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They are arrogant, condescending and their primary goal seems to be to try to shame any true liberals into accepting nothing in return for keeping Republicans from getting in office.

Nothing? Congress has passed about $3.1 trillion in spending in the first year of the Biden Administration. The American Rescue Plan made a bigger dent in U.S. poverty than almost any other program ever has - and certainly the fastest, since that $1.9 trillion went out the door almost immediately. And the BIF will enable exactly the kinds of significant investments in infrastructure that Democrats have been calling for for years.

That's actually pretty amazing results given how narrow the Democrats' majorities are. You can't pass transformative legislation with a tiny majority. That's not how Congress works. The Democrats were never going to be able to pass anything more transformative than their most conservative member (Joe Manchin on most issues) would be willing to vote for. This has never been a secret.

That's why I asked FKJacobs upthread if he would still feel betrayed if the GOP had won Warnock's seat, and the GOP held a tiny majority in the Senate. The Democrats' holding 50 seats allows them to accomplish a lot more of their agenda than if they only held 49 - but it doesn't allow them to accomplish all of their agenda. Just the parts that every Senator and nearly every House member are willing to vote for.

It's not arrogant or condescending to point out that political parties are coalitions of hundreds of separately-elected Congresscritters and Senators, each of which has their own unique constituencies of voters and their own personal beliefs about what makes good public policy. They're all aligned under the label "Democrat" (well, except for the independents like Sanders and King) - but that doesn't mean that any of them will, or can be forced to, vote for everything the party puts forward.

Joe Manchin doesn't agree with Democrats about how to address climate change. This is not a secret - he ran a campaign ad shooting Waxman-Markey with a rifle, for goodness sakes. Everyone should have known that a Congress where you only have 50 Democratic Senators is not a Congress that can pass meaningful climate change legislation. You can't pass a bill without his vote, and he's not going to vote for meaningful climate change legislation. You can criticize Democrats all you want for not getting "the job" done, but the cold reality is that you can't pass legislation if you don't have the votes to pass it. It wasn't possible this Congress.

It's foolhardy to blame Democrats for failing to pass legislation they don't have the votes to pass. The fact that they don't have the votes to pass something because the marginal Senator is Joe Manchin as opposed to Kelly Loeffler doesn't change that all that much. Schumer and Biden have only a small amount of leverage over Manchin. Eliding the different political affiliations and constituencies between Senators and Congressbeings by speaking of "Democrats" as if they were a monolith is a recipe for misplaced frustration and, ultimately, a GOP victory.

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