Democrats’ Rift Widens on Key Issues — As GOP Doubles Down on Trump
Author: Greg Valliere
March 1, 2021
HOW’S THIS FOR AN IRONY? Republicans can’t get enough of twice-impeached Donald Trump, who lost the White House, House and Senate last fall — while the Democrats’ progressives openly complain that their party is timid.
IT WAS ONLY MATTER OF TIME before the Democrats’ uneasy internal truce ended. Not surprisingly, the progressives are angry over a minimum wage hike. It probably will not be included in the Covid aid bill, nor will there be a separate provision punishing corporations that don’t raise their minimum wage.
THERE ARE THREE OTHER DIVISIVE ISSUES:
1. Progressives were angered by the U.S. air strike last week on Iranian-controlled facilities located just inside the Syrian border. The left wants to be pre-notified of such action, with a veto option. That won’t happen; Biden is a hawk.
2. The left was furious when Biden stated last week that he would not support student loan forgiveness for up to $50,000 of debt. He won’t relent.
3. Biden’s limp response to the government’s report that Saudi Arabia bears responsibility for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi has infuriated the left. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said Biden “choked.”
OUR MANTRA IS THAT BIDEN IS “progressive lite,” eager to spend $1.9 trillion for rocket fuel that will keep the economy humming through the 2022 elections. He’s a big spender, yet progressives want more. In private, they would love to drum centrist Joe Manchin out of the party, but that would be suicidal.
SO THE DEMOCRATS WILL INCREASINGLY bicker with each other, with many whispering that it’s time for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign. For now, the big issue is passing the stimulus bill by mid-March; it will win enactment within the next two weeks but progressives — led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — will grumble over the minimum wage.
THE REPUBLICANS, MEANWHILE, ARE HAPPY to have Trump back, controlling who gets nominated. The GOP’s refusal to accept the November election results and their desire to purge all heretics is actually a major positive for the Democrats, as long as Biden can keep progressives from erupting.
BIDEN WILL NEVER TOTALLY PLEASE the progressives, who will become increasingly vocal, but the president enjoys solid polls. His approval ratings should stay strong as Covid becomes less of a threat — and the economy, on steroids, roars by summer.
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