Rules are rules

Even made-up fake ones without the force of law that effectively give unelected functionaries control of the legislative branch of government. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do, even when there are whole entire handfuls of things you can do.

The $15 minimum wage may yet pass as part of the pandemic relief bill; who knows. The Democrats in the House, admirably, intend to go right ahead and pass the relief bill with the minimum-wage increase included in it, in effect daring anybody in the Senate to be the one who'll sign their name to having stripped it out. But this, exactly this kind of dithering and capitulating, is why the Democratic party is always so much less popular than incredibly well-liked ideas -- Medicare For All, gun control, COVID-19 relief checks, minimum-wage increase, a federal government that does more to help people directly, etc. -- whose only support in government comes from its own members. Given the rare opportunity to flex some power, and a clear and obvious moral mandate to do so, they're throwing their hands up at non-binding parliamentary procedures and well actually-ing their own supporters over what exactly the phrase "$2,000 checks" means.

Bigots and billionaires and culture warriors can at least count on the Republican party to gleefully immiserate the classes of vulnerable people they despise, whenever it's entrusted with the power to do so. The only thing you can count on the Democratic party to do is to develop a sudden paralyzing case of situational Budget Concern or Norms Respect, whenever it can cripple or stall or dilute the fulfillment of a pledge to make common people's lives better, to materially address any of the myriad ways American society has been warped into incoherent brutality by capitalism and white supremacy.

Previously, previously, previously.

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13 Responses:

  1. Jeff L. says:

    Great ending to the article:
    "Only Congress can declare war; that is neither an unofficial civic norm nor non-binding parliamentary ruling by an anonymous functionary, but rather written out in Article One of the Constitution. Congress has never declared war on either Syria or Iran; nor has the Biden administration asked it to. But I guess the need to rain death on a handful of faceless people 6,000 miles away is just urgent enough to supersede all that procedural crap. "

    I thought I was the only one scratching my head, muttering WTF, after Biden let loose the Kraken. It's sh*t like this that makes me wonder if we'll ever get out from under the (jack) boot of the Military Industrial Complex.

  2. NT says:

    Easier to offer smug advice about how to run the whole country, than to tame a handful of vicious morons in your blog comments.

    • jwz says:

      Sometimes I garden the comments, sometimes I just let them run wild to see what happens.

      • NT says:

        It's the same vicious morons every time, and they are the ones doing the gardening. You post some flamebait, somebody gently points out that it's a little more complicated than that, and your musketeers drive them out with a flashing display of faux-jwz rapier wit.

    • dcapacitor says:

      This blog is neither a democracy nor a public utility, jwz can run it however he pleases. We can either read it and like it or GTFO.

      Feels awfully familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on why. It's like these pockets online recapitulate the world at large...

  3. Jonny says:

    I get the frustration, but I'm a bit baffled as to what it is the author wants the "Democrats" to do. For better or for worse, that 50 vote majority comes with the asterisk that at least one of those "Democrats" is from West Virginia and, while certainly better than the Republican alternative, isn't going to tow the party line on a bunch of things, and there is unlikely much they can do to change that other than win a few more seats in 2022.

    As long as Munchin is uninterested, all of the anger, frustration, and demands that shear will power do something isn't going result in anything productive. That's just the reality. The reality is that, unless someone has some leverage over Manchin I don't know about, he isn't going to break the filibuster or otherwise engage in parliamentary rule changing. There isn't much there to threaten him with when he is running in a conservative district where he gets punished for going too far left. Either find a way to get his vote, or move on, but threats and anger at Manchin are not going to work.

    The Democrats should just pass their best and most reasonable minimum wage bill in the House, and then let the Republican use their filibuster and get on record as opposing it in the Senate. Once the bill fails and everyone has to make their positions public and on record, they then should get back to work doing stuff that might result in electoral victories in 2022. Spending months not passing doomed bills isn't going to impress anyone in 2022.

    They should just hold votes on all of the bills they want Senate to vote on that the Republicans wont sign, do it quick so everyone is on record, and then move onto something that they can do. Angrily smashing their faces into a brick wall in the hopes that it moves isn't going to move the wall.

  4. IDK why there wasn't a carve-out for WV and maybe a couple of other basket-case States giving them a slower rollout/changes contingent on economic growth. Shutting Manchin up before it went to the Parliamentarian would have been a good move.

    Seriously though, techbros whinging about how Government doesn't work the way they think it should are like lusers who complain about how complicated and arcane a very sophisticated mature technological artifact is. Yes there are reasons why all that stuff is in there, and yes some of it is obsolete and maybe should be gotten rid of, but good luck trying to overrule the veto power of people who still use the legacy bits.

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