Monday, March 1, 2021

I Believe I May Have Mentioned This Before....But Just Do Popular Stuff!

Perry Bacon Jr. at 538 points out that Democrats seem to have three general factions about how to move forward legislatively:
* Camp No. 1: We are in a Democratic and democratic emergency.
* Camp No. 2: Maybe there’s an emergency, maybe not; either way, just do popular stuff.
* Camp No. 3: We can and should work with Republicans.
I'm a camp #2 man myself. As you can see from the graphic below the $1.9 trillion covid-19 relief bill is a good start on that strategy! This bill will be passed through reconciliation. The Democrats also have an open path to passing a second large spending bill on recovery/build back better through reconciliation later this year.
After that....well, the filibuster will likely have to be dealt with. With all due respect to the camp #3 folks, the likelihood of finding 10 Republican votes in the Senate to do genuinely worthwhile legislation seems low. Not that it's not worth a good faith effort but just very unlikely to be successful.
So the path forward for Democratic priorities outside of the two big spending bills (which I hasten to say are hugely important) likely entails breaking the filibuster around a really popular piece of Democratic legislation. That needs to be carefully chosen, given the state of play in the Senate and the sensitivities of the political actors involved, but it seems an inevitable move forward at this point. It won't be easy but the time may have finally come.
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