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The Democratic Centrist-Progressive Alliance Hinges Upon Build Back Better
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“At a certain point, we have to trust one another,” Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, said Nov. 5 as he left a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Progressives had just acquiesced to President Joe Biden’s pleas that left-leaning House members sign off on the $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill they’d been holding up in order to pressure the chamber’s centrists to support their own $1.75 trillion package of social programs.

The progressive bloc extracted a written promise from five key centrists to vote for the Build Back Better bill, assuming that the Congressional Budget Office verifies the math behind the spending.

The question grassroots progressives are asking themselves is: Is trust wise? Will the corporatists deliver? Or are we just rubes who are about to get rolled again?

The immediate electoral viability of the Democratic Party depends on the answer.

Progressive voters and activists who form the ideological base of the party and provide most of its energy believe they have long been taken for granted by the Democrats’ dominant, minority, corporatist ruling elite. Their long-simmering resentments boiled into explosive rage after the insulting and, they believe, corrupt manner Bernie Sanders and his supporters were treated by the Democratic National Convention and its blackout-enforcing media allies throughout his 2016 primary challenge to Hillary Clinton and during the DNC.

Clinton’s campaign openly courted anti-Trump Republicans in the general election campaign, telling progressive Democrats she didn’t need them to win. Millions of them took her at her word, sitting on their hands on Election Day, handing the presidency to Donald Trump.

Then the defeated centrists had the nerve to blame progressives for not voting.

Incited by anti-Trump fever, left populists turned out for Biden in 2020. But they did so reluctantly, doubly so after that year’s primary process featured yet another overt DNC operation to derail Sanders. The Vermont senator’s early primary surge crashed the night before Super Tuesday, when sleazy Southern party boss James Clyburn orchestrated simultaneous endorsements of Biden by former rivals Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke, an establishment favorite who entered late after being recruited by DNC insiders in order to stop Sanders.

Biden ran as the anti-Trump — nothing more. He didn’t campaign on — and therefore can’t claim a mandate for — ambitious infrastructure and social spending measures, which were only conceived after taking office in order to heal his rift with his party’s progressive wing. As anyone who has been near a news source over the last six months knows, the president has had a difficult time convincing right-leaning Democrats like Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to play ball. Separating the spending packages into the relatively easy-to-pass infrastructure and the challenging social program bills is an inelegant, consummately inside-the-Beltway solution that may be about to blow up in the Democrats’ faces.


The White House promises that Build Back Better is 100% revenue-neutral and therefore won’t increase the deficit. The five moderate holdouts who signed the House letter say their support is contingent on the CBO confirming that claim. But the CBO already determined that the infrastructure bill by itself would increase the deficit by $256 billion. One of the more generous assessments of Build Back Better, by Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, found that it would add $100 billion to the Treasury. That still leaves an overall shortfall big enough for the five congressmen to back out of.

Assuming it survives, Build Back Better goes to the Senate, where the infamous parliamentarian will rule on what bits and pieces of legislation are permitted in the reconciliation process. Will progressives still be happy with what’s left? Will Manchin and Sinema drop their long-standing objections?

Then, assuming it gets through the Senate, which seems like a long shot at this point, changes have to be reconciled between the House and Senate versions.

Progressives aren’t going to be happy unless the lion’s share of what’s currently in Build Back Better gets signed into law by Biden. If the results are significantly watered-down or, still worse, nonexistent, hell has no wrath to compare with the rage of progressives who have long had it with the Democratic Party.

Their sense of betrayal will be boundless. They will be furious at themselves for having been so gullible as to have trusted the perfidious centrists who repeatedly screwed them over. And enough of them will be anywhere but at the polls on Election Days 2022 and 2024 to make all the difference.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Democratic Party, Joe Biden, Progressives 
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  1. Incited by anti-Trump fever, left populists turned out for Biden in 2020.

    Sure did. 20 out of every 10.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  2. Notsofast says:

    even though a.o.c. has received a letter stating that they won’t cum in her mouth…… i think they will anyway.

    • LOL: animalogic, roonaldo
  3. Meh, long way to go, a year. Even if they pass nothing more, the Squad has, collectively, a short memory, weeks or a month. Ted has a vivid imagination. Past history doesn’t promise future returns. The jews will keep the Squad in line. Republicans will get the House and Senate back because that’s what happens to hubris-infused incumbent Presidents and their parties. Again, Ted doesn’t understand the bigger, far bigger picture in DC, the biggest being that it doesn’t much matter which party is the majority. What matters far more is the ownership of those seats no matter the majority. Ted is still a true believer in the notion that parties and elections matter.

    Keep up the good work, Ted. I actually got a nostalgia fix from this one.

  4. “Their sense of betrayal will be boundless. They will be furious at themselves for having been so gullible as to have trusted the perfidious centrists who repeatedly screwed them over. ”
    It really is all quite funny. A “progressive Democrat” feeling “gullible”? “furious” ?
    “screwed over”?
    These qualities define such “democrat progressives”. They are in essence delusional & cynical.
    They are tolerated in the party ONLY b/c they are able to CON certain voters & then bend over for their inevitable screwing over.
    I’m sure that even they think themselves despicable….in so far as they think beyond their own ambition etc.

  5. BorisMay says:

    Build Back Better is a scam to turn the ordinary man and woman in the street into serfs with no rights, no property and no say in how their lives should pan out. It is designed to make the already rich in to a royal elite (like Britain’s Prince Charles…a toffee nosed git who wants to euthanise 95% of the world’s population and then populate it with cock sucking clones like his wife Camilla).

    See ‘the ice age farmer’ website to see the horrors of BBB.

    • Agree: Getaclue
  6. Getaclue says:

    I was a Dem for nearly 40 years–never again. Party of racist hate YT lunatics now who hate the Traditional USA and want to destroy it completely and turn it into Venezuela or worse.

    The RINOS like wretched Romney et al are part of them — Uniparty- and just as bad. BBB is the horrid NWO WEF program of depopulation and enslavement of the Peons–someone as smart as Rall pretends not to know this? So Ted you are a supporter of the Oligarch Creep Klaus Schwab now? Bizarre that this is now “Progressive”.

    Get your Booster(s) Ted and call it a day. Honest intelligent people know what is going on with this Satanic BBB Agenda– from this article it seems you are not the latter if you are still the former. Good bye Ted.

  7. Biden ran as the anti-Trump — nothing more. He didn’t campaign on — and therefore can’t claim a mandate for — ambitious infrastructure and social spending measures, which were only conceived after taking office in order to heal his rift with his party’s progressive wing.

    Quite so! The man is a warmongering old hack. And his “Build Back Better” bill is just a bunch of BS. The most important part – Climate – is essentially useless.

    Biden’s Build Back Better bill: What made it in and what was stripped out

    I’m beginning to see a lot of Trump Bashing, and by non-Democrats. Biden & Company are doing so badly that I suspect the Republicans believe they can beat him with virtually anybody, so why continue with the hemorrhoidal Trump agony?

    And who might the 2024 Democratic candidate be? I’d still vote for Sanders, but if and only if he promised 1-Term. I’d even hold my nose and vote for Warren too. Not that I’m likely to get a chance.

    Except for Sanders and Warren, those I’ve ever heard of were the sorriest bunch of losers you’d ever want to see. Maybe some of the unknowns were OK, but I suspect the Corporate/Zionist Media will cram another neocon down our throats.

  8. Rahan says:

    hell has no wrath to compare with the rage of progressives

  9. A123 says: • Website

    Why do “Progressives” support making the rich richer?

    A key component of the Biden plan is gouging workers and transferring that wealth to the privileged elite: (1)

    Obama Economics Adviser: Dems’ SALT cap change is worse than I thought.

    The 90th percentile of household income in the US for 2021 is estimated to start at $201,052, meaning 80% of the benefits will accrue to the top 10% of households by income. So much for the “progressives,” eh? Anyway, this puts a $300 billion hole in Democrats’ claim that the bill will have “zero cost,” a risible claim in the first place, but also its pretensions to deficit neutrality. [Barack Obama’s economic adviser Jason] Furman thinks this can be fixed through other tax hikes; follow his Twitter thread for his suggestions.

    One has to wonder, though, whether Democrats even will bother any longer. Some progressives — notably Bernie Sanders — have objected entirely to the inclusion of any SALT adjustments, let alone this regressive and costly nightmare. Adding this provision makes a CBO score of deficit neutrality even more unlikely than before. With Joe Manchin all but calling a halt to consideration of the BBB as inflation spirals upward, the negotiations over BBB are looking more and more like performance art than legislating.

    If the DNC wants to survive, it’s number one priority must be inflation. However, the Progressives are dead set on higher energy prices, which is a key upward driver on prices. Will oil be over $100/bbl for the Midterm Elections?

    #LetsGoBrandon 😇


  10. @Reg Cæsar

    C’mon, Reg. 10 of the 20 were living, the other 10 were dead. Nothing wrong with that. Back in the day, JFK himself approved.

    Dead Bodies Matter !

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