opinion | Do Democrats have the courage of Liz Cheney?
If the Democrats are forming instead Circular firing squadAll three of these major bills are scattered in the wind and the Biden presidency falls into disarray — Trump Republicans take back the House and Senate and push Trump back into the White House — there’s no chance later. Later it will be too late for the country as we know it.
So, I repeat: Do Representative Josh Gottheimer, the leader of the centrist Democrats in the House of Representatives, and Representative Pramila Jayapal, the leader of the Progressive Caucus in Congress, have the courage to stop issuing ultimatums of all-or-nothing and, instead, give each other the courage to stop issuing ultimatums? Assurances that they will do something difficult?
Yes, each would risk the wrath of part of their constituencies to compromise on passing infrastructure now and voting rights and rebuilding better social spending soon after — without anyone getting everything they wanted, but both sides getting a lot. . It’s called politics.
And are Democratic centrist Senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Senema willing to risk not being reelected the way Liz Cheney did by reaching a substantive compromise to ensure election integrity, infrastructure, and better procedures move forward? Or are they just the Democratic counterparts of the professional hackers who kept Trump afloat — people so attached to their $174,000 salaries and free parking at Reagan National Airport that they wouldn’t risk anything?
And frankly, is the Biden White House ready to come to this compromise with any pressure, Oval Office tea, ham and temptations needed? It could energize the public much more by never referring to the FDR-wide social reform package as “reconciliation” and just calling it what it actually means: universal pre-kindergarten home health care for the sick and the elderly, and lower prices for prescription drugs, Obamacare bolstered , clean energy, green jobs, and easy access to a college education that begin leveling the long-awaited playing field between the wealthy and the working class. Also, the White House needs to sell it to not only urban Democrats but rural Republicans, who would also benefit.
Progressives need the courage to accept less than they want. They could also use more humility by acknowledging that spending trillions of dollars at once may have some unintended effects — and more respect for job-creating risk takers, who never have a good word. If the Biden presidency is pushed forward and seen as a success for ordinary Americans, Democrats could convene the Senate and the House of Representatives and come back for more later.
Moderates need courage to give progressives far more than moderates would prefer. Income and opportunity gaps in America helped produce Trump. They will be our retreat if they continue.