The Democratic Party is twice again looking like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. They spent the last four years seething about President Trump, trying to get together to put themselves back into a position of power. Now that they have control of the White House and the Senate, they are again trying to do to themselves what the Republican Party wants to do to them.
The “progressives” are threatening their party’s fragile majority because they can’t get everything they want right this minute in this one bill (the $15 an hour minimum wage doesn’t fit in the Covid relief bill). They have a majority of ten of votes in the House, and absolutely no majority in the Senate. But it seems they’d rather let the minority Republicans rule the roost than compromise amongst themselves to enact legislation that we need right now.
And on a smaller level, they’re already calling for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign because he’s been accused of sexual impropriety. Not convicted, not even investigated, just accused. But leading Democrats are already lining up to get him out right now (see, for example, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).
[Edited four hours later to note that de Blasio and Ocasio-Cortez may have spoken against him, but apparently Representative Kathleen Rice (a Democrat) is the first to formally call for Cuomo’s resignation.]
The Trump Party demands total fealty to their chosen god-figure, but the Democrats demand absolute political purity. The Trumps may run alternate candidates in primary fights to punish those party members who don’t kowtow properly, but then they’ll support whichever candidate gets the Republican label. The Democrats, on the other hand, are quite willing to throw out a current office-holder who might not measure up to absolutely every mark on the list. They appear to be willing to derail Covid relief and all of President Biden’s agenda if they don’t get their way right this very instant.
Earlier, I wrote about the need for the parties to be stronger. The Republicans have shown they are unable to control rampaging lunatics within their ranks. The Democrats, on the other hand, are so focused on destroying of any of their own members who aren’t absolutely pure to the cause (even those who are good, effective leaders, like Cuomo today and Al Franken three years ago), that they’re willing to do the Republicans’ dirty work for them.
Somebody is going to have to teach these baby progressives that government, and politics in general, is not “give me what I want or I’m going to hold my breath until I turn blue.” Governing and politics is negotiation: it’s staking out a position of what you want, while knowing you’re not going to get it all, and then trying to come up with the best possible deal while recognizing that the person on the other side of the table wants something and has to get something, too. Sure, the Republicans haven’t been very good at negotiating either (see Mitch McConnell’s “leadership” over the last five years), but none of his Republicans ever said “give me what I want or I’m going to side with the Democrats.”
In an ideal world, everyone would be angels and bear not even a hint of besmirchment. In the real world, we sometimes have to accept that people have flaws. We have to seek the best possible results, even if it means getting our feet dirty on the way there. Instead, we’re dealing with Democrats who seem to care more for clean feet today than the long-term good they could be doing.
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