Saturday, February 27, 2021

Put On The Ring, Joe

This is correct.
It has been argued that even if Joe Biden were to adopt the alternative position that the Democratic Party should be able to pass a policy agenda—and even if he argued the same to voters—he might nevertheless fail in getting Manchin and Sinema to agree with him. This is correct. It is, though, incumbent upon Biden to try to persuade members of Congress. This opinion has evidently been the subject of some controversy on social media in recent days. “The Green Lantern Theory of domestic politics—if Dems just had the will they could make it happen—is such incredible nonsense,” the author James Surowiecki tweeted on Tuesday. “What ‘pressure’ can Biden apply from the bully pulpit to change Joe Manchin’s mind?”

A good question! And the answer may well be “none.” But the primary advocate of the Green Lantern theory of domestic politics over the past two years has been Joe Biden. The central policy argument of his campaign, repeated throughout the primaries and general election, was that he, alone among all other Democratic contenders, would be able to win Republican support for his agenda on the basis of his character and his skill at leveraging personal relationships built over nearly half a century in Washington. By implication, conservative members of his own party weren’t to be worried about. But by now, just over a month into his term, it should be clear even to those who bought into this extraordinary lie that conservative Democrats are the ones running the show.