Progressives are fair Keep their biting promise to help Joe Biden keep, presenting the former vice president to their supporters, once and for all, as the last chance to demolish Donald Trump’s stronghold in Washington.
But that courtesy is unlikely to last much longer if Trump loses re-election next week, according to interviews with officials and figures in the movement. If Democrats win the White House and lock down both houses of Congress, those who backed Biden’s offer with an asterisk are preparing to push him with speed and determination on a number of important issues, leaving little room for jokes. party unity that prevailed throughout the general election.
“Word on the street is that it will definitely start immediately,” a former senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in an interview on Tuesday. “Most people look good voting against Trump. But make no mistake, the current power structure on the Democratic side shouldn’t be reassured that the main reason Biden can be elected president of the United States of America is primarily anti-Trump.
Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) said Democrats “will breathe a sigh of relief that we have saved the Democratic Republic” if Biden defeats Trump. “But that’s the word. Not the cap, ”the progressive lawmaker told The Daily Beast. “So we’re going to keep pushing, and I think we’re going to do that in a constructive way. But we need to do a lot better than “linking the affordable care law”. “
In the final days of the campaign, Biden appeared to backslide into his centrist comfort zone, speaking of building bridges and even, at times, criticizing Sanders’ “socialism” as a losing strategy. Contemplating a post-November world, progressives suggested that they weren’t going to let this go. Their criticism, they often say, goes beyond just the former vice president and is part of a fundamental criticism that Trump’s corrosive administration was built on systematic problems inherited, in part, from Democrats like Biden. for decades.
Mondaire Jones, a Democrat on the verge of winning a House seat in New York City, is happily working overtime to elect Biden. But he said he expected to arrive on Capitol Hill next year for a “vigorous exercise of our democracy” if Democrats take unified control of government, extending some grace in his rhetoric until next Tuesday. “I already have good conversations with people who haven’t necessarily made public their progressive positions on a number of things,” Jones told The Daily Beast, “but who are waiting to begin the process of legislation and government. . “
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a strong supporter of Sanders, said the economic and public health emergencies triggered by COVID-19 had only elevated matters.
“If Biden wins, the truth is that the politics sensitive to the cries of American workers, the poor and the middle class must be met,” Ellison said. “It’s not ‘progressive’. It’s just smart politics. Do you want to win in four years? You have to sort out the country’s problems. “
Until that happens, a number of individuals are already in talks on building new grassroots coalitions to start making demands early on, while others have publicly stated that they are ready to go. In an interview on Hill TV’s digital show “Rising,” Sanders told host Krystal Ball last week that he intended to unveil a “100-day” program to counter the long-awaited Biden plan. As Biden soared towards the Democratic nomination on a platform that denounced “Medicare for All” and instead praised the ACA, the Vermont Independent said he would press his former Senate colleague on the issue as soon as possible. the beginning.
“Some of my friends in the Democratic establishment are not aware, or I think cannot understand, what some of us have in mind in terms of what will happen after Biden is elected,” Sanders said. “And it is that we are not going back to business as usual.”
“If the Democrats – with a Democratic President, a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate – cannot begin to tackle the real crises this country is facing, then the future of this nation will be really, very, very bleak,” he continued. “People are giving us an opportunity now and if we waste it by not being bold and aggressive the next Trump that comes will be even worse than this one.
Sanders is not alone. Some members of his entourage argue that pursuing certain reforms to restrictive Senate rules is the best, and perhaps the only, solution to turning a progressive agenda into law. A specific objective: to lower the threshold of 60 votes for the adoption of the legislation. And they hope to have Biden’s blessing.
“If we don’t get 50 plus Harris, the vice president, that means nothing will pass, and I don’t think that has sunk. Nothing will pass,” said Larry Cohen, a Sanders ally and chairman. by Our Revolution. , outlining a possible outcome in Congress. Cohen predicted that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the current leader of the GOP Senate, would block Democrats on everything from popular things like gun background checks to more ambitious policies like reforms fossil fuels.
Cohen’s warnings, like others, are essentially frozen in time for the next few days, where a pro-Biden message is paramount to electoral gain. For months, many progressives have deliberately stopped dumping Biden and pitched their issues to show good faith strength against Trump. Sanders in turn asked his fans to support Biden in swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, in a bid to go beyond what Democrats who backed Hillary Clinton said he should have done. Four years ago.
“We don’t play politics because we want to wear a T-shirt like it’s a sporting event for our team, we only play politics to improve our happiness,” Cohen said.
Among some progressives outside Sanders’ orbit, several of Biden’s recent remarks have elicited more than a few grimaces. Huffman, a climate hawk, is a fan of his official climate plan, but likes less to insist that he won’t ban fracking.
“We’re all trying to be diplomats right now,” he said. “We want him to win Pennsylvania, we would like him to win Texas, but we certainly appreciate the nuances there.
The unexpected fight against the Supreme Court, meanwhile, opened another urgent front in the progressives planned pressure campaign on a possible President Biden. When the GOP strategically moved to occupy the seat of late Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the election, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) immediately told Democrats that if they took power next year, they should respond by increasing the number of seats at the top. court.
On Monday night, Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s final confirmation prompted a flood of top left-wing leaders to demand an expansion, including Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who circulated a petition that received over 12,000 signatures overnight. After November 3, this group is expected to get reinforcements, like Jones, who has been advocating for an increase in pitch size for some time. “I absolutely expect future President Biden to take a very close look at court expansion and, of course, court reforms more broadly,” he said.
Faced with this growing boost in her caucus, President Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has largely referred to the presidential candidate of her party. In a recent interview on MSNBC, Pelosi said, “I think Joe Biden gave us a good path,” when host Chris Hayes asked if she would support a theoretical expansion.
Biden recently provided incomplete answers to reporters’ questions about his position on the issue, taking a wait-and-see approach Republicans have used as ammunition. He finally said on CBS ‘ 60 minutes that he would introduce a “bipartite commission of scholarsTo examine it, a decision which Pelosi said was adequate, but which was made by many progressives. On Monday afternoon, he said he would not buy into the idea of term limits.
This drive to achieve more gradual impact could end up blending into Biden Hill’s own alliances, which are strongest in the moderate wings of the party’s House and Senate caucuses. Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are particularly close allies who have helped lead his campaign. And several other powerful Democrats, including Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), the current president of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Val Demings (D-FL) were assessed as possible Biden running mates before selecting the Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).
In the short term, however, key Hill progressives, such as those who worked for or supported Sanders’ campaign, are rallying on Biden’s behalf. Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Squad Member Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) held a virtual rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday with Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff. .
But, Sanders’ adviser warned, Biden shouldn’t get too used to the unconditional support of progressives within a week of Election Day.
“He’s going to rule, unless the pressure mounts as much as he ran,” said Sanders’ former senior adviser. “If he blows up Trump, they’re really going to think they have a mandate,” the source continued, speaking of the moderate Democrats. “Their pride is going to make the most of it instead of reading the tea leaves that were more about ‘taking out Trump’.”
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