Sunday, October 3, 2021

Only One Political Party Is Demonstrating How Democracy Is Supposed to Work

As negotiations continue among Democrats about how to proceed with President Biden's agenda, the media has once again become obsessed with their "Democrats in disarray" narrative. Leading the pack is, of course, Politico. I would imagine that those kinds of storylines create more clicks than the piece I wrote recently about learning to live with uncertainty. 

But even beyond that observation, I am in total agreement with Melanie Sill.

We're watching Democrats hash out their differences. Of course, we all agree with one side more than the other. There have been elected officials who work to breach the divide and those who seem to be intent on making it worse. But that's always the case. 

One of the reasons these kinds of negotiations seem different is that one of the political parties is MIA. The history of our two-party system has usually been one of negotiation and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But over the last decade, Republicans have made it clear that they don't care about governing.

Initially, President Biden reached out to Republicans. That is precisely how the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills were split into two. The former passed the Senate with bipartisan support. But now House Republicans are backing off. That is precisely why almost every Democratic vote in that chamber will be necessary for passage. 

So Republicans are content to sit back and do nothing while Democrats hash out their differences to get the legislation passed. One party is demonstrating how democracy is supposed to work while the other does nothing but lie and attack, as Sen. Marsha Blackburn did Sunday morning. 

You'd be hard pressed to find a media outlet telling that part of the story - which is precisely why the GOP gets away with their abandonment of the democratic process. 

1 comment:

  1. "Democracy" as conceived by the early colonials forging a form of government that would be effective to all differing parties, necessitated the concept of robust discourse and even arguments aloud, but the key to all of that working was that there was an accepted goal of government by consensus. The colonials had had (mostly) their fill of monarchs and absolute rulers and were hungry for each person to have his say. However, we've developed a lack of consensus that what really matters is the welfare of the republic and of its peoples. We now have a party in absentia because if there were open discussions/arguments within the R party, they'd eat each other alive with their words and false accusations, much as they attempt to do with the Ds today. But, we see and hear the Democrats openly debating issues, using various means to extract as much 'good' for their constituents as possible, and yet to maintain an advancing public agenda. We should open each session of Congress with the entire group singing "Ya Can't Always Get What You Want" because that's the goal: something beneficial for everyone. Not, as Nancy and others have pointed out so well, a gift tax program for the wealthy and corporate welfare out the wazoo. Not the backs turned to the needs of the poor and non-whites. Not the 'American Exceptionalism' that has led us into countless wars and blind decision making. 'Democrats in Disarray' makes for clickbait; that's all. If it continues, we'd like to hear something like "Republicans in retrenchment" or "Republicans Refuse Responsibility." That's headlines of an entirely different kind.

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