There can be no more excuses made for Democratic “progressives,” who steadfastly refuse to fight for what they know to be right. No one is holding Joe Biden’s “feet to the fire” or pushing him left.
The Justice Democrats, Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus all sing Biden’s praises despite the fact that he lied to them and to their constituents during the 2020 campaign. All of the policies that rank and file Democrats want to see realized are again left behind though their party has the power to enact them.
There is no $2,000 stimulus payment, no plan to lower prescription drug prices or add a public option to the Affordable Care Act.
The best that can be said is that Biden’s temporary tax provisions and unemployment payments will help many people cope in a time of economic distress. But his proposals are a far cry from groundbreaking legislation such as the Social Security Act, Medicare or Medicaid. Of course, it must be pointed out that Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson more progressive acts were responding to popular pressure. They did not act solely out of conviction even as their legislative successes benefited millions of people for decades to come.
Biden’s friends in corporate media call him “transformational” and the living embodiment of FDR. It is ironic that Democrats must go so far back in history to find a name with such universal appeal. Congressional Democrats known as progressives have prostrated themselves without a hint of unhappiness and in the process make a mockery of themselves and the people who support them.
Freshman representative Cori Bush is following in the footsteps of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who entered Congress with great fanfare, also after defeating an incumbent in a primary. After being beaten down by Biden and the leadership she proclaimed that he “exceeded expectations that progressives had.”
No minimum wage hike, no public option, no prescription drug cost reduction, and nothing else that these members said they wanted is taking place. In fact, Ocasio-Cortez demurred from forcing a vote on Medicare for all in favor of using leverage to push for a minimum wage increase. Biden dismissed her fake strategy with a cynical ploy about a parliamentarian and she is left with egg on her face.
There can be no more excuses made for these people. Regardless of what they may want, they steadfastly refuse to fight for what they know to be right. Biden is in no mood for compromise and he doesn’t have to when no one will fight back. In the past, some token opposition was allowed to be expressed. No longer. All the Democrats took a dive and the people are asked to join in the disgrace.
There is no lesser evil, no one who will save us. The very least we can do is name and shame the scoundrels who brought us to such a low point. They betrayed the people who voted with an expectation of getting at least some of what they wanted. Biden was honest about one thing. Nothing has fundamentally changed.
Margaret Kimberley’s is a columnist for BlackAgendaReport.com.