By Christopher Johnson – Political/Sports Correspondent
Joe Biden’s first term has come to a halting stop. Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia came out publicly against filibuster reform or wants to get rid of it. He’s comfortable keeping the filibuster “as it” and he wants to work with the Republican Party that encouraged an insurrection at the Capitol and has no agenda beyond obstruction. Joe Biden has also come out against reforming the filibuster instead opting to let his agenda die.
For all those making excuses for Biden saying it’s Joe Manchin’s fault, I have one question for you: “Do you think the Biden Administration didn’t know Joe Manchin was in the Senate before coming up with their agenda?” The fact that the Biden administration had no strategy and/or appear to be unwilling to get Manchin to play ball either means they are terrible at politics and won’t be able to deliver anything for the American people despite having the White House, House and Senate. Or it means that Biden agrees with the Republicans and fellow conservative Democrats on keeping the status quo protected even at the expense of the American people. Imagine if Republicans had that same trifecta. Do you think they wouldn’t use all the tools at their disposal to push their agenda through? We already know the answer to that question because we saw it for 4 years under Trump.
Now that Democrats are in power all they have to offer voters is excuses. With no reform to the filibuster there will be no voting rights reform, no criminal justice reform, no 15 dollar minimum wage, no public option for healthcare, no infrastructure deal, nothing because the man that advertised himself as being able to work across the aisle can’t get a single Republican vote in the Senate. He can’t even get Senators in his own party to fall in line which leads to the disastrous consequences this is going to have for upcoming elections. The Biden administration is quickly being exposed for just not having the desire to do some of the things they promised to do.
For example, Biden could cancel student loan debt, and legalize marijuana via executive order with a stroke of a pen, no votes required and yet he still chose to abandon those promises anyway even though there is nothing stopping him from not only relieving the economic burden of an entire generation but also take a major step toward criminal justice reform.
Biden saying he wants to preserve the filibuster in order to cater to the same Republican party which bent the knee to Trump is pathetic and voters can recognize it. The Democrats are setting themselves up for crushing defeats in 2022 and 2024 because when they had power and an opportunity to truly help the American people coming out of a global pandemic they decided partisanship among DC elites was more important.
Imagine if Biden legalizes marijuana and frees the non-violent drug offenders in jail for coming through on that popular promise or if Biden cancelled even the measly 10K he said he supported on the campaign trail. Imagine how much good will that would buy the Democrats at the ballot box but instead they decide that working with Republicans on an agenda of obstruction will be better so they have a “Boogie-man” to complain about and make excuses for why they couldn’t do anything with the power granted to them by us.
My final question: “Why should we continue to elect Democrats to office if we are going to get a Republican agenda anyway?”
Seriously, Obama had a super majority and instead of Medicare for All or a Public Option he gave us Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan which has turned out to predictably be a disaster and a give away to the private insurance industry that makes profit to deny citizens healthcare. Biden has the House, Senate and White House but wants us to believe his hands are tied and because Republicans still exist and other conservative Dems that there is nothing he can do. If that’s the case what did we elect them? The Overton Window of our politics has shifted so far right and been so corrupted by big money influence no matter who we vote for we can Republican policy. The Democrats claim to be a big tent but should that tent include people who are ideologically Republican like Joe Manchin? That “big tent” only seems to be welcoming for those who are more conservative. The progressive wing of the party can’t even get a floor vote on healthcare and had all their priorities largely ignored but Democratic leadership loves to bend over backwards to cater to the GOP. At this rate progress won’t just be slow but literally impossible and the only solution is sweeping reform that the Biden administration is just unwilling to make despite the grave political consequences that will follow. This is the price of electing someone who promised his rich donors “Nothing will fundamentally change.” So far that’s the only campaign promise Biden seems to be committed to.
Christopher Johnson also known as “C. J.” is the youngest columnist on this website. He started in this business interviewing celebrities when he was 10-years old. He brings the Millennial perspective to the website. He comments on sports, politics, current events and is the co-host of “Speak The Truth,” (YouTube) with legendary DC radio sports broadcaster and TV host Harold Bell. In his spare time he is the Lead Guitarist for a band called The Courtland Experiment. You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.