Democrats in Array
Even if the Inflation Reduction Act is filled with compromises, its passage is a huge win for the party that wants to use government to solve big problems
From 1918 to 2004, the Boston Red Sox led a cursed existence, making it to the World Series just four times and losing each in seven games. On top of that, the team won its division several times but lost again and again in league championship series. Growing up in New York, I was a Mets fan and my kids (who were born in the Bronx) came up as Yankees fans, but because we also had close family in Massachusetts, I could see what losing year after year did to them. My Boston cousins would get especially despondent every summer. Their team might be playing well, but they were sure they’d be disappointed come the end of September. So when their Red Sox took the 2004 World Series, beating their hated Yankees on the way, I was happy for my cousins. It’s hard to root for a team and never win.
That’s how I’m feeling about the Biden Administration at the moment. This past winter, Biden seemed cursed. Despite delivering a trillion dollars in direct aid to millions with the American Rescue Plan and then a similar amount in investment in domestic needs with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, his presidency seemed completely stuck in a ditch. As the New York Times reported last April, few Americans even recognized that the money flowing into their communities for the repair of vital roads and bridges was ultimately Biden’s doing. Instead, his failure to quell Covid (after prematurely declaring victory) drove down his popularity, and a few stubborn U.S. Senators seemed committed to blocking meaningful action on everything from voting rights to climate change.
And even though the main obstacle to Biden’s agenda was a near unanimous Republican resistance in Congress, Democrats in DC as well as back home spent most of their time attacking each other for either being too ambitious or not ambitious enough. Meanwhile, a lot of grassroots Democrats just got more and more demoralized. It’s not for nothing that people started thinking of Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Each time he’d line up hoping to kick it, she’d pull it away at the last…