If you’ve been following the histrionics of the debt limit negotiations these past few weeks, the political theatre on all sides of the political spectrum has been amusing. Republicans will tell us that the country’s burgeoning deficit will lead us to ruin thanks to the Democrats, and a few minutes later, the Democrats will assert that the Republicans are holding the country hostage to their unreasonable demands.
As always, the reality lies somewhere in the middle.
We know that a good chunk of the so-called Republican Party has only one goal — to sow as much chaos as possible, whether by overt means (e.g., January 6) or otherwise — so their posturing on the debt ceiling is not surprising. But what has been disappointing is that the Progressives on the Democratic side have been bad-mouthing the deal — for which we have a few comments:
1) The Democratic agenda came out way ahead in the final bill. To the extent that President Biden and his team made some concessions, they were minimal. We would remind Progressives that politics is the art of compromise.
2) Progressives who complain that Republicans were holding the country “hostage” are being hypocritical because that’s exactly what they did when they refused to pass the Build Back Better infrastructure bill until they got what turned out to be the Inflation Reduction Act (although their strategy backfired and they ended up with a lot less than they would have gotten if they’d moved ahead with the BBB quickly).
3) But the biggest problem with Progressives’ deceptive assertion that, “Joe Biden let us down,” is that some of their supporters might actually believe it — when that is not even remotely the truth — and in so doing, these Progressives only contribute to the sort of cynicism about government that brought us the outcome in 2016 when many Progressive voters either did not turn out to support Hilary Clinton or voted for Jill Stein.
The bottom line is that Progressive officeholders need to stop their constant stream of exaggerated negativism. It’s bad for the country and ultimately is counterproductive to their own agenda.