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Post By
Late Great Donald Blake 

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,563
In Reply To

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Subj: It seems like you're assuming whatever the Democrats are doing is the best that can be done.
Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2022 at 04:00:04 pm EDT (Viewed 213 times)
Reply Subj: Democrats: What have you done for me lately?
Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 at 12:03:35 pm EDT (Viewed 237 times)

Previous Post

There has been a lot of pessimism among Democrats with Biden’s low approval numbers and high inflation, but the Democrats have passed a fair amount of important legislation. Over half a million jobs were added in July and over 9 million jobs have been added since Biden took office (in comparison, under Trump, the U.S. saw a net 2.9 million jobs lost.) Unemployment is at 3.5%, a 53-year low while wages have gone up over 5% in the past year, the greatest increase since 1983. Benefits have also gone up 3.6% ( That can’t quite match inflation, but it helps. Also, the U.S. military just killed Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of Al Qaeda and a chief plotter of the 9/11 attack.

Here is some legislation mostly passed by Democrats since Biden took office:

March 11, 2021: $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Package American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

November 15, 2021: $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

June 25, 2022: Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the biggest legislation to address gun violence in 28 years since the assault weapons ban in 1994.

July 28, 2022: $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which promotes semiconductor technology and invests in STEM education/workforce to make the U.S. more competitive with Asia.

The Democrats’ smaller version of Build Back Better but still a huge bill on energy, environment, health care, raising taxes on the rich (and a 15% corporate minimum tax), and cutting the deficit by $300 billion is on the verge of passing. This will be the biggest bill to fight climate change ever with $369 billion going toward climate initiatives (as it currently stands). It will also allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, one of the biggest asks from the progressive left as well as the center.

Now I’m not saying every one of these bills is some unqualified success. They are all mixed bags subject to the sausage-making compromises inherent to the legislative process, especially in an era as politically divisive as this one. So the gun violence bill fails to ban assault rifles, the CHIPS Act is partly a giveaway to some big companies that don’t need the money, the bill the Democrats hope to pass next week allows oil and gas drilling on federal lands, etc. And there is a lot that Democrats can be criticized for like the botched Afghanistan withdrawal (even though that started under Trump) and interactions with Saudi Arabia, which frankly, is to prioritize oil over human rights. But as a whole, it is the President and Congress doing good for the country, which is a lot better than what we saw under Trump for 4 years.

First, yes this is all better than the the Republicans would do... that should go without saying...

I imagine your reply will say this an awful alot lol

...but most of these measures are basically insufficient and the question is WHY? Usually because in order to get any approval from the Democratic Party's actual constituency, these things have to be sufficiently defanged or watered down or others be made a massive give away to financial or other business interests and basicallythe upper 1%. And if we dig into the details that's what we find. I mean

Also pointing to low unemployment as a sign of economic prosperity is a misleading and desperate measure... for the same reason it was a poor metric when the Trump administration tried to use it... because it doesn't tell you much about whether the income is enough to comfortably afford necessary expenditures. Or the quality of those jobs or anything else.

Also listing all these pieces of legislation with basically just the administration's tag lines attached I think should be taken with heaps of salt. We can get into detail, but basically you should be asking yourselves to what degree do these pieces of legislation meet the problems they're meant to address and to the degree they don't, then why don't they.

You seem to clutch onto this regulatory idea that these are the pieces of legislation that were passed since the Democrats have taken office and definitionally they must have done the best the could and that must imply that this is the best that can be done. Which seems like a really bad way of evaluating a political situation. Or rather a forgone way of not evaluating it.

You say these are a mixed bag. Yeah everything is, but "subject to the sausage making compromise inherent to the legislative process" is basically just the universal solvent by which any criticism is dismissed. With this rubric which you could apply to ANY piece of legislation that you're party passes, you can justify anything.

From my perspective it's the President and the Congress doing what they can to represent the coalitions that empower them: rich donors and business interests and the libs who are ideologically dependent on the thought of Democratic Party (as it is) being a
benevolent force for good and the limit of our politics.

What I think is curious here is the point of your post. I respect it as an argument. But what I mean is the idea of trying to convince people that despite their own experience and intuitions about the state of the country and the economy, things are quite good or at least as good as they can reasonably be expected to be. In other words when you look at Biden's low approval ratings, that isn't itself data. It isn't the case that those low approval ratings are evidence that that many people aren't doing well, but that those people are in fact mistaken. They just don't understand how "overall" good things are. That just appears cynical. And while I can see why Dem apperatchiks are putting this out there. They have to. They have to sell the party. But when liberals do this it looks an awful lot like middle class people having more sympathy with the powerful and the institutions that serve them than for the people those institutions have failed and are failing.

--- the late great Donald Blake

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