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Dem Budget War: AOC's Got a Meme Dress, Sinema's Got Spreadsheets

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The battle over Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion (remember when that was a big number?) budget is being waged internally by the Democrats in a way that’s a perfect example of the fight for the future soul of the party.

On the one side is the fully-grown commie infant Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who prefers to legislate via social media popularity contests; on the other is Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a grown-up who is using math, reason, and negotiation to make her case.

Let us begin with AOC, who earlier this summer made sure she shrieked her displeasure over Sinema’s principled opposition to the scope of this budget.

Politico:

“While I will support beginning this process, I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion — and in the coming months, I will work in good faith to develop this legislation,” Sinema said on the same day she neared finalization of her own bipartisan physical infrastructure bill.

The two efforts, paired together, represent Biden’s jobs and families plan. And her statement is both good news and bad news for Democrats. On one hand, it shows she will help pass a budget before the August recess. On the other, it shows that Democrats have to eventually further slim their ambitions as they seek to finish Biden’s agenda via budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority in the Senate.
Sinema’s statement provoked instant outrage from progressive House Democrats. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted: “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.”

America’s Dumbest Bartender no doubt thought she scored some points with that jab, given the fact that the MSM and social media give an inordinate amount of attention to her every inane uttering.

If actions truly do speak louder than words, then AOC found a way to positively shout out how stupid she is at this year’s Met Gala, which Megan wrote about:

Can AOC get any more ridiculous? Here she is attending the Met Gala with the uber-rich (herself included) wearing a gown that says….wait for it….”Tax the Rich.” Sigh.

Iconic. Moronic. ToMAYto. ToMAHto.

Because the press coddles her, the story wasn’t about AOC’s cluelessness, it was all about the mean Republicans’ reaction to it:

Ocasio-Cortez defended herself, explaining to the rubes in the hinterlands that very special people like her have to attend events like this. It was quite magnanimous of her to clear that up while almost certainly being exhausted after a night of mugging for red-carpet cameras to get across the point that she’s totally down with the struggle.

As AOC is busy dominating the retweet war in her effort to get this budget rammed down our throats, Kyrsten Sinema is taking a more adult approach.

Axios:

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is negotiating the size and scope of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget plan armed with her own spreadsheets about the costs and tax hikes needed for each program, people familiar with the matter also tell Hans.

Why it matters: While Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is getting attention for balking at a $3.5 trillion top-line price tag, Sinema’s accountant-like focus on the bottom line will be equally important to winning the votes of them and other key Democrats.

  • Sinema’s intense interest in the numbers also suggests she’ll be a formidable foil for progressives — like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — who are working to make the spending bill as big as possible.
  • “As she has said publicly, Sen. Sinema will continue working in good faith with her colleagues and President Biden as this legislation develops — and will be closely reviewing what the committees propose,” said John LaBombard, Sinema’s communications director.

The big picture: Despite the focus on Manchin, party leaders and the White House are aware of Sinema’s potential concerns.

While AOC’s infantile demagoguery may get more attention, it’s highly likely that Sinema’s boring, grown-up spreadsheets approach will be met with more respect, even if she doesn’t prevail.

But she probably will.

Related: Kyrsten Sinema Has the Guts to Keep Annoying Her Fellow Democrats

Many of the Democratic elders of the village are terrified of AOC’s popularity with the media and have been pushed around by her.

They may not say it out loud, but Sinema’s unwillingness to abandon her principles or her constituents rattles them even more.

Nothing scares the D.C. types more than a politician who is more loyal to the folks at home than to those on Capitol Hill.