Beware the tea party of the left

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  gregtx  •  one month ago  •  14 comments

By:   Joe Lieberman (MSN)

Beware the tea party of the left
Much like the earlier tea party, they seem to take pleasure in a kind of irresponsible political brinkmanship, as happened with government shutdowns in years past, and with the failure of the infrastructure bill last month.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



A decade ago, when a wave of tea party Republicans came to Congress, many Americans were worried about our government. Determined to dictate terms to the rest of America despite drawing only a minority of support, the tea party's leaders over-promised and under-delivered. They almost pushed America into default when they threatened to refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Now, the same tactics are taking control of the left of the Democratic Party.

Just as tea party pugilists upended John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) "Gang of Eight" immigration reform bill in the House after it passed the Senate with 68 votes in 2013, the new "tea party of the left" has undermined the bipartisan infrastructure reform bill that passed the Senate with 69 votes in August. In both cases, the broad majority of the country was held hostage by an activist fringe. Both cases represent crucial missed opportunities to get Washington working again.

Today, as before, those leading a movement that speaks for just a portion of the electorate believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs and their agenda on all Americans. Anyone who has the temerity to question their tactics is attacked or threatened. This should be a moment of bipartisan renaissance. Joe Biden won the presidency in part as a result of his appeal to moderates and for his long-standing record of work across the aisle.

The margin of his victory was clear, but not large enough to justify the embrace of an expansive agenda of the kind once pushed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he had a 194-seat House majority in 1933, or Lyndon Baines Johnson when he had a 155-seat majority. While FDR's coattails gave him the leverage and arguably the mandate to impose reforms almost at will, Biden today has the narrowest House majority since World War I and controls a 50-50 Senate only by virtue of a tie-breaking vote from the vice president. And yet somehow the new tea party of the left has concluded this constitutes permission from the public to push the biggest expansion of government in 60 years with almost no debate or public discussion of what they are proposing and no questions about whether our country can afford these new programs.

When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) made the sensible suggestion to put a "strategic pause" on the reconciliation debate to give Congress the proper time to review and discuss these proposals that touch almost every facet of American life - from child care and education to health care and energy and climate change - he was unfairly shouted down as a traitor to the Democratic party.

Rather than accepting the limits of their political power, the tea party of the left is working to leverage it into more than it really is. Rather than seeking common ground with more moderate Democrats and Republicans, they use over-the-top rhetoric to demonize them, and presume that any difference of opinion is born of corruption or greed.

Much like the earlier tea party, they seem to take pleasure in a kind of irresponsible political brinkmanship, as happened with government shutdowns in years past, and with the failure of the infrastructure bill last month. Both the tea party of the right and the left want everything they want, and they want it now. That is not the way Washington works when it works.

When I look back at my service in the Senate, the accomplishments I am most proud of were all the result of bipartisan negotiation and compromise, including the Clean Air Act amendments of the 1990s, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the post-9/11 reform in homeland security and intelligence, and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

I understand and applaud the many Americans who have protested and demanded something better from Washington. That's what our democracy is all about. But to reform Washington, our leaders will need to embrace solutions from the middle out together. Far from solving our problems, angry rhetoric, nasty threats, and endless brinkmanship are sure to worsen our governmental crisis.

In the end, the original tea party was never able to achieve anything much legislatively, but they did bring about the defeat of many Republican candidates for Congress and national office. The tea party of the left is forcing President Biden, the Democratic Party, and America down a similar path.

Joseph I. Lieberman was a senator from Connecticut and is the founding chairman of No Labels, a national movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents working to bring our leaders together to solve America's toughest problems.

Editor's note: This piece was updated at 10:13 am.


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GregTx
Sophomore Participates
1  seeder  GregTx    one month ago
While FDR's coattails gave him the leverage and arguably the mandate to impose reforms almost at will, Biden today has the narrowest House majority since World War I and controls a 50-50 Senate only by virtue of a tie-breaking vote from the vice president. And yet somehow the new tea party of the left has concluded this constitutes permission from the public to push the biggest expansion of government in 60 years with almost no debate or public discussion of what they are proposing and no questions about whether our country can afford these new programs.
 
 
 
Greg Jones
PhD Expert
2  Greg Jones    one month ago

They should  listen to Lieberman

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  Texan1211  replied to  Greg Jones @2    one month ago

They won't, and ultimately that will mean success for the GOP in the midterms and beyond.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    one month ago

Although the current situation with Congress is a difficult situation, it is not a complicated one. 

Democrats want to tax high wealth to finance programs to benefit the middle class and the poor , and Republicans want to lower taxes to benefit mainly the wealthy and have it be every man for themselves for everyone else. 

I can't even remember the last time a Republican authored a bill which would have government funds help people live better. 

Joe Lieberman is not a Democrat, and thus has no standing by which to offer Democrats "advice". He was basically run out of the party.  He did not endorse Barack Obama for president either in 2008 or in 2012. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @3    one month ago
Democrats want to tax high wealth to finance programs to benefit the middle class and the poor

So why are so many progressive liberals demanding the repeal of the SALT cap before they will vote for infrastructure bills?

SALT repeal would largely benefit the wealthy.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    one month ago
Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Mikie Sherrill, Bill Pascrell of New Jersey and New York’s Thomas Suozzi say they won’t support any legislation that doesn’t restore the full deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT.

“We need to have this state and local tax deduction. We built a whole system around it,” said Suozzi, who since 2017 has represented parts of Long Island and northeastern sections of Queens, New York.

“People are leaving our states. And when they leave, it leaves behind a hole in our revenues.”

“We’re in a competition with states that do not insure their children, do not pay their teachers, do not have mass transit and think that climate change is a hoax,” he said. “And as a result, their costs are cheaper.”

Tax fight: Democrats want SALT cap gone in Biden's big spending plans (cnbc.com)
 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.2  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    one month ago

No, it mainly benefits families with mortgages.

The wealthy have better tax breaks than that...

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.1    one month ago

The SALT cap repeal would benefit wealthy Americans, and some Democrats are intent on getting it, threatening to block the infrastructure bills without it.

Democrats fighting hard for the wealthy!!

If Democrats want people to stop leaving their states, perhaps they should take a fucking look at the progressive liberal policies which are forcing them to leave.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3.1.2    one month ago
No, it mainly benefits families with mortgages. The wealthy have better tax breaks than that...

That is simply incorrect.

Why do they NEED extra tax breaks anyways?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.1.5  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.3    one month ago

This is a ranking of the best to worst states for low income individuals and families

Full Ranking (rewardexpert.com)

All of the first 8 states on the list (best for low income individuals and families) are blue states. 

All of the lowest 10 (worst for low income individuals and families)  are red states. 

The states you call the "salt" states already collect a lot of taxes to provide services for their citizens.  They claim that without the salt deduction they will lose population to the states that have lower taxes but are also worse for low income individuals and families. 

For example , Florida, a low tax state, is near the bottom of the ranking (42). 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @3.1.5    one month ago
The states you call the "salt" states already collect a lot of taxes to provide services for their citizens. 

Bully for them.

The SALT cap is federal and doesn't affect the amount a state can tax its residents.

Blaming the feds for a state's tax rates is silly and irrelevant.

If states don't wish to lose citizens to other, more tax-friendly states, then they need to look at WHY people leave and remedy that situation themselves instead of seeking tax relief from the feds. 

Every state taxes its citizens and spends the money as necessary on its citizens.

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Participates
4  Colour Me Free    one month ago
 Joe Biden won the presidency in part as a result of his appeal to moderates and for his long-standing record of work across the aisle.

In 2016 I would have voted for Biden as a moderate and an individual that could/would/did work across the aisle ... but by 2020 Biden was the name recognition that was getting his butt handed to him until South Carolina .. Biden owes his nomination and ultimate presidency to Jim Clyburn .. that said, wasn't 2020 all about anyone but Trump or Sanders? 

 Biden today has the narrowest House majority since World War I and controls a 50-50 Senate only by virtue of a tie-breaking vote from the vice president. And yet somehow the new tea party of the left has concluded this constitutes permission from the public to push the biggest expansion of government in 60 years with almost no debate or public discussion of what they are proposing and no questions about whether our country can afford these new programs.

Fake it til you make it?  If ones constituents thinks an elected official has the mandate, the elected official is half way there?  

Era of FDR and LBJ will never be seen again .. moderates have been / are being run out of government, exiled for being a dreaded bothsider.  The extremes of both parties are trying to, if not running the show.  Never thought I would see the day when I would say Elizabeth Warren seems to be more of a 'centrist progressive'... whatever that means

Do not even get me started on what the party of (R) is doing ... my head shake is never going to stop...!

P.s.... it just does not seem right to call the movement in the party of (D) 'Tea Party' .. for as big a nuisance as the Tea Party was, they wanted something totally different than what the current disruptors want .. a new label is needed for todays obstructionist's.

[sigh] I want to see compromise, not this force it down the throat crap the US government has become

 
 
 
GregTx
Sophomore Participates
4.1  seeder  GregTx  replied to  Colour Me Free @4    one month ago

Perhaps the Pee Party?

 
 
 
Colour Me Free
Junior Participates
4.1.1  Colour Me Free  replied to  GregTx @4.1    one month ago

Haha! 

The Constipation Party?  the party of (C)  : )

 
 
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