For Democrats, September may be the cruelest month
The bungled evacuation of Afghanistan (“surrender” seems the more appropriate word, considering the massive war materiel left behind intact for the Taliban) has teed up what could be a disastrous month of September for the Democrats.
Already, spontaneous chants of “F*ck Joe Biden” are breaking out in public venues, as widespread discontent that the media prefer to ignore manifests itself, fueled by the very suppression of their views. And just yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law the voting integrity that Democrat legislators (aka, ”fleebaggers”) attempted to stymie by fleeing to Washington, DC on a pair of private jets, photographed not wearing face masks, only to encounter apathy from their allies at best and savage (and telling) mockery from their enemies. Call that stunt a total face plant.
The month is barely a week old, and Congress isn’t even in session. The solons reconvene next week, and that is not good news for the Dems, despite (really, because of) their majorities in both houses. Jordain Carney of The Hill reports on the challenges that lie ahead for the donkeys:
Democrats are staring down a nightmare September, a month jam-packed with deadlines and bruising fights over their top priorities.
The numerous legislative challenges in a condensed timeline will test Democratic unity and provide plenty of opportunities for Republicans to lay political traps just a year out from the 2022 midterm elections, where they are feeling increasingly bullish about their chances.
When lawmakers return to Washington, they’ll have to juggle averting a government shutdown in a matter of days with Democrats' self-imposed deadline for advancing an infrastructure and spending package that is at the center of President Biden’s economic and legislative agenda and sparking high-profile divisions.
They’ve bet their future on leveraging tiny majorities in both legislative chambers into the passage of game-changing legislation, including a $3.5 trillion spending bill laughably called “infrastructure” or sometimes, “human infrastructure” – as if roads, bridges, sewers, and airports were alive and walking bipedally. Senators Manchin and Synema have indicated they don’t support it, and that should finish the matter since none of the GOP senators will support it. But the masters of the dark arts of persuasion seem to think they can twist their arms. We’ll see, but in the meantime, there are other problems.
…as part of a days-long standoff, House moderates got a commitment to bring up the other piece of Biden’s package, a roughly $1 trillion Senate-passed infrastructure bill, for a vote by Sept. 27, just days after they return from a weeks-long summer break.
But Democrats are still trying to lock down how to pay for the package, bridge divisions on shoring up the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicare, draft immigration reform language and iron out sections on climate change.
There are already high-profile warning signs amid simmering tensions between moderates and progressives — neither of whom Schumer or Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can afford to lose if they are going to get the two bills to Biden’s desk.
Leftists like The Squad think they have Nancy by the short hairs because she can’t afford to lose their support as Speaker. But the few remaining Dems from swing districts, who fear a GOP 2022 landslide, probably don’t want to sign their own political death warrants by supporting a massive spending bill. Then there’s the Senate’s version of the rads versus the mere leftists:
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called rebuilding the country’s physical infrastructure “important” but said making improvements to health care, education and combating climate change was “more important.”
“No infrastructure bill without the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill,” he said.
Outside groups are also urging activists and progressive lawmakers to steel themselves for a heated fight with their own party over the $3.5 trillion package.
The Dems’ favorite tactic for bullying the GOP into unwanted spending is also working against them this month:
Congress has until Oct. 1 to pass government funding bills to prevent a shutdown. While the House has passed nine of the fiscal 2022 government funding bills, the Senate has passed none. Senate Republicans have warned they won’t help pass the full-year bills without a deal on top-line spending numbers, an equal increase in defense and nondefense funding and an agreement to avoid politically controversial policy riders.
With their congressional majorities, the Dems can hardly blame the GOP for any “government shutdown” that might result from a failure to pass more spending.
Yet another “crisis” could bite the Dems:
The continuing resolution could also be an attempted vehicle for raising the debt ceiling, which would effectively dare Republicans to either support a debt hike or risk a government shutdown. The Treasury Department is currently using so-called extraordinary measures to keep the country solvent but is expected to hit a wall sometime this fall.
Republicans have warned that they won’t help raise the debt ceiling, either on its own or if it's attached to something, because Democrats are planning to sidestep them to try to pass their $3.5 trillion plan.
Democrats need at least 10 GOP votes in order to increase the nation’s borrowing limit. But 46 GOP senators signed a letter late last month vowing to oppose it, writing that “this is a problem created by Democrat spending. Democrats will have to accept sole responsibility for facilitating it.”
If elections were going to be held this November instead of next year, the Dems would be in terrible shape. Will they be able to recover in the extra year? I wouldn’t count on it. First of all, they are led by an incompetent who every day embarrasses the entire country before the world’s eyes. Second, they face very serious internal conflicts, with The Squad militants assuming they are the future of the party and not inclined to compromise, but supported by at most 40% of the electorate – far from a majority.
All in all, a whole lotta karma is coming calling for the donkeys.
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