Democrats in Congress apparently have gotten bored with fighting with Republicans, so they have taken to fighting among themselves.
Progressive Democrats want to spend $3.5 trillion to provide, well, just about everything families used to provide for themselves.
More moderate Democrats — the few who still exist in Congress — think that is too much money. Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who has gotten incredibly wealthy representing the people of the oil and gas industry. says he will oppose spending one dollar more than $1.5 trillion. That should be enough to pay for the essentials, he says.
In response, the progressives are holding their breath until they turn blue in order to force Manchin to give in. He’s not about to.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, watching his administration implode in the opening months of his administration, is trying to broker a compromise. He now proposes a spending bill of $1.9 trillion to $2 trillion — not enough to make the progressives happy and still too much to please the unmovable Manchin.
Progressives fear that if they don’t get everything they want — at least for now — they never will. The concept of compromise is lost on them.
Rather than get some of what they want, they would rather have all or nothing — and most likely they will get nothing.
It isn’t that the progressive agenda doesn’t have some good ideas, but it is just too expensive to accomplish at one time.
Meanwhile, first-term Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona who is siding with Manchin, was followed into the ladies room by a group of folks who favor the progressive agenda. While one woman stood outside the stall screaming at Sinema, another caught it all on his cellphone.
Sinema was rather upset with the intrusion on her private time, and so are we. The incursion into the restroom doesn’t rank with the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, but it is unpleasant, unnecessary and uncalled for.
When did Americans lose their sense of propriety, the notion of boundaries? And can we get them back? Please.
Meanwhile, Democrats in the House of Representatives are threatening to not approve the $1 trillion infrastructure bill — that actually contains some funding for actual infrastructure — that already has passed in the Senate until they get their way.
This impasse has occurred because there are 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate. If they stick to their party lines, it is up to Vice President Kamala Harris — remember her? — to cast the deciding vote. But with Manchin and Sinema bucking their party leadership — and we use that term loosely — Harris is left to do whatever it is she does to fill her days.
Democrats in the House do have a clear majority: 220 to 212, with three vacancies to be filled.
Of course, everyone in Congress is looking — with hope or fear — to next year’s midterm elections. Typically, the party out of power picks up at least a few seats, which is not good news to the Democrats — and may explain why they are so adamant to get everything they want now before they once again are the minority party.
Of course, it could be that voters are so fed up with both parties that they will stay home, leaving the outcome of the November 2022 balloting uncertain.
Here’s an idea: Our representatives in the Senate and the House might try to represent us, the people who put them in Congress. We might disagree among ourselves, but usually we can find a way to compromise, to give a little to get a little, and move on.
This country has never been in 100 percent agreement on anything, yet we have grown and prospered, celebrated the good, rejected the bad and mourned our losses.
We are a country of diverse backgrounds, different situations, different philosophies, but we are all Americans.
We wish our members of the House and Senate understood they represent all of us, not just their party faithful. We’ll all be a lot better when — and if — they do.