An especially loud order for Democrats in the U.S. Senate: DAMMIT, DO SOMETHING!!!
The circular firing squad – known in some quarters as the Democrat Party – is operating as expected. As believed in some circles, “Republicans are incapable of running government and Democrats won’t.”
I have no idea what “Majority leader” Schumer’s long game is. Maybe he doesn’t either. But, currently, Minority leader McConnell has more control even though he’s on the short end of things. McConnell, aided by a couple of recalcitrant Dems, is forcing House-passed legislation – good legislation – to be kept in Schumer’s closet.
If there’s anything Schumer is noted for it’s trying to work in a bi-partisan manner. Get the other side involved and solve issues “together.” Well, six-months into the year, the other side ain’t gonna work “together.” The evidence is overwhelming. They just ain’t gonna do it!!!
In the House, Dems have formed their usual circles and are dividing up the turf they won in 2020. AOC and “the group” are over here. The Black Caucus is over there. Southern Dems have staked out still another corner. And, some just can’t work with anybody.
In the Senate, Senators Sinema and Manchin are ignoring the ”caucus call” and wandering very close to the Republican herd. They’ve become the lynchpin holding up progress and showing no signs of responding to the increasing pressure from their fund-raisers or their campaign work crews that – in Sinema’s case – worked the streets and neighborhoods in the 118-degree Arizona summer. Neither obstructionist is living up to the hopes of what the voters sent them to the Senate to do.
You don’t have to go far on an Arizona street to hear a conversation about dissatisfaction with our purple-haired, tattooed lady in the Senate. Several local Party committees have notified Sinema of their disappointment in her conduct and have reminded her that she’s a Democrat. Her biggest fund-raiser has publically told her to “get in line, do the job or come home.” I suspect Manchin is hearing much the same from Dems in West-by-God-Virginia.
The legislative club Democrats in the Senate hold is the “budget reconciliation act.” It allows them to bundle up a package of legislation and unilaterally push it through to the President’s desk. But, they have to have all 50 Dems with Senate President Pro Tem Harris sitting on the dais and voting with them. 51-50 as it were.
It’s a “hell-of-a-way-to-run-a-railroad” but it’s doable to break up the log jam currently stopping anything important from being done.
The other significant action Dems need to take is killing – and burying for all time – the filibuster. The Senate adopted the filibuster – with its racist background – during the mid-1800’s. It used to force Senators, opposing certain bills, to talk on the floor for hours. Even days. Now, the required talking is gone and simply saying you’re invoking it seems to be enough to stop everything from moving.
The damned thing should die! It’s become nothing more than any one Senator’s devious action to control what happens to certain bills he/she doesn’t like. Rand Paul has used it for years.
The problem Schumer faces if he tries to banish the filibuster, he needs 60 senators to do it. Sixty votes. At the moment – because of the renegade actions of Manchin and Sinema – Schumer doesn’t even have 50 votes. It’s likely there are some Republicans who would support such an action. But, no one who follows political activities can is predicting the outcome of such an effort.
Schumer’s desire for bi-partisanship has, so far, been ineffective. With one trick or another, Ol’ Mitch has brought nearly all things to a halt. Legislation that’s passed the House is lingering – near death – in the Senate.
Repeated public polling has shown voters are far ahead of legislators on nearly every issue. Infrastructure. Voting rights. Efforts to alter the effects of climate change. Though the public significantly favors actions on those subjects – and more – the GOP is not moving. Republicans have shown solid resistance to pursuing legislative action on anything – even the formation of a bi-partisan commission to get to the bottom of the January attack on the Capitol.
It’s time – way past time – for Democrats in both houses to use their slim majorities to hammer some issues home. They’re in charge. Stop the infighting. Get back on the team. Pick up the “ball” and run with it.
At home, Democrats need to fill every vacant office on the ballot, regardless of past defeats. Nutcase Marjorie Taylor Greene won a Senate seat because no Democrat ran against her in the general election. No one.
Public polling is starting to show anger with both parties over the continued stalemate. But, some numbers are starting to improve for Democrats. Polling also shows public anger with Trump and the GOP which is badly split because of him and his continued support of “the big lie.” Estimates of the number of people – mostly Republicans – that still follow his divisive politics range from 15 to 20-million. They have little to no interest in moderation or even what happens to the Republican Party. His “cause” is their “cause.”
Democrats in Congress MUST act, must do everything they can to get things going. At home, there must be solid recruiting of good candidates for the 2022 ballot. Though common political wisdom is that the party of the President typically loses Congressional seats in off-year elections, we aren’t living in “typical times.” These are very “untypical” times.
Pelosi and Schumer need to get out the whips to do what they can. And, we voters need to pay attention and get involved. We need to change the rallying cry from “DAMMIT DEMS” to “GO GET ‘EM, DEMS.”