It should be said that Biden has not actually asked Congress to fast-track the bipartisan infrastructure bill ahead of the reconciliation package. Andrew Bates, a White House spokesman, told NBC News that Biden “has been clear that he wants both bills on his desk and that he looks forward to signing each.”
The nine members in question are also out of step with their districts, where the most likely voters back the budget reconciliation package without much in the way of reservation, according to a recent survey from the left-leaning firm Data for Progress.
The facts of the situation aside, it simply boggles the mind to watch another set of conservative and moderate Democrats persuade themselves that they are not subject to the laws of politics and will come out ahead if they, as Democrats, undermine the Democratic president.
We are well past the age of split-ticket voting. If and when voters turn against Biden, they’ll turn against congressional Democrats too. Try as they might, these Democratic skeptics will struggle to distance themselves from their party and its leadership. If past elections are any evidence, they’ll fail.
The only thing that could buoy their prospects is the president’s popularity, which depends, in part, on his success. For conservative Democrats, handing Biden a major legislative defeat — which is what might happen if the House scraps its two-track process — is the very definition of an own goal, assuming they hope to stay in office. We saw this exact dynamic in 2009 and 2010, when moderate and conservative Democratic demands to scale back the Affordable Care Act did little to stem voter anger but did produce a less generous bill that took more years than necessary to disburse its benefits (and consequently diminished its political benefit).
But this just brings us back to the beginning. Democrats will probably lose the House. They may well lose the Senate. This might be the last Democratic “trifecta” for 10 years or more, given partisan gerrymandering in one chamber and the Republican Party’s structural advantage in the other. The best play, then, is to go all out: to stop the games and pass as much of Biden’s agenda as possible, to do what they can to level the electoral playing field and combat voter suppression in the states and to make the structural reforms (D.C. statehood, for example) that might bring American democracy a little closer to “one person, one vote.”
The point of winning power is not to stay in power; it is to use it. And if you use it well — if you do what you said you would do — you might actually get to keep it.
Friends, this isn’t the time to be complacent. If you are ready to fight for the soul of this nation, you can start by donating to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris by clicking the button below.
Thank you so much for supporting Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign.