primary challenger for her, they certainly ought to be. Manchin at least has a sort-of excuse, in that his state is so reactionary. But Sinema doesn't have that going for her.

** Not talking here about just the activists mentioned above. This needs a higher level of commitment to getting someone into office who is at least amenable to negotiation.

Do you think the average Republican voter is paying any more attention?

well, they're paying more attention to a mythology generated for them by Fox News and the greater wingnut-fantasy complex.

the Dems don't have that.

But this seems to imply that, in electoral terms, it doesn't matter who cheats, who blinks, or even who "wins" on Capitol Hill. Right?

it matters how those things get handled. Trump didn't lose much support for anything he did, for example.

i don't think the average Dem knows or cares about any of this inter-party stuff. they'll see the headlines and hear chatter about "Dems Failed! Biden Impotent!" and that's what they'll base their opinions on. Marshall thinks people will vote for progressive House members because a handful of moderates didn't live up to their end of a handshake deal about a pair of infrastructure bills ... zzzz. nope.

"I wondered myself if my dislike for Sinema is partly unconscious sexism."

Get over it.

Although women face remaining sizable injustices in pay and in other ways, in 2021 America women have reached spectacular parity when afforded the opportunity to be jagoff assholes, even armed ones, in the lovingly harsh and highly remunerative limelight of reactionary social media and subhuman conservative politics, at will, particularly when it is in the service of insurrectionary hardheadedness against any kind of rational governance in which their palms don't get slavishly greased.

Sinema, like all conservatives, including Manchin, won't even divulge in meetings with the President the terms of her bargaining position, other than offering her patootie to be smooched, the little minx.

She wants what she wants and she'll let you know what it is AFTER you cave to it. She's a dick and she wants sucked and you'll say thank you for her mercy.

There is no such thing as civil discourse or negotiation with such confederate evil creatures.

There is Sherman burning his way through them, taking out city and hamlet and leaving them in smoldering ruins.

She is one of these pristinely festooned non-hypocrites conservatives love to champion for their purity, the substance of which remains a vast cheap suit of mystery, except for the part where no one is permitted to do anything.

You don't lower yourself to negotiate in their snide give-it-all-to-me presence. You punch their (her) fucking lights out, literally, and you welcome and congratulate them and her for her descendency to coequal gender status with her male jagoff/asshole republican cohorts, and if any of them want to take it from there, you find a more lethal way to fuck them.

You take the ground out from under where their dug-in heels are planted.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/574625-gop-ekes-out-a-win-in-return-of-congressional-baseball-game

Give me another shot at Scalise, the gun-loving government-hating cuck, at second base.


Manchin is just a conservative Democrat. but Sinema is vile.

These two stories are about the same thing:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/09/donald-trump-attempted-to-overthrow-the-government-of-the-united-states

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/09/teenager-who-hit-six-cyclists-while-rolling-coal-still-walking-free

Civil War II has already started.

As with Lincoln, to whom do I have to send barrels of whiskey to return the killing fire in kind.

I spelled my handle correctly this time.

Sinema, and Manchin, prove the conservative rat- pig-fuckers' both-sides-do-it mantra.

Scalise and company put guns and ammo on the table for the taking, thinking they would only be used on the niggers and wetbacks and queers and a few white and Jewish and Muslim outside agitators.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/9/29/2055126/-Maskless-audience-scolds-masked-dad-after-he-s-attacked-by-unmasked-man-right-in-front-of-them

Think again.

It's time to pick them up and defend ourselves with deadly force at all times in self-defense just as mealy-mouthed republicans have been counseling us to of all these decades.

Expect physical attacks on us from paid republican operatives at voting places in 2022.

Be a good conservative and shoot to fucking kill them.

Conservatives yearn to be martyrs.

Martyr them.

School board meetings and hospital emergency rooms and local health departments and other legit governing bodies are today's Fort Sumter, Antietam, and First Bull Run.

More whiskey.

Civil War II has already started.

Donald J Trump attempted to remain in office by disrupting the legal and constitutional processes that provide for a peaceful transfer of power in this country. Including by the encouragement of and incitement to violent rioting and mayhem.

In plain English, that is called an attempted coup. In legal terms, it's seditious conspiracy.

The fact that nobody of consequence seems to be able to call it by its name, or treat it as such, is the single greatest threat to this country in my lifetime.

We're all just hoping it will all blow over.

"We're all just hoping it will all blow over."

All decent people do.

I also have property on the eastern seaboard's outer banks for sale as uninsured shelter from the storm.

The hatches one wants to batten down are already under water.

Wide horses there will be called seahorses in a few years.

OK, I'll leave what scenery there is left to chew to the rest of ya's the rest of the week.

So will the narrow horses.

Marshall thinks people will vote for progressive House members because a handful of moderates didn't live up to their end of a handshake deal about a pair of infrastructure bills ... zzzz. nope.

Which is why when you do go after them, you don't make it about loyalty to the party. You take the popular legislation that you were trying to pass and you make them the villains who want to keep the people from having those nice things.

Manchin wants to hide behind sticker shock? Go after him for hurting the people who needed the things that price tag paid for. Make it not about the dollar amount, but about what we would get in return if they would quit being dicks and vote for the package.

No clever Rachel Maddow does Sondheim showtunes for the limousine liberals, just a good solid Springsteen punch in the face.

It's not hard.

Which is why when you do go after them, you don't make it about loyalty to the party. You take the popular legislation that you were trying to pass and you make them the villains who want to keep the people from having those nice things.

the moderates get to fight back, too.

and if it's a fight over, again, handshake deals about a two-part infrastructure deal involving reconciliation and the filibuster and ... zzzz.

it's not enough to have something to argue about because elections aren't just, or even mostly, IMO, about policy. things like personality, incumbency, support from powerful groups, etc, all matter too.

that doesn't mean i don't think some progressives could win on it. i'm just saying it's not the lock Marshall seems to think it is.

Manchin wants to hide behind sticker shock? Go after him for hurting the people who needed the things that price tag paid for.

Make that:
Manchin wants to hide behind sticker shock? Go after him for hurting the people in his state who needed the things that price tag paid for.

The moderates are fighting and they fight as they always have--by claiming to be the adults in the room concerned about fiscal discipline. They also have a bunch of kneejerk citizens in their corner who automatically assume that if there is a problem between liberals and moderates, it's because of the extremist crazy left that refuses to compromise on their wild ideas. (Self-described moderates are among the original practitioners of identity politics. The substance of an issue doesn't matter--what matters is posturing as a sensible moderate.)

At some point, maybe now, it might be a good idea if liberals and lefties, including the crazy extremists who think climate change is real, should fight back.

And Manchin is a conservative Democrat who is corrupt--he and his family make money off of coal.

Another comment on the subject:
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/09/30/friedman-do-democrats-have-the-courage-of-republican-liz-cheney/

"Moderates"?

Are those the kind of politicians who would say things like

"You know, we can't afford to fix ALL the bridges, so how's about we compromise on fixing half of them"

or,

"Let's not spend money saving the ENTIRE climate, let's only save as much of it as we can afford without raising taxes on billionaires"

or,

"Can't we just agree that a LITTLE voter suppression won't hurt?"

Halfway between sanity and lunacy is ONE definition of "moderate", I suppose.

--TP

Self-described moderates are among the original practitioners of identity politics. The substance of an issue doesn't matter--what matters is posturing as a sensible moderate.

I like to think I'm a "sensible moderate" -- a moderate conservative, but still. And for me, the substance of an issue definitely matters. For example, I think only an idiot would think that climate change is not real.

But perhaps you were speaking exclusively of politicians at the national level.

If there was any common sense left every Republican in the House would vote for the infrastructure bill, then vote to raise the debt ceiling and against the 3.5 trillion goody bag.

But they will probably just vote against everything.

People do vote for personalities and for abstract principles dressed up as values. It's true.

But those abstract principles dressed up as values achieve that status because of simple messaging that connects and becomes a metonym for the value and the party. That's what Reagan did. That's what Gingrich did. That's what Kennedy did. That's what Obama did.

Dems can win with this *if they stay positive and argue for what we all can achieve together.*

These two corrupt nihilist are vulnerable to that sort of thing. And yes, they can use it too, but they will lose if the things they oppose are popular and easy to grasp *in principle*.

Bludgeon them with it.

So will the narrow horses.

I hear there are biblical translations in which Death rides a narrow horse.

This week is a lot longer than I predicted:

Christians are going to listen to the far-right voices and then join them to murder all of us:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/matthew-rose-world-after-liberalism-radical-right/

Be very afraid decent conservatives who believe in classical liberalism, as nearly everyone here does as well within sensible limits.

These monsters will kill you first.

Death rides a narrow horse.

Presumably to expedite entry into narrow minds.

i'm all for bludgeoning Manchin and Sinema. figuratively bludgeoning them would be best, i figure.

Halfway between sanity and lunacy is ONE definition of "moderate", I suppose.

thing is, they think your positions are loony and that they're right in the sane, rational sweet part of every argument. unlike everyone else, of course.

Death Rides a Horse

Must be senility setting in...

i'm all for bludgeoning Manchin and Sinema. figuratively bludgeoning them would be best, i figure.

I'm a radical moderate, so a bit of both is fine with me. It's what they'd want.

We could listen but they won't let us hear their plans for our genocide:

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2388405969602/top-republicans-rub-shoulders-with-extremists-in-secretive-rightwing-group-leak-reveals

They hate transparency more than transsexuals, except when peering up the vaginas of pregnant women for the payoff.

WJ--

I am thinking mostly of politicians and pundits.
, but I do see people on Twitter and in NYT comment sections who reflexively assume that the moderate centrist position is true almost by definition, and that in any conflict between moderates and the left, the left has to be the side guilty of extreme, stupid, irrational childish thinking.

So no, I'm not talking about all moderates. For that matter, some leftists really are or can be stupid, extreme, childish,etc... But it is lazy thinking to assume this and some moderates do assume it.

I also have a friend in real life who thinks like this. For him it is a devastating argument to label someone as a kooky leftist.

I also have a friend in real life who thinks like this. For him it is a devastating argument to label someone as a kooky leftist.

Of course, if the label is accurate (which, as you say, it sometimes is) then it ought to be a devastating critique. Just as "kooky rightist" should be -- and, these days, with far more visible examples available.

AOC is a kooky leftist to this friend. Ben Sasse said something like this about her too. IMO, one can disagree with AOC, but considering her a kook is kookish. Anyone on the far left (by American standards) is kooky to my friend. Way back in the 80's he thought leftwingers who criticized our support for the Salvadoran government were kooks. We were supporting death squads.

IMO, kooks can be found on all parts of the spectrum. Centrists who refuse to acknowledge unpleasant realities (our need for drastic action on climate change, various truths about what we do to people overseas) are crackpots. Moderate, centrist crackpots.

IMO, one can disagree with AOC, but considering her a kook is kookish.

here's her kooky wanna-be opponent

(be sure to scroll down and look at some of Forte's other adventures!)

"Kooky" was a guy with a quick draw comb on 77 Sunset Strip 60 years ago.

Let's update the lingo.

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