Crazies Rule: The State of Play in Congress

Republicans have repeatedly cynically harmed America by playing the government shutdown card. Democrats, with narrow Congressional majorities, managed to head off the latest.

But still looming is the debt ceiling. If not raised by mid-October, we’ll default on our financial obligations, an unthinkable economic apocalypse. This too has been cynically exploited continually by Republicans. In the past, they’ve always blinked, if only at the last minute. But now they insist Democrats must do it solely with their own votes. Even threatening to block them with a filibuster.

As ever, the ploy is to paint Democrats as spendthrifts. When in fact raising the debt limit entails no new spending, it pays for past spending. And Republicans under Trump ran up huge deficits. Their hypocritical debt ceiling brinksmanship makes me puke.

But they’re not the only irresponsible Congressional crazies.

Amazingly — amazingly — President Biden had successfully negotiated a desperately needed infrastructure bill (a ball Trump repeatedly dropped, in his standard feckless bullshitfull way.) Biden got enough Republicans on board to win Senate passage (overcoming the filibuster hurdle). Now it only needs passage in the Democrat-controlled House, where Republicans can’t block it.

But “progressive” Democrats can — they’re holding it hostage, refusing to vote for it unless the Senate also passes their giant $3.5 trillion bill for other spending. Which cannot happen. The votes just aren’t there, with several Democratic Senators (and all 50 Republicans) adamantly opposed.

Will House “progressives” (like AOC) really kill the infrastructure bill for the sake of the impossible? Is this what you’d call “progressive?”

Those holdout Democratic Senators seem open to compromise on something less than $3.5 trillion. “Progressives” must also compromise. Otherwise they get nothing. The perfect as the enemy of the good.

Meantime, for all the political jockeying, there has been almost no real public debate about the immense economic and social ramifications of the $3.5 trillion plan. This is sadly typical of today’s America, so full of political intensity, but void of actually coming to grips with actual issues.

And if “progressives” wind up with no infrastructure bill and no omnibus spending bill passed, Biden might seem a failed president. Helping Republicans regain Congressional control, if not also the White House.

Then you fools can kiss goodbye all “progressive” dreams. And America too.

6 Responses to “Crazies Rule: The State of Play in Congress”

  1. Don Bronkema Says:

    Agree on pukables, but alles nicht gelossen! Think 2.1 TN for sociotilities [juice up later]. Once rolling, a jagganath is unstoppable. But as climohundt Keith demo’d in NYT Friday, must combine sulphur-dioxide aerosols w/decarb to cut planetary mean temps 1-C from 2100 projection [still hotter & stormier, but manageable w/3D shelter & comestibles, retreat from shore, reform of agro, orbisols etc]. Martius, hier mir gekommen (:-)!

  2. Lee Says:

    This brinksmanship seems to be a part of democracy. But watching it is like watching sausage get made.

  3. Lee Says:

    Rather than analysis of who should yield to the pressure from whom, I would like to see an analysis of the $3.5 trillion bill on its merits. Where is the money going and is that worthwhile? Yes, I’m sure there is some pork barrel in there but, for the bulk of the $3.5 trillion, is it something that would be good for our country?

  4. Don Bronkema Says:

    US is Rome post Aurelius, or Athens post Themistocles. Time to dismantle empire, save what we can from the scavengers & rebuild biome by biome, species by species. Geogineering & genegineering could permit by 2150 CE.

  5. David Lettau Says:

    If the U.S is the modern Rome,we are definitely past the age of the Antonines.In fact Trump and Biden remind me of Caracalla and Geta,with modern day Caracalla (Trump),temporarily in exile before returning to once again grasp the rein’s of power,so he can finish the ignoble task of turning the U,S into a fascist state and through his determination to burn fossil fuels,of ending most life on Earth. Meanwhile the contention over spending bills is risible. Even mild legislation to make American life more equitable and humane put forward by people like Bernie Sanders continue to founder. And so the massive rip- off of the 99% will continue,and folks in wiser and more civilized countries like Germany.will continue to shake their heads and pity us.Meanwhile global warming is now very much on stage and preparing to go nuclear,which will make the political dramas of predatory nation states seem quaint.What a mess.

  6. Don Bronkema Says:

    Pacis Antonines had its plague; o/wise, an age of rare salubrity. But time stood not still even then. Our pacis aureus is yet to come in the seamless planet of 2150 CE: geogineered, cooling, quantized, syntelled, shape-shifted, 3D-printed, superconducted, blockchained, pacified, homogenized & longevized here & on Mars. Mene, mene, tekel upharsin: we must die for ecodise to be born.

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