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Just do it

February 2, 2021

It’s a funny old time to be reading A Promised Land, Barack Obama’s new (volume one) autobiography.

In the past few days I’ve followed him through his entry into state politics in Illinois, his run for the US Senate, his decision to run an upstart challenge for the Democratic nomination, the campaign and his election. Yesterday afternoon, I got through the inauguration and moved on to his plans for a desperately-needed stimulus package to help Americans survive the economic collapse caused by the profligacy of the banking sector. I was just coming to his doomed efforts to achieve some sort of bipartisan support for the legislation when I closed the book and switched the television on to watch Rachel Maddow.

This is where I was reminded that pretty much exactly 12 years ago Senator Susan Collins of Maine stood outside the White House to talk to reporters about her meeting with the new president to discuss how bipartisan support could be achieved. Yesterday, a new president, a new desperate need for economic assistance, the same senator, the same bullshit. I’m surprised she wasn’t struck down by a Jewish space laser (also known as lightning) for the sheer effrontery of it all. (What the hell is wrong with the voters of Maine? How was this useless woman re-elected last year?)

As much as President Biden, in his old-fashioned heart, wants a spirit of co-operation – his longed for “unity” – he and the rest of the Democrats (unlike Dubya) do know how the fool me once saying goes.

McConnell can fuck around filibustering all he wants (and he will), but it turns out that, thanks to a Nixon-era quirk (which I learnt about watching Maddow last week) the Democrats have two opportunities to force passage of bills with a simple majority if they are connected to “reconciling” the budget.

As Maddow pointed out, two of President Biden’s four stated legislative priorities are very much budget orientated.

Ramming through Covid relief and job creation legislation will be popular with the majority of voters. A price to pay down the line on immigration and voting rights? Probably. Worth the price? Definitely.

Fuck ’em. Just do it.

From → Columns

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