To be fair, I also complain about the same traits in our Democratic legislators. But honesty demands I admit it seems to bother me a lot less with them than with their Republican counterparts.
I approve of most of President Biden’s agenda and recognize it will take solid party unity to achieve it—even if they can get over the filibuster hurdle.
Then Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, comes along. He won’t automatically toe the line. He won’t support some of Biden’s initiatives. He won’t vote to end the filibuster. And neither will Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona. And, according to several news outlets, there are others. How dare they stand in the way of the progress I feel is essential?
What a hypocrite I am!
I castigate the Republicans for voting along rigidly prescribed lines. I’m angry with Democrats who fail to follow the party script.
What do I believe? I think I have to make a choice. Inconsistency is not a trait that is comfortable for a mathematician. Although it seems to be no problem for politicians.
I admire individual thinking, and that’s the side I’m going to come down on. Thus I defend Senators Manchin and Sinema and applaud their willingness to take stands based on their convictions. I know their choices may be due to the less lofty motivation of political expediency, but it still takes courage. I may not always agree with their stands, but they have an independence I’d like to see more of. On both sides of the aisle! And I would be remiss if I didn’t express admiration for the Republicans who have dared to challenge leadership and brought party censure on themselves. I believe our democracy is safest when we have such people.
Are there any advantages to it? I think so. Of course, there’s the big advantage of preserving our democracy. Or at least there would be if there were enough honorable people of this ilk in both parties.
It possibly could lead to compromises. Current bipartisan efforts by a group to create and pass an infrastructure bill is an example. It would be considerably less in cost than the proposed Biden bill and omit many of his goals. A major concession. The Republicans, on the other hand, raised the amount they were willing to agree to. Not nearly as much as the Democrats dropped, but still a significant sum. I’ll be interested in learning more, including the details of what each side got and what each side yielded. But that’s what compromise is about. I’d rather have half a bill than no bill, a concept I’m afraid some in our party don’t understand.
Let’s use our votes to make being independent a good thing again.