Letter 2 America for October 29, 2021

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Dear America,

A long time ago I saw an old film of Will Rogers doing his little rope tricks as he issued his political comic commentary.  Among the things he said was this: I am not a member of any organized political party; I'm a Democrat.  It was a joke, but today, it isn't very funny.  Even the leadership of the party doesn't see any humor in what the progressive contingent of the party is doing.  They are holding up a bill that left The Senate with bipartisan approval.  That should have been enough...the bipartisanship...to garner the votes of a bipartisan majority in The House, but even if not, the Democrats should have been able to carry the day with just their slim margin of hegemony.  But they couldn't do it.  The progressives are holding out for everything they want, and they won't accept even a broadly approved portion of it.  They'd rather hold their own party cohorts feet to the fire, risking getting nothing and sending the party reeling into broadly felt ignominy among American voters than take part of what everybody wants...damn the consequences.

President Biden, an inveterate politicians and an emeritus senator in particular, has been plying his experience against the problem.  But it's like herding cats...herding the cats into some rational solution of the problem by pointing out to them that by turning their noses up at the half loaf they can have right now, they are giving up the prospect of controlling the congress as a whole with impunity and making the next three years go down in history as the pax democraticus that they should want to be known for in the bargain.  Instead, they are flexing what they see as some ideological muscle, which is actually a partisan mental defect that everyone but them sees as such.  And then of course there are the two Democrat senators, Sinema and Manchin.

There is no smaller margin of control for a party in The Senate than the one currently held by the Democrats, who have fifty senators and the Vice President in office.  Under the rules of The Senate, that's just enough that when the Republicans obdurately refuse to approve anything the Democrats want, whether we, America, want it or not (at least in a budget bill), the Democrats can squeak it through with the vote of Kamala Harris as she, the Vice President, gets to cast the deciding vote when there is a tie.  But are those two senators willing to sacrifice self-interest in the name of the common weal, those two myopic fools?  Of course not.  Sinema wants to think she's a rebel, and she thinks this recalcitrance sets her apart as some romantic kind of rebel.  Manchin, on the other hand, wants to keep collecting money from the coal mining industry for his future campaigns.  The coal industry oligarchs don't want to see the environmental aspects of Biden's "Build Back Better" bill happen, so Manchin, toady that he is, won't vote yes on the reconciliation (budget) bill.

In summary, the Democratic progressives in The House are interdicting the passage of their president's bipartisan infra-structure bill that passed in The Senate, and two misguided Democratic senators are preventing passage of the companion "Build Back Better" reconciliation bill because, while they see the merits of most of the bill, there is something that each of them doesn't like, for the sake of which they are willing to sacrifice everything else.  And both the house progressives and the two would-be senate renegades are willing to sacrifice the political future of their party, and thus of the party's platform, just so they can prance and pose like the dilatants that they are.  

It's infuriating.  There is so little between the future that all of us...and them...want, but so much of it is irreducible ego, that the future looks bleak instead of bright.  After Trump, and in light of the menace that he still represents, you would think that rational people would be willing to say yes to most of what they want rather than court disaster as they are doing now.  But as noted above, they're Democrats, and they apparently haven't learned to say yes when someone makes them a good offer.

So come November 2022, I will vote Democrat again, only because voting Republican is endorsing the moral didacticism and pedantry of their ethos, which is coupled with a complete lack of principle that belies the virtue of their creed.  As a consequence, when the Democrats lose next year, they will learn nothing from it because they will have retained their base constituency by default, and not only they, but all of us, America, will lose.  No matter how much history the party learns, they still insist on repeating the past.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on October 29, 2021 2:39 PM.

Letter 2 America for October 5, 2021 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for November 28, 2021 is the next entry in this blog.

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