September 20, 2021

EVERGREEN HEADLINE: Joe Biden Is Out of His Depth.

That inventory of leftwing wish-list items—a package that is known more for its price tag than for any of its actual aims—is still being negotiated among Senate Democrats, and the prospects of its passage through an evenly divided Senate are bleak. Inexplicably, House progressives appear to believe that holding Joe Biden’s chief domestic priority captive will convince their party’s genuine moderates to give in to their demands.

Few seem to believe that this threat is genuine; it’s one thing to issue an ultimatum, but it’s quite another to follow through with it and suffer the consequences. But progressives have lined up behind this power play, and they have not budged since they initially issued this challenge over the summer. And given the narrowness of the Democratic majority, even a handful of defections could imperil the infrastructure bill—or, worse, force Nancy Pelosi to rely on Republican votes to pass the president’s chief priority.

The question is: Why is Joe Biden letting this happen? He could use the power of the presidency to marginalize his party’s restive progressive flank today if he so chose. If taking to the podium and forcing the Democrats who are holding his agenda hostage to explain their rationale isn’t Biden’s style, he could use his authority to convince, cajole, or compel progressives to get on board. That kind of deal-making is, after all, what America thought it was getting when it elected a “deal maker.” But Joe Biden is not doing any of that. We’re left to conclude that he either has no interest in these, the messier aspects of his job, or that he fundamentally agrees more with progressives than the moderates who helped produce a bipartisan hard infrastructure bill in the first place.

Curiously, the trunalimunumaprzure option isn’t explored by the above article.

Earlier: Staffers Trying to Build ‘Wall’ to Stop People From Seeing What a Mess Biden Is.

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