Thursday, March 26, 2020

Outplayed


The newest stimulus bill was approved by the USA Senate, 98-0, on Wednesday night and someone is not pleased:


Say this about Matt Stoller: although a leftist, he had until now promoted Josh Hawley for what he saw as populist tendencies in the Missouri Republican senator. Sanders' acolyte Jordan Chariton believes populist senators had no choice.


However, Chariton is wrong. By contrast

Republicans had no choice- and that didn't change in seven days. Although Sanders and Warren were not profiles in courage, something happened in the last few days which converted them from what was probably a "yes" to a "no." Recognizing that the default position of GOP lawmakers is "no" and of Democratic lawmakers "yes"
It is the responsibility of Democratic negotiators, which they shirked, to get a bill other Democrats want. Progressive Democratic legislators were sucked into voting yes on a bad bill which was made a little better. Their negotiators, however, could have- and should have- heeded Plouffe's advice.

Voters, as well as Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, know the government is controlled by Republicans. The Senate is even more clearly controlled by the GOP. Had the bill gone down to defeat there, the Republican Party would have been blamed. Top Democrats held the cards but were afraid to play them.

Democratic leadership typically believes a bad bill is better than no bill at all because it demonstrates that Democrats and Republicans can hold hands and agree. Thus they signed on . 

Sanders, Warren, et al. also had  a choice.  They could be remembered a few years as the hero Barbara Lee currently is. Or they could go along to get along. Warren, whose brand is to keep fighting until fighting appears futile, went along. So, too, did Bernard Sanders, whose support was premised on fighting the Democratic establishment and has now, in an ironic twist, demonstrated by his vote just what being part of that establishment is all about.



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