Two birds

Last night progressive democrats, which is a very sizable and politically savvy caucus in the Democratic Party, decided that a bird in the hand isn’t worth “two in the bush.” Their action creates tension within the party and is a bit of a gamble for sure, but democracies if they are going to be viable and slay the dragons of white nationalist, plutocratic authoritarianism have to make a difference in people’s everyday lives.

And the Reconciliation bill, even if a compromise is struck (and that is almost a certainty) does that in significant and novel ways, while revealing at the same time the anti-democratic, class, and racist disposition of the Republican Party.

Bernie’s lead

It’s too bad that the coalition that elected Biden – including the left – didn’t take Bernie’s lead and throw its full support behind the passage of Biden’s Build Back Better plan in general and the Reconciliation Bill in particular. If we had, the passage of the bill might not be in such doubt. This distancing for whatever reasons finds no good explanation in my view. Let’s hope that the raising of the alarm now isn’t an example of too little too late!


Mara on point, as usual

Mara Gay rightly challenges NYC unions on the city’s vaccine mandate, but she isn’t anti-union. A big circle mentality and social solidarity should be at the core of trade unionism.

A key link

I hope a victory, even a partial one, which shouldn’t be sneezed at, can be squeezed out of the current negotiations over the Reconciliation bill. Frankly though, it didn’t have to be this way. If the broader coalition that elected Biden had engaged the struggle early on, or even late in the day, the path to victory would have been less uphill.

But it didn’t. It was more observer than active agent. And while there are many reasons for its inaction, as far as the left is concerned one has to include the persistence of sectarianism across much of it, the absence of any unifying center, and a failure to understand that this bill is the (or a) key link in the chain of struggle.

Resist decoupling

Progressive Democrats in the House and Senate are right to resist any decoupling of the infrastructure bill from the Reconciliation bill. Without it their leverage over the centrists in the party would melt away. Too much is at stake now and in the midterm elections to allow that to happen.

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