Saturday, March 06, 2021

Congress Passes COVID Relief Bill Without Any GOP Support

We should be clear -- this was a bipartisan bill, in the sense that Americans of both parties backed its content. It passed on a party line vote because the GOP is relentlessly partisan and will never back any significant Democratic Party initiative no matter how it is framed or how much effort is put into negotiation. Yes, that includes Moderate Republican (tm) Susan Collins. And it's a very, very good thing that Democrats learned this lesson from the Obama years, and didn't waste time in a futile effort to gain meaningless Republican support. If Republicans had actual good ideas for the relief bill (as opposed to the "idea" of giving less help to fewer people), they were welcome to say so. In the meantime, Democrats should own all the tremendously popular provisions of this law straight through the midterms.

The other thing I want to say is that while yes, the random bites Joe Manchin decided to take out of the final bill were frustrating, stupid, and gratuitous, they also don't change the fact that the final bill is one of the most strikingly progressive pieces of stimulus legislation ever to pass through Congress. That's testament to a serious shift in the Democratic Party coalition which is worth celebrating, and it's also a good illustration that at the end of the day, the difference between Biden vs. Harris vs. Warren vs. Sanders as President pales in comparison to the difference between Ossoff and Warnock vs. Perdue and Loeffler as Georgia's Senators.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Haley's "Courageous" Break With Trump Ends After Less Than One Month

When it came out that Nikki Haley was "breaking" with Trump, publicly saying "we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again," I observed that this seeming profile in courage was anything but for a host of reasons. Chief among them: Haley could and would always come groveling back to Trump if it seemed like he was holding onto his position as a GOP power broker. 

Still, even I thought she'd take more than a month to complete the journey:
Former United States Ambassador the the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday praised former President Trump over his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) the day before, after sharply criticizing him last month for his rhetoric and actions ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

“Strong speech by President Trump about the winning policies of his administration and what the party needs to unite behind moving forward. The liberal media wants a GOP civil war. Not gonna happen,” Haley wrote on Twitter.

What an utter sleazeball.