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October 21, 2021

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Is it worth mentioning that even if Manchin and Sinema get their way, BBB will be the largest investment in/against climate change ever?

Is it worth mentioning that even if Manchin and Sinema get their way, BBB will be the largest investment in/against climate change ever?

Of course not. Because hopes were so high that vast numbers of very important things would get done, the fact that only lots of them happened means loud wailing and moaning and rending of garments.

And casting of blame far and wide. No matter that Biden does more than any 3 presidents before him. He didn't (somehow, magically) ram thru everything, so he is a total failure.

The only question is whether the disappointed will be motivated to turn out next year, and try to get Biden a better Congress to work with. Or whether they will sit home and sulk. My sense is that it's an even money bet there.

If you have a loan that you are behind on and the bank is going to foreclose in a year, do you celebrate being able to pay slightly more than your monthly and still ending up short?

And if you had the opportunity to pay off the house, but your co-signer insisted on spending the extra cash on a muscle car instead, would you be upset with that decision?

I mean, good that it looks like something may yet get done, but more was absolutely within reach, and people are going to die because two people who could have made a difference stopped short to make a buck.

Is it worth mentioning that even if Manchin and Sinema get their way, BBB will be the largest investment in/against climate change ever?

After we see what passes the House and the Senate and is signed into law, no. Until then, I'll reserve judgement. I think when push comes to shove in the Senate, Manchin will say, "No climate change money," no matter what he may had said during the current negotiations.

If you have a loan that you are behind on and the bank is going to foreclose in a year, do you celebrate being able to pay slightly more than your monthly and still ending up short?

But if you are the bank, with a bunch of such loans, someone who is at least making a start on paying (vs just doing nothing) is going to get credit for making a start. Deservedly so. And you wish his efforts could be echoed elsewhere.

What you don't do is act like he is just as bad as the guys who refuse to do anything.

We don't live in the bank, we live in the environment.

Or…Democrats/the Buden Administration can celebrate accomplishing a heavy lift while being opposed from without and within, but oppose any bragging done by either of their holdouts who severely weakened the victory.

“ with. Or whether they will sit home and sulk. ”

It is easy to be snide and condescending if you don’t need paid family leave or Medicaid expansion.

Yes, people should suck it up and vote for the Democrats, but it is just barely possible that the reason people are upset about the cuts is because they really think they matter.

People who are upset are upset because we really bought into this idea that Biden was going to be the new FDR. I am not blaming him— it’s Manchin and Sinema and possibly a few others willing to let them take the heat, but it is extremely demoralizing watching those two assholes pretty much getting to dictate what will be in the bill. All of this matters and for some it matters in a life or death way.

I very much do blame Biden on Yemen and his inability to restart the Iranian nuclear deal and other things, but US foreign policy is just an ongoing shitshow. One rarely expects anything good to happen. The BBB was a genuinely exciting development. We probably shouldn’t have expected it to pass but for a few months it seemed like it would.

We don't live in the bank, we live in the environment.

'S true. But then, we didn't take out a loan to buy the environment either.

If you start with an analogy, can't really complain if the response is a slightly different one.

I find myself in agreement with Donald. This wouldn't be happening if Manchin and Sinema had not reneged on the bargain made. And I suspect that they reneged, in part, because of the fetishization of 'moderation'. Like I said before, this is not to dump on you, wj, but I think it is important to identify the initial problem. None of this would have happened had Manchinaand Sinema followed what was agreed to. I honestly don't know how you can work with people who can't be trusted.

If you start with an analogy, can't really complain if the response is a slightly different one.

If your response to the analogy makes no sense (because we aren't the bank, the ecosystem is) then I see no reason to stick with it.

I honestly don't know how you can work with people who can't be trusted.

Once you've established that about them, you try hard to avoid situations where they ae critical to your plans. (Which, sadly, they currently are.) And if you find yourself stuck, you put in extra effort, from the beginning, to arranging the deal so them reneging will cost them more than performing as promised. Not clear if that's an option this time.

Long term, of course, you work on changing the environment to the point that you don't need them (for Manchin), or boot them out in the next primary (for Sinema).

Long term, of course, you work on changing the environment to the point that you don't need them...

The problem with your take, wj, is that if progressives cave on this then they may never get to that point. So do you go down fighting, holding to your principles, or do you cave, reinforcing the view that Democrats are a feckless bunch of losers?

Because absent some kind of BBB the infrastructure bill is, over its ten year time horizon, pretty small beer. With a demoralized left, you enhance the power of the authoritarians, and actually reinforce their message that Washington simply "doesn't work."

This is the big unintended consequence of the bleatings of the so-called moderates. They may win this skirmish, but they will reap the whirlwind.

Certainly the struggle for better public policy shall go on, but hanging your base out to dry is simply terrible politics.

Cross your fingers.

i thought not.

but hanging your base out to dry is simply terrible politics.

the only person doing that in this situation is Sinema. she's the only Senator going against the will of the bulk of the people who elected her. even Manchin isn't doing that.

and... "base" means those who stick with the party. it doesn't mean those who are always ready to bad mouth it.

I’ve never understood party loyalty unless the party genuinely stands for the values you support. In this case Biden proposed a bunch of things— they are moderate compared to what Sanders wanted, but they are all good ideas, so most lefties are cheering for the bulk of the party and correctly demonizing Sinema and Manchin. It’s an easy choice. And Republicans, including the supposed moderates, are uniformly bad. So on Election Day that is also an easy choice.

On foreign policy Democrats are less bad than Republicans, but issues should always come before party loyalty, so if a President is terrible on some issue you criticize them no matter what the party.

Ilhan Omar summarizing what is happening.

https://twitter.com/IlhanMN/status/1453552780971548681?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1453552780971548681%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2021%2F10%2Flinks-10-28-2021.html

I’ve never understood party loyalty unless the party genuinely stands for the values you support.

exactly right.

but also... democracy means you don't always get 100% of what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need. aw yeah.

but issues should always come before party loyalty,

that's not how the US government works. we don't vote for one issue. there are no single-issue parties and representatives don't serve for the duration of the discussion on one issue. and representatives aren't going to agree with you on every issue. plus, hundreds of other representatives get a say, even within the party. compromise is part of the system at every level.

so if a President is terrible on some issue you criticize them no matter what the party.

to a degree, yes.

i like to look at things from a wide angle - what does criticism on something mean for the long term chances of success for all the other things the party could do?

this BBB thing... the GOP sat out the discussions, first because they don't govern, and also they left all of the arguing to Dems. and the media immediately jumped to their Dems In Disarray narrative. and now everybody hates the Dems. they hate the Dems because the Dems are doing the haggling that democracy requires. they hate the Dems because the Dems are probably going to deliver an immense, wide-ranging, desperately-need bunch of things, even though some things won't be included. the GOP successfully made the Dems the enemy of the Dems. and that's going to kill the Dems in the next election.

so hey, maybe we shouldn't do McConnell's work for him?

maybe the stuff that bill is going to deliver is actually good stuff? maybe we should try being satisfied with a bunch of good stuff now and try for more good stuff later, instead of pouting and pissing and groaning and giving Congress to the GOP who is going to give nobody anything even close to good?

nah.

purity.

I’ve never understood party loyalty unless the party genuinely stands for the values you support.

In a first-past-the-post system, you pretty much have to go with "least bad" on election day. That should not stop you from advocating for better policy. There are 364 other days in the year that need your attention. Even dim bulb Dem 'moderates' might realize this is one of them. Keep up the good work.

and... "base" means those who stick with the party.

The base voted for Joe Biden and the Dem platform. Who is currently savaging it? It's not a bunch of tree huggers, DSA'ers, and Naderites.

(rant aimed off into the word, not to Donald)

word/world.

Who is currently savaging it?

primarily it's a woman who is abandoning her base for reasons nobody quite understands and a man whose base isn't aligned with the national Dem base.

This wouldn't be happening if Manchin and Sinema had not reneged on the bargain made.

To be picky, I point out that budget resolutions are never binding and merely establish caps. They often include much more proposed spending than actually gets approved. Manchin and Sinema never said they would support a $3.5T reconciliation bill. As I recall, Manchin explicitly said he wouldn't support the spending for climate change that was in the resolution.

a woman who is abandoning her base for reasons nobody quite understands...

Not nobody ?
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/27/kyrsten-sinema-ambition-loyalty-517224

For me it’s not about party loyalty or purity, it’s about solidarity. It’s not too different from being in a union. If you have been running a strong bargaining campaign and rallying new members to come out and be involved, and it’s worked, you don’t want one of the bargainers from a small local torpedoing the contract everyone has been working for and threatening to cross the picket line if the union doesn’t cut out a crucial benefit the bargainer never really liked. And in this case the bargainers are opposing things the members in their own local want.

That’s not “ you don’t win them all,” that’s betrayal.

So do you go down fighting, holding to your principles, or do you cave, reinforcing the view that Democrats are a feckless bunch of losers?

If you carefully frame the issue that way, of course the answer is obvious.

But a more realistic framing would be:

Do you go down fighting on principle for something you know can't happen with the current Congress, and so get nothing? Or do you take what you can get? Which is NOT small beer compared to what has been done so far.
I appreciate the frustration, when the need is both great and obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together. But the view that, by not deliverng everything, the Democrats are showing themselves to be a feckless bunch of losers is nonsense. It only happens if progressives insist on framing it that way for voters.

wj - you keep framing this as a PR campaign for voters and keep treating progressives *as if they are not voters.* It's like you think of the parties as channels and the voters as subscribers and politics is a ratings battle.

I see politics as collective action. Progressive voters *are* the party just as much as moderate voters are. Elected representatives cannot represent if their members are not holding them responsible for the collective agenda.

What cleek said (9:16)

Bobby, nobody is suggesting you shouldn't advocate for what you want. What we are saying is that you shouldn't insist, and demand that others behave accordingly, that doing absolutely nothing is better than doing something less than perfect. Especially when doing so will pretty much guarantee that going forward power will be safely in the hands of those who will do nothing. Or, probably more accurately, do things which actively make the situation worse.

Some of the proposals might pass if presented as single bills. The paid family leave proposal would likely get some Republican support.

Looks like Congress is headed towards passing a single bill each session with everything stuffed into it.

nous, I don't see this as a PR campaign. But I do see that, once you do something, you need to advertise its strong points, rather than trashing it because it wasn't perfect.

Hold accountable those who blocked something better? Sure . . . IF you can replace them withh someone better. Thus, primary Sinema at the first opportunity. But Manchin? Until and unless you can elect someone better to that seat, there's more downside than upside to taking him out. (Well, unless you've got a solid margin in the Senate without him.)

Frustrating as hell that he'll skate. But I see it as a matter of the alternatives being even worse.

Some of the proposals might pass if presented as single bills. The paid family leave proposal would likely get some Republican support.

Would that it were so. But the evidence to date suggests that McConnell can successfully block anything that isn't in a (non-filibusterable) reconciliation bill. Of which, under current rules, only two are allowed per year.

That’s not “ you don’t win them all,” that’s betrayal.

it's not betrayal. it's a coalition comping to a decision.

ever order food with a big group of people?

not getting everything you want on the pizza isn't betrayal. it's compromise.

Some of the proposals might pass if presented as single bills. The paid family leave proposal would likely get some Republican support.

this is fantasy.

the reason everything gets done in one big bill these days is because of the filibuster.

everyone involved knows the GOP isn't going to vote for anything of any substance if doing otherwise denies the Dems a victory. that's been the GOP's explicit policy for at least a decade now. and that means the only way Dems can pass anything is with reconciliation. so everything that can has to go into reconciliation so it can pass with a majority.

the only point of doing anything outside of the reconciliation process is to try to make the GOP look bad, because again, everyone knows the GOP will use the effortlessly-applied and radically un-democratic filibuster to kill it.

want a functioning government, get rid of the filibuster.

want politicians to do what they said they'd do? get rid of the filibuster?

want to get people to pay attention to politics because they'll have to make sure politicians stay in line? get rid of the filibuster.

"Betrayal" is promising something that you can possibly deliver and then not doing it.

Proposing/demanding something, and then not succeeding in spite of your best efforts, is not betrayal. Promising something that you do not have the power to deliver is not betrayal either. Foolish, perhaps, but not betrayal -- unless maybe you claimed to have the power to do it when you do not.

The paid family leave proposal would likely get some Republican support.

Can you point to recent examples of bills or proposals introduced by (D)'s that got "some Republican support"?

Proposing/demanding something, and then not succeeding in spite of your best efforts, is not betrayal.

There's some serious slippage in this formulation. Whose best efforts?

Two people betrayed the efforts of 48 colleagues. 48 colleagues put in their best effort. Two colleagues could have delivered on those goals for the other 48, but chose to withhold their support.

The 48 can claim best effort and celebrate what they were allowed to accomplish from their much more ambitious goals, but there is no way to claim this as a collective victory for all 50, and you don't smile and act like everything is good with the two who sabotaged the goals that were supported by the vast majority of even their supporters.

That's insane.

If you want to argue that Sinema betrayed her voters, you have a solid case. Manchin, perhaps not so much.

But bobby appeared, at least to me, to be arguing that the Democratic party had betrayed its voters. Which is simply not true. IMHO. Unless he can give a strategy by which the party could have delivered the things he advocates for. If there is such a strategy, I can only say that it isn't obvious.

the two who sabotaged the goals that were supported by the vast majority of even their supporters.

why do you focus only on the things that aren't happening, and not at all on the things that are?

cleek: want a functioning government, get rid of the filibuster

Amen! Possibly with one exception: lifetime judicial appointments.

I always thought Harry Reid got it backwards, back in the day. Legislation by simple majority can be undone by simple majority. And the majority can change, depending on how "good" or "bad" the legislation is in the eyes of the electorate. All the usual caveats apply, of course: the Affirmative-Action-for-Small-States nature of the Senate, the outsized influence of money, the public's susceptibility to propaganda, etc. But without a major rewrite of the Constitution, we have to put up with those in any case.

Lifetime judicial appointments are a different kettle of fish. It may prove impossible to staff the judiciary, given polarization and the filibuster together. Or maybe, even in a polarized polity, the filibuster would coerce "both sides" to be "moderate" in nominating judges-for-life.

Anyway, the filibuster being strictly a quirk of the Senate, which is itself a quirk of history, the time has come to be less quirky.

--TP

according to NYT, here's all the very disappointing betrayals that one can find in the current proposal:

  • $555 billion to fight climate change, largely through tax incentives for low-emission sources of energy.
  • $400 billion to provide universal prekindergarten to 3- and 4-year-olds, and to significantly reduce child care costs for working families earning up to $300,000 a year.
  • $200 billion to extend an expanded tax credit for parents through 2022, and to permanently allow parents to benefit from the child tax credit even if they do not earn enough money to have income tax liability.
  • $165 billion to reduce health care premiums for people who are covered through the Affordable Care Act, to provide insurance for an additional four million people through Medicaid and to offer hearing coverage through Medicare.
  • $150 billion to reduce a waiting list for in-home care for seniors and disabled Americans, and to improve wages for home health care workers.
  • $150 billion to build one million affordable housing units.
  • $100 billion for immigration streamlining, in part to reduce a backlog of nine million visas. House Democrats proposed provisions last month to address the legal immigration system, including a plan to recapture hundreds of thousands of unused visas various administrations failed to use over several decades and allow green card applicants to pay higher fees to expedite their processing. The investment outlined on Thursday would also expand legal representation for migrants and streamline processing at the southwest border, officials said. Mr. Biden has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for his handling of migration to the border.
  • $40 billion for worker training and higher education, including increasing annual Pell grants by $550.

Offsetting that spending is an estimated $2 trillion in revenue increases, including:


  • A 15 percent minimum tax on the reported profits of large corporations.
  • Efforts to reduce profit-shifting by multinational companies, including a separate 15 percent minimum tax on profits earned by U.S. companies abroad — and tax penalties for companies that have their headquarters in global tax havens.
  • A 1 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks.
  • Increased enforcement for large corporations and the wealthy at the Internal Revenue Service.
  • An additional 5 percent tax on incomes exceeding $10 million a year and another 3 percent tax on incomes above $25 million.
  • Efforts to limit business losses for the very wealthy and to impose a 3.8 percent Medicare tax on certain people earning more than $400,000 a year who did not previously pay that tax.

why on earth should lefties be mad about any of that?

why on earth should lefties be mad about any of that?

Because it's not, you know, perfect.

Amen! Possibly with one exception: lifetime judicial appointments.

the whole filibuster / cloture / track rule stuff is absurd, even without the effects of its abuse. so just as a matter of style, i'd kill it for judges too. and then i'd make a new rule that simply requires a supermajority vote for judicial appointments.

optimize the ruleset!

why on earth should lefties be mad about any of that?

On the other hand, why should moderates get all pissy because they didn't get their precious pork barrel road bill NOW?

Perhaps you could tell us the shape of BBB if the proggies had caved and let the roads bill pass first? A lot of so-called moderates were chastising the left for not just accepting that course (ahem, wj) and "trusting" the other side that tossed an implicit agreement.

The left now has votes. They used them. Apparently there are some who have a problem with that, and give us all that, "Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good" nonsense.

In the absence of the left chewing the carpet, Biden would have most likely gotten zero in a BBB, and moderates would blame the left for the Dems going down in flames in '22....becasue that is what they do.

Because it's not, you know, perfect.

So easy to dismiss the real needs and fears of people who worked their asses off to overcome election shenanigans as some sort of unrealistic expectations and illegitimate feelings.

People will lose jobs and houses over the cuts.

People will have to put parents in care and take on extra jobs to pay for that.

But we should celebrate all these other things and pretend that their hopes were all just impractical pipe dreams.

Which they will remain as long as all those people see their needs not just ignored, but swept off stage for a victory lap by the person who forced the cut.

Not the way to start a blue wave anywhere purple.

In the absence of the left chewing the carpet, Biden would have most likely gotten zero in a BBB

And your evidence for that would be what?

Again, no problem with progressives advocating, vigorously, for what you want. (Even when it's stuff that I personally don't much care for. ;-) My problem is with chewing the carpet after the bill is passed and signed because it wasn't perfect. Which, again AFAICT, what you are saying the left should do.

But we should celebrate all these other things and pretend that their hopes were all just impractical pipe dreams.

Absolutely not. Yes, you should celebrate the things that were accomplished. And then you use that achievement to build support for all those other things. Because they aren't necessarily impractical pipe dreams. Even though it didn't prove feasible to get them done NOW.

On the other hand, why should moderates get all pissy because they didn't get their precious pork barrel road bill NOW?

you keep fighting moderates.

i'll be over here trying to help preschoolers.

People will lose jobs and houses over the cuts.

People will have to put parents in care and take on extra jobs to pay for that.

All of those things will happen if no bill passes.

It sucks that Manchin and Sinema are able to throw their various monkey wrenches into the process. It sucks that the (R)'s are opposed, as a solid and consistent and unvarying block, to anything whatsoever that the (D)'s put on the table.

Lots of things suck. A lot.

You play the hand you are dealt.

Something is better than nothing.

+1 russell

wj: Yes, you should celebrate the things that were accomplished.

Let's hold off celebrating until "the things" are actually "accomplished". The MAGAts and the "moderates" have neither surrendered nor been defeated yet, in my humble and heretofore justifiably pessimistic opinion.

--TP

Everyone keeps ignoring the fact that I say that its a good thing to pass the bill and for Democrats to point to the victories.

It's also important to show the people who worked and sacrificed to get a majority elected and had their biggest priorities cut that the Democrats are still fighting for those things. And since the only reason we did not get those things THIS TIME is because two Democrats voted against them, it's vitally important to tell those people who worked and voted that there is a way past and around those two Democrats and that electing more Democrats with more work will lead to victory on the rest of these issues and not just more of the same.

If you can't do the call to action and make a credible case for how to get past those two, then you are not ever going to be able to get those extra votes you need to do it.

Those votes are going to have to come from the left. More wishy washy austerity moderates will just add numbers to the roadblock.

Everyone keeps ignoring the fact that I say that its a good thing to pass the bill and for Democrats to point to the victories.

nous, you do say that. bobby? Not so much.

Those votes are going to have to come from the left. More wishy washy austerity moderates will just add numbers to the roadblock.

there's a lot of space between "the left" and "wishy washy austerity moderates". it's not a binary.

My problem is with chewing the carpet after the bill is passed and signed because it wasn't perfect.

Let's see what they pass first, OK? Look, I think the ACA was a great legislative acheivement, but I don't see much point in getting all worked up when folks like me point out there are different policies that would be better (not to be confused with "no way they could ever get passed").

You play the hand you are dealt.

Certainly. The left is currently dealt a much more powerful hand than they have had in the past, but to hear some folks here opine, they should not use that power because....reasons.

If they get some kind of BBB bill out the door, it will be because there was a great deal of hard horse trading...but I guess better to just throw your hands in the air and declaim, "Well Joey M. and Kirstyn are agin' it, so we're fucked, let's just give them whatever they want."

I would argue that the left killing the roads bill in the House brought the moderates to the table...but I guess some here overlook the fact that those moderates basically tried to steamroll the entire process.

bobby? Not so much.

I am saying it should and could be much better. Why to you have such a big problem with that?

The left is currently dealt a much more powerful hand than they have had in the past, but to hear some folks here opine, they should not use that power because....reasons.

Who here do you think is saying that? As far as what I've read, everybody is fine with the left using the power it has. The issue that I have is with you, as far as I can tell, assuming that you have more power that you really do. And then concluding that, therefore, if something doesn't happen it shows a failure to use that power.

The reality is that the left has more power than it has had in a long time. But not enough to do everything you want done.** And, from what I read here, you just refuse to recognize that, even with more power than in the past, it isn't enough to do some of the things you want.

** Hell, not even enough to do everything that *I* want done. And I'm nobody's image of a lefty.

I sometimes get the sense that the Identity Politics Moderates are moderates because they believe that when it comes time to compromise in order to get something done, their side of the compromise always has the moral high ground by virtue of not being "extreme," and therefore always deserves to come out on top.

Kinda how Swing Voters see themselves as impartial arbiters, rather than triangulating trend followers.

Interestingly, one of the LGM wrecking crew is (I think) with cleek and wj

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/10/do-we-have-a-deal

Interestingly, one of the LGM wrecking crew is (I think) with cleek and wj

"Even a blind pig gets an acorn now and then."

Who here do you think is saying that?

umm...you, for one. You came out swinging for the left to fold and go ahead and pass the roads bill first. Perhaps you have forgotten.

The issue that I have is with you, as far as I can tell, assuming that you have more power that you really do.

I have not one iota of power beyond my voice and my vote. Sorry to disappoint.

Gosh, I say the left should use its voting bloc power in the House and you get all huffy about me "not understanding they can't get everything they want"? LOL. I've been a left winger for over half a century. Not getting "what you want" is par for the course.

But do keep misrepresenting my position if it makes you feel better.

Have a nice day!

My problem is with chewing the carpet after the bill is passed and signed because it wasn't perfect.

You may have noticed that neither bill has been passed and signed. Just thought I'd let you know.

I have not one iota of power beyond my voice and my vote. Sorry to disappoint.

The trouble with the English language is that the individual and collective second person pronoun is the same. My comment assumed the collective "you" -- that is, the left (defined however one does).

"Even a blind pig gets an acorn now and then."

Well, I've said that they are often too harsh for me (though I think it is important to separate out the individuals) But I feel like they've had a much better batting average than a lot of others...

You may have noticed that neither bill has been passed and signed.

The infrastructure bill has been passed in the Senate, though. The only way it fails to be approved is if enough House progressives decide that if they don't get all their stuff, no one gets anything.

LOL, michael. ALL their stuff? That's funny.

Two points about "all their stuff".

First, my understanding is that the progressives are holding back from voting for infrastructure because they don't trust Sinema or Manchin to vote for the BBB after the infrastructure bill is passed. Biden wants them to pass the infrastructure bill now, based on Biden's word. The problem with that is that there has been absolutely zero evidence that Biden or anyone else has any leverage on Manchin or Sinema except maybe the infrastructure bill. If Biden had some way to pressure them then surely he would have used it. This, btw, is why I don't agree with some of the far lefties I usually agree with. They seem to think that if Biden were really serious he'd be going all out to pressure them, but I don't see how that works in this case. But that also means Manchin and Sinema can do anything they want once they get the infrastructure bill.

It would be an interesting experiment to see what happened if they passed the infrastructure bill first. I think there is an extremely good chance that Sinema or Manchin or both would then have more demands. They still haven't openly committed to voting for it. So I am in sympathy with the progressives who say they can't trust Manchin and Sinema and want both bills passed at the same time. Biden's word in this context doesn't mean much.

Second, more general point--when people say progressives won't get all they want, what we are really talking about is that people won't get some things that would make their lives better. It's not like progressives are voting for their own dental care or their own paid family leave. On the other hand, when Manchin votes he is pretty damn close to voting for his own personal financial gain.

The way people talk about these issues they often conflate the different demands in exactly the way I describe. Sometimes issues are morally gray and it is just an honest technocratic difference of opinion on what is best, but these days the Republican Party has no discernable moral principles and Manchin and Sinema are not much better.

Yes to Donald 11:47

if a progressive doesn't think a half-trillion $ on climate change doesn't count for "their stuff", even if they wanted more than that, they are something other than progressive.

cleek,

does it count? Yes. Is it enough? No. Bottom line: Well, you get what you can get. But that is not the argument here.

You apparently believe that there is an "offer" on the table for the progressives to accept.

That is not the case.

The crazy left has pared back their wish list considerably in order to try to get to agreement. The other side? Who the fuck knows? They have not been bargaining in good faith. They have not even committed to what you claim is an offer.

+1 Donald at 11:47

and thanks for the analysis on the strategy around the timing on votes for the bill. helpful (to me anyway) to have that information.

So when conservatives hold out on a price tag and demand that whole programs get cut they are negotiating and compromising, but when progressives try to hold out in order to keep *really important and needed* programs and provisions in the bill, then are being spoiled children who want everything their way?

How this conflict gets framed is really revealing. There are some deep seated prejudices agains progressives that are really distorting the narrative.

The crazy left has pared back their wish list considerably in order to try to get to agreement. The other side? Who the fuck knows?

there's a hypothetical Core Deal in there somewhere that contains things that everyone in the caucus likes. and that's what they're trying to find.

but the crazy left is in a weak position. ostensibly they want everything in that Core Deal. but they also want a lot of stuff that most of the caucus might like but ultimately can live without and aren't willing to sacrifice the party's future (by not passing anything) in order to get. so those things simply aren't going to make it. the caucus isn't going to kill itself for crazy left things that Manchin and Sinema ultimately won't allow.

and those two get to be the gatekeepers because they will pass that Core Deal. the left aren't the gatekeepers, because they want a superset of the Core Deal, but Manchin and Sinema won't vote for it.

people can get the Core Deal by just going through Manchin and Sinema. so that's what they're doing.

the crazy left can kill the caucus if it wants to. i doubt that will do much for their political futures, though.

How this conflict gets framed is really revealing.

mm hmm.

There are some deep seated prejudices agains progressives that are really distorting the narrative.

take a look at how the 'crazy left' frames it, if you like distorted narratives.

TPM has a bit of a recap of the latest. The purity police are willing to take Joe Biden's word for it. Let's see if he gives it.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/the-sausage-making-a-weird-stop-start-kind-of-a-day

The Progressive Caucus has climbed quite a ways down, would you not agree?

Sincerely,
The Purity Police

and those two get to be the gatekeepers because they will pass that Core Deal.

There is no guarantee of any such "core deal". Right now the "core deal" seems to be the Roads bill, and anything else is, "We'll think about it."

Get back to me when this mythical "core deal" is actually on the table.

I am arguing that not passing some significant legislation such as BBB is what will kill the Dems in '22.

It's like 2010 when all the moderates in swing districts ran away from the ACA. They were the ones who got slaughtered.

But they never learn.

The Progressive Caucus has climbed quite a ways down, would you not agree?

yep.

and maybe it helped that they set the bar so high to start.

Get back to me when this mythical "core deal" is actually on the table.

sounds like you're hoping for failure.

I am arguing that not passing some significant legislation such as BBB is what will kill the Dems in '22.

then i'm agreeing with you. and so is Biden and everyone else, including the GOP.

the difference is, you have apparently decided that the current proposal is insignificant. and it ain't.

I see the the section allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices has gotten dropped out. So here's an idea that I innocently expect bobby and nous (and pretty much everyone else here) could support.

  • Write a stand-alone bill doing just that.
  • When it hits the Senate, expect the usual "We will filibuster" roadblock to get thrown up.
  • DON'T bother to try to eliminate the filibuster over this. Instead, just say "Cool. Debate will start Thursday. Feel free to talk to your hearts content. But when you stop talking, we vote." Filibuster still in place; just implemented -- in other words, reviving tradition. ;-)
  • At a guess, the talking peters out after a month or so. Might take longer, but eventually people will want to go home to campaign. At which point, there's a vote . . . and the bill is defeated.
  • Make talking against the bill, and voting against the bill, the #1 campaign focus.
Given how popular the idea is, that will likely win some Senate seats that would otherwise be out of reach. Actually, I could see it being as fatal for opponents as "legitimate rape" proved.

but the crazy left is in a weak position. ostensibly they want everything in that Core Deal.

They want something in that deal. What that is, is to be thrashed out. So the word "everything" in what you wrote there is simply nonsense.

the difference is, you have apparently decided that the current proposal is insignificant. and it ain't.

FFS. I argue no such thing. As a matter of policy, I opine the so-called "deal" comes up woefully short. As a political matter, I support the P-caucus position that they must have something in the way of a guarantee that "something" will get passed.

There has been no such guarantee forthcoming, your imagination notwithstanding.

wj,

That's a fine idea, but as I understand senate rules (a mystery that passeth all understanding) it cannot be put into practice without basically overturning some of those rule, up to and possibly including, the filibuster.

I give Chuckie a good deal of credit here. If that were a realistic option at this point, he would have tried it.

They want something in that deal. What that is, is to be thrashed out. So the word "everything" in what you wrote there is simply nonsense.

here's what i wrote:

there's a hypothetical Core Deal in there somewhere that contains things that everyone in the caucus likes.

the Core Deal i'm talking about is, by definition, a bill that contains things that everyone likes.

capice?

bobby, historically (until a "reform" in the 1970s) the filibuster required actually talking. There's no reason the Senate couldn't return to that practice. It's a merely rule change, so it can be done with a simple majority.

Since it wouldn't eliminate the filibuster, or even carve out a new exception, the devout filibuster-preservationists might well be OK with it.

There was a time when you could sacrifice a few votes from your own party and peel off a slightly larger number of votes from the other party. That's not really a thing anymore, at least not for Democrats on anything that matters enough to get people's attention. And there are currently only 50 Democrats in the US Senate.

When you're up against those constraints, there's bound to be someone screwing things up. If it wasn't Manchin and Simena, it would be someone else. It's almost lucky that there are only two of them.

It's like we're all arguing about which crayons to use in our coloring book to get ready for a physics exam - only because it's the closest thing we have to a physics text and we've forgotten what a poor substitute it is.

Who's fault is it? If they can pass something, will it be good for what's in it or bad for what's not? I don't know, but it's like asking whether to color the balloon yellow or pink to get ready for the physics exam. It doesn't matter. All we can do is hope we paid attention in class and can remember enough to at least pass.

I can't really figure out what anyone's arguing about anymore. Maybe it's just differing subjective characterizations of an objective reality that isn't actually in dispute - a big part of which is that the Democrats are kind of f**ked right now.

I have seen lefties make exactly the proposal wj suggests— put up individual parts of the package ( the rejected parts which are popular) up for a vote and make people argue against negotiated drug prices. To the layperson like myself it seems like a great idea. Isn’t that what Congress is supposed to do? I see bobbyp just said there were or might be weird procedural reasons why this can’t happen, and maybe that is so. The way Congress or at least the Senate operates just boggles my mind. Until this year I had no notion there was a Senate Parlimentarian or rather, I might have guessed such an entity might exist, but without ever giving it a thought. Then it turns out she is apparently the fourth branch of government.

Incidentally, if McConnell becomes the Senate leader how much influence will the Parlimentarian have on what he wants to pass? I am guessing it will be very little.

if McConnell becomes the Senate leader how much influence will the Parlimentarian have on what he wants to pass? I am guessing it will be very little.

I, on the other hand, guess it will be huge. After McConnell appoints a new one who is a partisan hack, who will give him cover when he doesn't want to publicly oppose something.

Hey, it's working for Supreme Court justices, why not for the parliamentarian?

The filibuster as it stands currently begins with blocking opening a debate about a bill and ends with blocking the end of the debate. The vote on the bill itself is not affected, i.e. when the debate ends unfilibustered the vote to pass the bill itself cannot by blocked by it.

The GOP just blocked opening the debate on any voting rights bill. If they somehow would agree to a debate, they could extend it indefinitely by filibustering it again. But if tehy somehow allowed the deabte to end, they could not stop the bill from coming up for a vote.

The way all of this looks to me is like this:

The (D)'s are, amongst themselves, having the kind of discussion and negotiation that Congress as a whole should be having.

The (R)'s are standing around waiting to see what comes out of that so they can vote "no" on it. Whatever it is. They're just gonna vote no.

The (R) party in Congress (and many places) has basically abdicated its role in governance. The (D)'s are left to do their best, albeit with the 500-pound anchor of (R) intransigence shackled to their ankles.

The specific content of the bill, and the timing of the votes, will be whatever comes out of the (D) deliberative process. It won't be perfect, it will however be better than nothing.

A trillion and a half is a hell of a lot less than three-plus. But it's also a hell of a lot more than zero.

The whole contentious process doesn't bother me. That *is what is supposed to happen*. It's people representing different constituencies, with different interests, hammering it out. Or, in the case of Manchin (and others), representing their own personal best interest, but the only people who can change that are the voters of WV.

The dysfunctional part of all of this is the (R)'s waiting around to do nothing, other than do their best to make sure the (hopefully not too) brief window of (D) majority achieves nothing at all.

Whatever they can get done is a win. More is better than less, something is better than nothing.

wrs

The dysfunctional part of all of this is the (R)'s waiting around to do nothing, other than do their best to make sure the (hopefully not too) brief window of (D) majority achieves nothing at all.

Well that and making profitable use of the time saved by not legislating. Either cash or egoboo -- whichever form of profit they individually prefer.

It's a merely rule change, so it can be done with a simple majority.

I may be wrong, but I understand that the motion to alter the rules is, itself, subject to the filibuster, so you have to end the filibuster (can be tailored to apply to just this motion), to even begin debating the motion.

Obviously, this would initiate the slippery slope to ending it all together....and we simply cannot have that now, can we?

Perhaps our parliamentarians out there can provide an assist on this one.

This is an interesting historical retrospective about how tge current partisanship resembles the late 1800’s, though I think the optimistic ending might be overstated.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/29/opinion/normal-politics-gilded-age.html

Also, to me it seems like the first part of the 19th century was even more partisan and vicious— it did, after all, result in a civil war.

Senate rule changes can be made at the start of the session (when new Senators are sworn in after an election). as part of the process, they all vote on what the rules are. usually they just continue with the existing rules.

they can be changed at any time by a supermajority vote.

they can also be changed at any time by having 51 Senators (or 50+VP) tell the parliamentarian that they are going to change the rule and to shove any complaints. that's the 'nuclear option', and it's how the filibusters for judicial nominations were killed.

I hadn't heard it called a "nuclear option." But that's what I understood to be the process for any rules change.

Donald, that's a fascinating article on the previous incarnation of "vote a straight party ticket." Perhaps, in the New Gilded Age, we need to take a closer look at the process by which we got from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era last time.

nuclear option:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

It originated as the 'nuclear' option but then got split into the nuclear (=Dem) and the constitutional (GOP) option.

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