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Opinion | Biden and the Democratic Standoff Over Spending Bills | tnewst.com Press "Enter" to skip to content

Opinion | Biden and the Democratic Standoff Over Spending Bills

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To the Editor:

Re “Hitting Blockade Over His Agenda, Biden Tacks Left” (front page, Oct. 3):

After reading this article, one might be forgiven for concluding that a small number of leftists have taken President Biden hostage and are imperiling his presidency.

The facts suggest otherwise. Almost two-thirds of Americans, 61 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans supported Mr. Biden’s Build Back Better plan in a recent poll. Within the Democratic Party, as the article concedes, the progressive wing far outnumbers the so-called moderates.

It therefore seems to me that the so-called moderates are in the minority on this one and that enacting Build Back Better would be both the popular and the democratic thing to do.

Michael K. Cantwell
Delray Beach, Fla.

To the Editor:

I’m a moderate Republican who voted for Joe Biden for two reasons: my disdain for the Trump presidency and Mr. Biden’s promise to govern as a moderate. Mr. Biden has clearly broken that promise by kowtowing to the progressive wing of his party, and now I feel like a chump.

Mr. Biden would be squandering his chance to unite the country (at least a little bit) if he allows the progressive representatives to cast aside the bipartisan infrastructure deal until the bloated $3.5 trillion social policy bill is passed.

This all-or-nothing approach shows that the pendulum of governance has swung forcefully to the left, guaranteeing an equally extreme reaction by the right in the next midterm election. What happened to governing in the middle?

Our leaders must recognize that unity happens only in the middle, not at the extreme left or right. Thank you, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, for being the voices of reason.

Opinion Debate
Will the Democrats face a midterm wipeout?

Jana Happel
New York

To the Editor:

Once again the Democrats seem hellbent on suicide. Convinced that they could lose both houses of Congress in the midterm elections, they have taken an all-or-nothing approach in attempting to push through an enormous and expensive program to improve the lives of the vast majority, while holding a bipartisan infrastructure deal hostage.

Given their very tenuous margins in Congress, the onslaught of powerful lobbyists, unified Republican opposition and interparty conflict, there are two very likely outcomes: The total package is severely downsized, if not totally defeated, and the Democrats will suffer big losses in 2022. The specter of another Trump presidency looms large!

It would be far wiser for the Democrats to focus on winning big in 2022 by splitting the $3.5 trillion program into bite-size packages that are overwhelmingly popular and challenging Republicans and moderate Democrats alike to vote against them.

Even if only a few of these individual measures pass, the Democrats stand to substantially increase their margins in both houses, thereby giving them the ability to enact the rest of their legislation. More games are won with singles than grand slams.

Irwin Cohen
New York

To the Editor:

The current back and forth in the Democratic Party over the two infrastructure bills now before Congress reveals a major difference between the two parties. The Democrats are actually negotiating, thinking for themselves, deciding what they individually believe and acting on that belief, even if the party leaders do not agree with them. Mitch McConnell pompously declares that no Republican will vote for these bills, and voilà!, no Republican will vote for these bills.

Lemmings are more courageous and more willing to defy their leader than Senate Republicans. These cowards are actively participating in the destruction of our country. How humiliating! How dangerous!

John T. Dillon
West Caldwell, N.J.

To the Editor:

Re “This Is Why We Need to Spend $4 Trillion” (column, Oct. 1):

Well done, David Brooks!

A lifelong Democrat totally horrified with the four Trump years, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Democrats’ coalescing around some kind of resolution regarding President Biden’s agenda.

With dug-in heels from both the “progressives” and the Sinema-Manchin obstructionist duo, it’s not hard to anticipate total collapse. It took Mr. Brooks’s thoughtful piece to put me firmly on the side of the progressives.

Yes, we absolutely need the $4 trillion. We need to finally invest in our own people; they need transparent reassurance that America cares about them and is willing to do everything it can to make their lives better. But, as Mr. Brooks stated, so many people seem to be indifferent.

There’s a lot of work to do to get the messaging right, but we barely get passing grades on that front.

Sherrie Matza
San Francisco

To the Editor:

Re “Abortion Leads Charged Docket in Court Return” (front page, Oct. 4):

As an institution whose independence is paramount to its very existence and whose objectivity is critical to its ability to carry out its judicial duties, the Supreme Court cannot afford to become mired in partisan politics.

The integrity of the court becomes compromised when the public perception is that personal political ideologies are impeding the justices’ ability to adjudicate cases without a degree of bias.

When the justices feel compelled to publicly defend their rulings as being devoid of politics, it is time to reassess this once hallowed body and focus on returning it to its original constitutional mandate. The Supreme Court is about public trust, not public polling, and the justices should focus on impartiality, not popularity.

With a docket replete with matters of great consequence that will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our nation, the justices must take great care to purge partisanship from the court.

N. Aaron Troodler
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.


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