A matter of trust, a matter of delay

Does anyone seriously think the Senate “bi-partisan” infrastructure bill the Reconciliation Package (BBB), would herald in aggressive social legislation?

-Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Oct. 30

The French aristocracy used a phrase to describe this latest political maneuver: “Apres nous le deluge.”

: “After us, the flood (as in THE FLOOD, Ark and all).” The White House, whose timing is terrible, decided, while 46 was being blessed by the Pope, to turn on its chief House Negotiation Cheerleader, Democrat Progressive Caucus chair and spokesperson, Jayapal.

: pass the damn Infrastructure Bill so we can further gut the Reconciliation Bill, continue to selectively remove/delay/defund those programs which will offend Republican votes which we think we need to win in 2022 and 2024.

By claiming ‘first things first,’ one can reinforce ‘who’s in charge,’ the outmoded mind-set that our political culture alignment is a zero-sum game.

This is retro-logic, for the very social programs that are/have been gutting/gutted are the same ones marginalized in the previous Congress, and -in one form or another- in the Congress before that. Plausibly, one prioritizes funding and expanding the programs which like a decaying physical infrastructure are the oldest, least under-performing programs.

Except that is not what the White House wants.

Certainly not what Manchin wants. The liberal Democratic Party leadership does not have a game plan for 2022 to split off independent RINO votes. Hence, Progressives, not Republican conspirators, are the enemy. This logic, spelled out, will mean a Republican victory in 2022 and presumably in 2024.

What is curious is the shift in tone of the negotiation “updates” reporting by the Press.

First we hear urgency…heat…plane to Italy, elections in ‘22 (that’s thirteen months away)….’gotta get it done…and then…delay…patience…

What’s going on here? Biden’s Senate get-it-passed strategy — aim high, accept low, sell compromise — is about managing expectations, a sign of dominance, not a sign of leadership. As Politico reports, Biden balked at blessing the “Infrastructure first” strategy, temporarily alienating House leadership. and ironically showing his unique “passive leadership.”

“100 votes and 3 votes”

Since the Reagan seventies, consider that the Democrats have effectively the US Senate. It’s 2021 and America is recalling that we — 80 million of us — elected a Senator, not a President. Consider also that Biden is like former President Gerald Ford, a healer of sorts, who could return the country from the brink of self-governing failure. To win America, to ‘return America,’ Biden, not the party leadership, calculated that the momentum in the party was coming from the Progressive wing. Progressives are “the aim highs.”

And consider also that since Lyndon Johnson, 36, (1963–1969), the Democrats have not had a majority in the Senate which was not marginalized by a Republican minority. Biden understands this. Indeed, 46 has carved out a Senate career (1973–2009) on compromising predominantly social legislation to win Republican votes.

-President Joe Biden, Oct. 30

The programs that ‘win by 100 votes in one chamber, and lose by 3 votes’ in another chamber. “The Senate is where good legislation goes to die,” fret House members. A taciturn Speaker Pelosi stomps back and forth between the two chambers trying to put lipstick on one pig after another.

46 was blessed by the Pope and the photo op was stunning: two “world leaders” ‘circumscribed’ by the institutions that elevated them to prominence. Two institutions — the Church and the US Senate — wracked by the scandals of absent reformation: a bloated hierarchy dominated by a sixteenth century Curia and a repressive White Boys Club dominated by …and that other timely French phrase…

November 1

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.