It’s Not Centrism; It’s Corruption

I was pulled away from the computer for a couple of days, but now I’m back.

I see you all were busy trying to grasp what happened with the elections. So are the pundits. And the “moderates” are still working hard to sabotage the President’s agenda. This is from WaPo:

House Democrats appeared on the precipice of another self-inflicted political setback on Friday, after another revolt among warring liberals and moderates spoiled an attempt to adopt roughly $3 trillion in spending initiatives backed by President Biden.

Party lawmakers began the day hoping to deliver two critical wins for the White House, securing final passage on two long stalled measures. The first was a $1.2 trillion bill to improve the nation’s infrastructure, and the second was a roughly $2 trillion package that aimed to overhaul the nation’s health care, education, climate, immigration and tax laws.

But a handful of moderates soon balked, as they raised questions about the fiscal implications of the second initiative, which is a tax and spending bill that has changed numerous times in recent weeks. The centrists demanded to see more data about its budgetary effects before they would supply their much-needed support.

Some of the “moderates” say they won’t vote on anything until they see a CBO cost estimate, and since the bill keeps getting reworked (often to placate the “moderates”) I’m not sure when that’s going to happen.

And I personally think that the squabbling, the lack of action, and the failure to deliver anything since the covid relief package is hurting Democrats more than anything else. But I’m not a pundit, or a pollster. So what do I know?

Greg Sargent writes that the “moderates” are spreading the talking point that Democrats’ problems all stem from those awful progresssives.

Did Democrats take a big drubbing on Tuesday because they are trying to accomplish too much on behalf of our country?

To some centrist Democrats and opinionmakers, the answer is yes.

Is this a joke? Afraid not.

If this idea gains traction, it could spook centrist lawmakers into making more demands to downsize President Biden’s agenda, fueling ideological conflict and causing important programs to be jettisoned.

Like they need more excuses to do nothing.

“The president ran as a competent bipartisan centrist,” is how one Democratic strategist interprets those results. “He has not governed that way.”

And a New York Times editorial makes this argument at length. Declaring that “Democrats deny political reality at their own peril,” it claims a need to “return to the moderate policies and values” that fueled 2018 and 2020 Democratic victories.

It insists the party is prioritizing “progressive policies at the expense of bipartisan ideas” and that many voters are “leery of a sharp leftward push in the party.” This requires reconsideration of centrist “concerns” about spending and BBB’s “price tag.”

The basic claim here is that Tuesday’s losses were at least partly due to the ambition of the BBB agenda — and that this agenda alienated voters because it supposedly went much farther than Biden’s campaign platform.

Here’s the problem — I’ve seen one analysis after another saying that voters really don’t know what’s in the BBB bill; they just keep hearing about the price tag. I’ve seen one analysis after another saying that when presented with the individual pieces of the bill, voters overwhelmingly approve.

The bleeping “moderates” are still bleeting about “bipartisan ideas,” for pity’s sake. What planet do these people live on?

And, frankly, I think the notion that American voters across the spectrum are eager to go back to exactly how things were in 2016 is absurd, even assuming we could do it.

The one thing Paul Walden doesn’t say is why these “moderates” are so bleeping oblivious to reality. Personally, I think they’re all on the take. Who benefits from sabotaging progressive policies? The wealthy, the corporations, that’s who. There’s a payoff going on, somewhere.

Some reporters at Newsweek tell us what happens to “moderate” politicians who gut progressive legislation.

All of the former Democratic senators who publicly opposed a public health insurance option during the Obama administration, for example, ended up joining the influence industry. They became lobbyists or corporate consultants, or found work at a corporate-funded think tank, according to a Daily Poster review of publicly available records.

Today, with Democrats in control of Washington, corporate America has been relying on some of these former Democratic senators-turned-influence peddlers to help limit President Joe Biden‘s “Build Back Better” agenda bill and make sure lawmakers don’t pass anything that could threaten anyone’s profits.

Right on cue, Politico reports that Kyrten Sinema is taking money from multilevel marketing businesses to kill legislation favored by labor unions. These include the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would make it more difficult to classify workers as independent contractors. The business model of so-called MLMs requires armies of independent contractors, many of whom will make nothing.

The political action committee associated with Alticor, the parent entity of the health, home and beauty company Amway, gave $2,500 to the Arizona Democrat in late June, as did the PAC for Isagenix, an Arizona-based business that sells nutrition, wellness and personal care products. Nu Skin Enterprises, another personal care and beauty company, gave $2,500 that month, as did USANA Health Sciences, which sells similar products. In April, Richard Raymond Rogers, the executive chair of Mary Kay, a Texas-based cosmetics company, gave $2,500 to Sinema. Herbalife, which also sells nutritional supplements, gave $2,500 in July. All are affiliated with the Direct Selling Association, a trade group that promotes multilevel marketing.

Sinema might as well publicly advertise her vote is for sale. She’s too obvious.