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Democrats: What in Hell Are You Doing?

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has blocked many of the social initiatives sought by President Biden.

National Democrats are frittering away a huge opportunity to provide the American people with the social improvements for which they voted when they elected Joe Biden, and worse, they are opening the door to a return of Donald Trump and his GOP.

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With Senate Democrats unable to reach agreement on such key issues as providing free community college, reducing prescription drug costs, improving healthcare, and cutting carbon emissions to fight global warming, they are simply handing the keys to the Congress and the White House back to the Republicans.

And the consequences to our nation could be devastating -- perhaps even more devastating than can be imagined. What would America look like if the Trump Republican Party and Donald Trump himself return to power? What would the world look like with climate change deniers once again setting U.S. policy?

Just look at these headlines over the last couple of days since Democrats apparently reached a "compromise" on the Biden social program, cutting the guts of it in return for the votes of coal industry defender Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and drug company lackey Sen. Kristen Sinema (D-AZ).

The New York Times, Oct. 28 -- With Biden’s Agenda in the Balance, Lobbying Kicks Into High Gear -- Business interests are using ads and other efforts to cajole Democrats to change or kill a $3.5 trillion social policy bill.

"As Democrats labor to keep Mr. Biden’s proposal on track in Congress amid deep internal divisions, a robust influence campaign is meeting it at every turn. Business groups are working in overdrive to fight large swaths of it, such as raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations; expanding Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision services; and proposed taxes and fees to cut down on carbon emissions," the article says.

The article points out that corporate interests are lavishing praise in online ads on Democratic lawmakers who are in a position to kill provisions of the Biden program that they oppose.

One ad calls Sinema an “independent voice” and a “bipartisan leader.” That's because she helped kill Biden's pllan to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, thus reducing costs to consumers. That plan was at the core of Biden's presidential campaign and among key reasons why he gained the support of progressives and older Americans.

The Hill, Oct. 30 -- Progressives fear compromise could jeopardize midterm hopes

"The omission of provisions such as a national paid family leave program and a proposal to empower the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices from the framework outlined by the White House this week amounts to a slap in the face to the progressive activists and groups who helped President Biden win in 2020."

The Hill, Oct. 31 -- Democrats face ire of women over loss of paid leave

"Democrats risk disappointing female voters by cutting out a major expansion of paid family and medical leave from a compromise social policy bill.

"President Biden campaigned on extending paid leave to working women and men and initially proposed 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave as part of his sweeping domestic agenda.

"But the proposal was whittled down to four weeks and eventually cut entirely from the package because of opposition from centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)."

The Washington Post, Oct. 30 -- Trump looks to 2024, commanding a fundraising juggernaut, as he skirts social media bans

This article points out that while Facebook has banned Trump from posting on its platform, he has found a way around that restriction with his political action committee, Save America, spending more than $100,000 a week in October on ads, "many of which seek donations with deceptive claims about corruption in the last election and public support for the belief that 'Trump is the true president'."

You can read more in the article about Facebook's seemingly convoluted reasoning for allowing the ads, but the bottom line is that Trump clearly has his sights set on returning to power and he's raking in the money to do so.

Meanwhile, he continues to succeed in reshaping the GOP in his own image, as is evident with the announcement that one of his chief Republican critics in the House, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL), has decided not to seek reelection.

Kinzinger is one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January after the riotous insurrection. He is the second member of that group to say he will retire from Congress, joining Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

Political hardball gerrymandering apparently forced Kinzinger's hand, as his decision came soon after the Illinois state legislature passed a new congressional map that placed him into the same district as GOP Rep. Darin LaHood, a Trump ally in the House.

So, in the face of all of this Democrats squabble and fail to seize the opportunity they were given in the 2020 election. Some have succumbed to the temptation of donations and support from the corporate interests that are at the heart of many of the social concerns their party pledged to address on behalf of the American people -- concerns like high drug prices, climate change, child care, health care, and education.

Where are the leaders? Where is integrity? Where is courage? Where is the determination to fight for what's right? Much of that seems to have been lost as some of those we elected cave to protect their own political careers. Sadly, they may be returning their party to minority status and giving Trump and his new Republican Party the power to run roughshod over our country.

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