The Democrats want full control over the government, and with the House, Senate, and Executive branch all theirs, it should have been easy to pass whatever they wanted and begin fulfilling the promises they made during the 2020 election. The problem is that it’s Democrats who are stopping them.
As reported by Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to turn the U.S. House into “a factory for Democratic priorities” including gun control, equality act, citizenship for dreamers, and a whole host of other things they’d love to force down the throat of Americans. The only thing stopping her from doing that before was a Republican-controlled Senate that Pelosi deemed a “legislative graveyard.”
Now, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in charge of the Senate, the only thing standing in her way is…still the Senate.
The Democrat wish list is pretty much that, a wish list, and won’t be anything more than that due to the filibuster which disallows the Senate to pass legislation based on a simple majority vote. They need at least 10 Republicans to vote for the bill as well, and Republicans aren’t budging. What’s more, some Democrats aren’t going to help either.
The way to fix this would obviously be to kill the filibuster, which is fairly high on the Democrat Party’s wish list, but not on all of theirs. Both West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema have no plans to help anyone kill the Senate filibuster rule, with Manchin making it clear in a very angry way.
The filibuster is the dam holding back the tide of leftist legislation that would flood America with every bad idea a government could come up with. As such, Biden’s campaign promises are now withering and dying off with Schumer seemingly resigned to the fact that there’s nothing he can do about it. When asked about when the Equality Act was being passed, Schumer could only give the roundabout answer of “at the exact right time,” which in politician speak means “never.”
This means no H.R. 1, no $15 minimum wage, no passing bills in order to find out what’s in them.
I don’t think I need to tell you that this isn’t a good look for the overly zealous Democrats who promised America the moon, only to deliver something dry and smelly that they found out in the cow pasture. The midterms aren’t that far away and guffaws, complaints, and anger are already echoing from both aisles about just how much the Biden administration is failing to do anything.
In effect, the Democrats are now at the mercy of Manchin who has become the man who decides what Democrats get to do. Manchin is a centrist-Democrat in a red state and he’s providing no end of frustration for the left. A Salon article released Tuesday expressed just how angry they are at Manchin for not falling in line and, what’s more, expressed anger at a weak Chuck Schumer for not bringing him in line with threats:
It’s not so much that we may find ourselves agreeing or disagreeing with Manchin. But rather, we have given the car keys to a single individual who may be voting only to support the local interests of a 93% white state. It is a state still waiting for coal mining to come back, that votes Republican, that has the nation’s worst record on opiate usage and whose small business owners mostly reject raising the minimum wage.
With the U.S. Senate split down the middle, Manchin’s vote has become The Vote for a Democratic agenda, followed closely by the support of sorta Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and one or two others. Indeed, one hears Manchin’s vote more linked to that of Maine Republican Susan Collins than to the Democratic majority.
Would an LBJ or even a Harry Reid have allowed the Senate majority to have allowed a critical vote like Manchin to run free from issue to issue, from more liberal to more conservative, but outside the party attitudes? No, they would have found a way to pressure his votes with something that West Virginia needs, like energy jobs, or found a threat that worked. A weaker Chuck Schumer just seems to believe that repetition of arguments alone will win the day.
One friend proposes that Democrats offer a trade of Manchin to the Republicans, baseball style, for Collins or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska), though I doubt that Joe Biden or Schumer would count on that outcome as any more dependable. Manchin is insisting that calling yourself a Democrat does not necessarily mean anything.
With midterms to consider, Democrats find themselves in a conundrum. Do they try to reign in Manchin with threats or kiss up to him? How do they make Sinema fall in line? How much pressure needs to be applied before Schumer actually begins slapping around people in his own party? Will Democrats be able to get all of this done in time?
The answers to these questions are complicated, and it’s unlikely that Democrats will resolve these issues in time to make Biden and the party look any kind of good before midterms happen. Biden’s promises will go unfulfilled and the GOP is likely to have a much better time during the elections thanks to Democrat failure. If that does happen, the two red-state Democrats will probably find themselves in good company.
The Democrats will likely have to ratchet up the in-party fighting a few more notches in order for this problem to dislodge itself and allow the legislation to flow, and that may bring with it a whole host of new problems. ‘Til then, Democrats are stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the clock is ticking on Biden and the party.