To Please Progressives, Democrats Dismiss Their Own Accomplishments

Of course, the awful mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade highlights the need for additional common-sense regulation that will make it harder for unstable Americans to get access to weapons of war. Democrats have achieved some success on gun control and should push Republicans to do more on this issue.

Indeed, just a few weeks ago the Congress passed a piece of bipartisan legislation to finally do something to confront gun violence. This success was possible under President Joe Biden because he maintains good relationships with Senators in both parties; the same Senators who negotiated this framework. Passage, as described by the Washington Post broke a “30-year logjam” on getting any sort of gun bill through Congress.

But, have you heard President Biden or Democrats hailing this victory? Not really, because they didn’t get everything they wanted. So, they dismiss it. For example, here is a statement from one House Progressive: “It’s a cold shower for us…to see what emerges as a so-called compromise in the Senate.”

Democrats, afraid of Progressive backlash, keep fumbling their own accomplishments.

Perhaps the most consequential example of this was last year, when a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators announced they had reached a deal on an infrastructure deal. President Biden should have been thrilled. After all, over the previous four years, his predecessor had just about proclaimed every other week “Infrastructure Week,” yet no comprehensive piece of legislation was even introduced.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal would pump $1.2 trillion into our economy in infrastructure priorities. The New York Times wrote: “The vote, 69 to 30, was uncommonly bipartisan. The yes votes included Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, and 18 others from his party who shrugged off increasingly shrill efforts by former President Donald J. Trump to derail it.”

Yet, when it was approved by the Senate, President Biden did not insist that the House of Representatives immediately pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. Rather, he urged House Democrats to work together to bridge Progressive Caucus demands for his much larger Build Back Better plan and the Infrastructure legislation. Also, from the Times:

“The measure [infrastructure legislation] faces a potentially rocky and time-consuming path in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a majority of the nearly 100-member Progressive Caucus have said they will not vote on it unless and until the Senate passes a separate, even more ambitious $3.5 trillion social policy bill this fall. That could put the infrastructure bill on hold for weeks, if not months.”

In fact, after the Senate passed this major piece of legislation to help rebuild America, Progressive stalwart Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted that, essentially, the infrastructure legislation was racist.

We all know how this story ended, the House Democratic Caucus spent weeks fighting over the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better proposal. Of course, the latter was killed a few months later when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) took exception to months of insults and being called out as an obstructionist by the White House and his Progressive Democrats.

Worse, the bipartisan infrastructure legislation ended up being something that was tainted by a months-long, intra-Democratic Party fight. Democrats, including the President, hardly even talk about infrastructure today. Which is no surprise, because it reminds voters of the debacle to get it passed. Ultimately, what should have been a major victory for President Biden and Democrats, was wasted.