Build Back Better Act

The Democrats Keep Self-Destructing

The Democrats Keep Self-Destructing                                                                                                                                                                                                           Robert A. Levine

Anyone who joins the Democratic non-party and runs under its banner must have a secret death wish or a masochistic psyche. It seems that whenever the party is in a position to control the federal government and enact critical legislation, elected officials cannot get their s—t together to pass the necessary laws. It seems that often times the moderate wing of the Party will not back down on their stances and compromise on what they want, and the progressive wing is even worse in terms of compromising and allowing necessary legislation to get passed. With both wings, it’s my way or the highway, endangering their slim margins in the House and the Senate. The American electorate wants to see things getting done in Washington and rightfully blames the party in power for the stalemate.

Of course, Republicans are not helpful in the least. They act almost as a solid bloc with very few members willing to buck the leadership and do what they might feel is best for the nation. With the GOP it always seems to be party over country when essential votes are taken. But their near unity makes them appear to the nation at large as a party that can get things done, even though the things they do may have a malign effect on the non-affluent majority segment of the electorate.

Because of the Democrats lack of progress on passage of the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better bill endorsed by President Joe Biden, Democratic candidates running for office had a difficult time this year. The situation may even be worse in 2022 when the stakes are much higher. Will the political ramifications of the intransigence of the two wings of the Democratic Party make them see the urgency of the need to act, because the social and financial needs of the populace so far have not made them budge one bit. And the GOP whose fealty to Trump and all his lies are disgusting, are certainly not going to come to the rescue of the Democrats and Americans in need.

What is the answer to the Democrats inexorable drive for self-destruction? A more aggressive Joe Biden would surely help. If he would act more like LBJ and tell the Democrats in the House and the Senate what must be done, perhaps we would see more accomplished. But Biden is laid back and prone to negotiate rather make demands even though he is the supposed leader of the Party. The likelihood is that he is a lame duck president, either by the choice of not running again or by losing the next election. Other strong Democrats need to step forward and tell the Progressive wing and the hesitant moderates what is necessary if the Party is to have any chance of holding on to the House and the Senate in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. The word to remember is compromise, to get things done for the good of the party and the good of the country. Self-destruction for the progressives or the moderates to get their way should not be an option. But both segments of the party see their objectives as paramount and and are unwilling to give an inch. Their stances will only result in losses.

www.robertlevinebooks.com

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Progressive Democrats and Moderate Sensibilities

Progressive Democrats and Moderate Sensibilities                                                                                                                                                                                                             Robert A. Levine

I consider myself a moderate or centrist who in the past voted for candidates from both parties but now vote almost exclusively Democratic. The change in my voting pattern was spurred by the Republican coronation of Trump, their fealty to the ex-president and their unwillingness to confront him about any of his obvious lies and corruption. Their support for his claims that the presidential election of 2020 was stolen is an act of cowardice that has infected nearly the entire GOP whose members know (if they are halfway intelligent) that Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election.

However, I am also bothered by the behavior of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party which makes it more difficult to vote for moderate Democrats. I am particularly upset by progressive unwillingness to compromise in order to get important legislation passed. While Manchin and Sinima, so-called moderates, are holding up passage of Biden’s Build Back Better bill by claiming it is too expensive, progressives in the House refuse to accept this as a fact of life and will not pass the physical infrastructure bill already passed on a bipartisan basis in the Senate.

Candidates running in 2022 have to show that the Democrats have been able to enact some laws that benefit the nation as a whole, which the physical infrastructure bill does. If the Democrats don’t pass the physical infrastructure bill and some form of the social infrastructure bill (BBB), they can kiss 2022 and control of the House and Senate goodbye. It is up to the progressives to back down and make sure that these bills get passed.

And what the Republicans call ‘cancel culture’ does have a basis in fact, pushed by progressives. Our history is our history and pictures and statues of important figures should not be taken down from their places in government offices and public squares because of racist behavior and slave owning which was culturally endorsed at the time they lived. Slavery was an abhorrent conduct that was socially acceptable prior to the Civil War, particularly in the Southern states. To try and eliminate our historical memory of what existed is foolish and will not be successful.

Thomas Jefferson’s statue will be removed from New York’s City Hall soon because of progressive complaints. Do the progressives realize that slavery was also common among African tribes long before it occurred in the United States? On that basis perhaps all statues of African-Americans should be removed from public places because of their previous practices. Many Northern Africans, Muslims or not, also accepted clitoral removal from young girls so they would not find pleasure in sex and be faithful to their husbands. Perhaps that’s another reason to eliminate all statues and paintings of African-American men.

Eliminating depictions of historical figures from prominent places because of their conduct will not change our country’s history. We should concentrate on eliminating current racism and abhorrent behavior rather than canceling what was wrong with our past. And progressives should think about what their actions mean for the future of the Democratic Party whose control of government is now hanging by a thread.                                   www.robertlevinebooks.com                                                                                              

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