Do House Democrats already see the writing on the wall? Current indications suggest they might already be anticipating the shellacking they will likely receive in the 2022 midterm elections. Members of the far-left progressive wing and the moderate establishment are already pointing fingers, accusing the other of being the reason why they will lose “bigly” next year.
The civil war in the Democratic Party has been going strong since it took control of the government earlier this year. After Republicans made key gains in the House and state governments, it was clear that, despite maintaining a razor-thin edge in both chambers of Congress, all is not well. Some Democratic lawmakers are already suggesting that if they do lose one or both chambers, it would be the fault of the far-left faction of the party.
Representative Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, told The Hill: “It’s very risky to have to go back to your district and tell people that you voted ‘no’ on $1.2 trillion of infrastructure funding.”
However, the so-called progressives in Congress seem to believe a “go big or go home” approach is the winning strategy. The Hill reported:
“They see themselves as fighting for the Biden agenda and argue the party’s liberal base will have no reason to come out and support liberal and centrist Democrats alike unless lawmakers can enact real change at a time when they hold the White House and both chambers of Congress.”
Those representing the far-left contingent of Democratic lawmakers have indicated they would refuse to vote for the infrastructure bill, which is part of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. Moderate Democrats were “furious” when Biden went to Capitol Hill and stated the House could not vote on the infrastructure bill until they reached a consensus on the larger social benefits legislation.
The president’s argument placed some Democratic lawmakers in a tricky situation. They had to return to their states during a two-week recess without an infrastructure win to brag on. The Hill noted that since it would take time to get started on the building of highways, bridges, and other efforts, this “further cast uncertainty about when exactly construction could begin on billions of dollars of projects during a midterm year.”
Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) declared: “We need to get shovels in the ground and Americans to work as soon as possible.”
Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), who flipped a GOP seat in 2018 and is vulnerable to being toppled in 2022, said:
“We are now arbitrarily waiting until some point in the future for the progress of another bill that is outside of physical infrastructure to pass. And so now these bills are tied together. There had been talks of dual track; dual tracks mean two. Now they’re, I guess, on the same exact train car.”
Far-leftist lawmakers like Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) contend that if Democrats don’t embrace the full $4.5 billion plan, it could dampen voter turnout. “Inaction is insanity … Trying to kill your party’s agenda is insanity … Losing the majority in the House in the Senate is insanity,” she said.
Who’s to Blame?
If and when Democrats lose one or both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, there will certainly be much blame to go around. Omar might actually be right – despite its numerous flaws, the Build Back Better plan is popular, according to recent polling data. At this point, Biden and congressional Democrats need a win. They have not had a significant legislative victory since passing the coronavirus relief package earlier this year. The time for riding that particular wave has long been over.
Of course, the dismal performance of the Biden administration isn’t helping matters. His mishandling of the economy, migrant crisis, Afghanistan withdrawal, and a host of other issues are likely pushing many Americans to wish for a return of the mean tweets. Combined with a lack of legislative wins, these could all contribute to the Democrats’ possible loss.
There is also history to consider. It is typical for Congress to flip to the opposite side of the party that controls the White House. The Democrats barely won the Senate and maintained control of the House in 2020. With all of these issues looming over the left, it is easy to see why they are already pointing fingers. The question is: To which faction will the blame stick?
~ Read more from Jeff Charles.