Hmmm... Sounds familiar...

It's only taken a decade, but intellectuals seem at last to have realized where the sticking point lies when it comes to getting Progressive policy enacted. It's not about "the system," as so-called "60s radicals" were so fond of complaining. (Today they're known as establishment Democrats.) 

No, the reason Progressive policy doesn't get enacted these days, in the immortal words of David Byrne, is the same as it ever was: Democrats themselves.

We've been saying it on this site all along (more than 10 years... but who's counting?): Democrats consistently lose because Democrats consistently refuse to take their electeds down the same road that the GOP has been taking its officeholders since Reagan: Loyalty Lane.

We pointed it out repeatedly (incessantly?) here and elsewhere (notably, at the now-defunct FireDogLake) at the time: That steadfast refusal led to what proved the signal moment of the Obama Administration's failure to deliver on its central promise of universal health care. I know you remember: Democrats wouldn't kick Joe Lieberman--the suddenly, politically expediently, "Independent" (turncoat is more like it) Joe Lieberman-out of his committee positions, let alone the Democratic caucus itself, when he promised to oppose robust health care reform.

Lieberman's obstruction ultimately produced Obamacare, which to this day perpetuates the bonanza that the former Senator's monied, Big Insurance benefactors have long and ruthlessly extracted from the hides of working Americans.

Now we're twelve years on.

Once again, a Democratic administration that many think could enable America's loooooong overdue second Progressive Era could see its efforts fail thanks largely to another "maverick senator" named Joe.

This Joe threatens to derail an ambitious agenda of decidedly science-first, Progressive policy and economic initiatives. Biden's policy wonks have imbued every last one of them with a specificity not seen since Lyndon Johnson, while Biden himself has stated his case for them approximately nine thousand times more strongly than Obama or anyone in his employ (Biden included... can you say "learning experience"?) ever did.

And it's early days, but once again, the party appears willing to cower and kowtow-instead of calling Joe Manchin to the White House for a good ol' fashioned talking to, buttressed by whatever threats to his political future are necessary to bring him in line.

My partner is from West Virginia. 

Her dad was a coal miner.

Whatever else West Virginia may be, West Virginia is a UNION STATE. 

If every other Democratic senator is not gently-and maybe sometimes, more pointedly-reminding Joe Manchin of that, the eight years of on-the-job training that prepared him for this office will not be fully realized. 

Soon enough we'll know whether Democrats roll over yet again and pin another needless defeat on "the system"? It would be easy enough: Ol' Filibuster is just sitting there, screaming, "I'll be your scapegoat! Make me your scapegoat!" Some establishment Democrats remain utterly petrified by an opposition that holds 30 percent of the voting public in its sway at best, and you can almost hear them thinking, "Hmm, maybe Ol' Filibuster's right..."

Do you think this time might be different?

Yeah. Me neither. 

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published this page in Blog 2021-04-25 18:00:36 -0700