The centrist-progressive democratic alliance is based on Build Back Better, by Ted Rall

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“At some point, we have to trust each other,” Representative Peter Welch, D-Vermont, said on November 5 as he left a meeting of the Progressive Congressional Caucus. Progressives had just accepted President Joe Biden’s demands that left-wing members of the House sign the $ 1 trillion infrastructure spending bill they were advocating to pressure House centrists to support their $ 1 package. , 75 trillion social programs.

The progressive bloc got a written promise from five key centrists to vote for the Build Back Better bill, assuming the Congressional Budget Office verifies the math behind the spending.

The question that grassroots progressives are asking is: is trust wise? Will the corporatives deliver? Or are we just slys about to be rewound?

The immediate electoral vitality of the Democratic Party depends on the answer.

The progressive voters and activists who form the party’s ideological basis and provide most of its energy believe they have long been taken for granted by the ruling, minority and corporate elite of the Democrats. Their long-boiling resentments turned into explosive rage after the offensive and, they believe, corrupt manner of Bernie Sanders and his supporters were treated by the Democratic National Convention and its media allies who enforced the blackout during his challenge. 2016 primary to Hillary Clinton and during the DNC.

The Clinton campaign openly courted anti-Trump Republicans in the general election campaign, telling progressive Democrats that he didn’t need them to win. Millions of them took her at her word, sitting down with their hands on election day, handing over the presidency to Donald Trump.

Then the defeated centrists had the courage to blame the progressives for not voting.

Spurred on by anti-Trump fever, leftist populists showed up for Biden in 2020. But they did so reluctantly, doubly after that year’s primary trial featured yet another DNC open operation to derail Sanders. The first wave of the Vermont senator’s primary crashed the night before Super Tuesday, when sleazy Southern party leader James Clyburn orchestrated Biden’s simultaneous endorsement by former rivals Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O ‘Rourke, an establishment favorite who entered late after being recruited by the DNC insiders to stop Sanders.

Biden ran like the anti-Trump, nothing more. He has not campaigned – and therefore cannot claim a mandate – for ambitious infrastructure and social spending measures, which were conceived only after his inauguration to heal his rift with his party’s progressive wing. As anyone who has been close to a news source in the past six months knows, the president has had a hard time convincing right-wing Democrats like Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia to play ball. Separating the expense packages into the relatively easy-to-pass infrastructure and the demanding social program bills is an inelegant and worn-out solution within the Beltway that could be on the verge of exploding in the face of Democrats.

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The White House promises that Build Back Better is 100% revenue neutral and therefore will not increase the deficit. The five moderate resisters who signed the House letter say their support is conditional on the CBO confirming that claim. But the CBO has already determined that the infrastructure bill alone would increase the deficit by $ 256 billion. One of Build Back Better’s most generous valuations, from Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman, found it would add $ 100 billion to the Treasury. That still leaves an overall deficit large enough for the five members of Congress to back out.

Assuming he survives, Build Back Better goes to the Senate, where the infamous MP will decide which pieces of legislation are allowed in the reconciliation process. Will progressives still be happy with what’s left? Will Manchin and Sinema drop their long-standing objections?

So, assuming it goes through the Senate, which at this point seems like a tall order, the changes must be reconciled between the House and Senate versions.

Progressives won’t be happy unless the lion’s share of what’s currently in Build Back Better is signed by Biden. If the results are considerably watered down or, worse still, non-existent, hell has no anger to compare with the anger of the progressives who have long been angry with the Democratic Party.

Their sense of betrayal will be unlimited. They will be furious with themselves for being so gullible that they trusted the evil centrists who repeatedly screwed them. And enough of them will be everywhere but at the polls on election days 2022 and 2024 to make a difference.

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