DANIEL VAUGHAN: Biden caves to AOC and the Progressive Caucus

After multiple delays, reschedulings, and empty promises for action, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrats pulled the plug on passing an infrastructure bill in Congress.

Progressives in Congress, emboldened by narrow margins, threatened to torpedo the infrastructure legislation unless Democratic leadership linked infrastructure with the spending boondoggle the far-left wants.

And who delivered the progressive victory? President Joe Biden.

In a private meeting with House Democrats, Biden made his first appearance in Congress as president to negotiate this deal. According to Politico, Biden “deflated the air of urgency around a bipartisan infrastructure vote,” and went out of his way to undercut both moderates in the party and House leadership.

Politico described Biden’s meeting, saying:

While several Democrats hoped Biden’s rare appearance Friday — his first in-person huddle with House Democrats as president — would rally support for the $550 billion infrastructure bill, he actually did the opposite. The infrastructure bill “ain’t going to happen until we reach an agreement on the next piece of legislation,” Biden declared in the private caucus meeting.

The move left moderates with nothing and further empowered the progressive caucus, who is using the small margins in Congress to leverage themselves into more power. Instead of protecting the soft middle of the party, Biden is endorsing progressives to undercut them further.

Politico quoted on moderate off the record “who emerged disappointed that Biden hadn’t delivered a call to action for the caucus,” as saying, “It was a shocking failure to meet the moment.”

How empowered are leftist activists feeling now? Leftwing nuts are chasing down moderates like Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) into bathrooms in public to harass her for votes. But Sinema hammering Democratic leadership for caving to the far-left shouldn’t come as a surprise; she said as much during her election campaign.

Furthermore, Sinema is holding Biden to the things he claimed during the general election. Sinema was blunt in her statement, “I do not trade my vote for political favors — I vote based only on what is best for my state and the country. I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another.”

That is, of course, precisely what Biden has done. He’s caving to the far-left, and now he’s using the infrastructure bill, something just about everyone wants, and even Republicans are expected to vote for, and tying it to a piece of legislation no one wants.

The reason progressives are forced to resort to extremist political maneuvering is due to the fact that they cannot win the rhetorical battle. They don’t have a majority in either the House or Senate. They only have 95 total seats.

That’s enough to make noise when the government is essentially divided 50-50 at the moment. Still, it’s not enough to drive your legislation down everyone’s throats.

And that’s the most important part here: Joe Biden has caved his position to the smallest minority. These people cannot win an election or convince voters in states like Democrat Senator Joe Manchin’s West Virginia or Sinema’s Arizona.

The results of this caving to the left are already apparent. The progressive caucus is pushing against what Manchin and Sinema have declared they want, along with House moderates, and are making their numbers higher. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is now calling this fight a battle for the soul of the country and party.

If Sanders is correct, Biden has already cast his lot with the Sanders wing of the party instead of the moderates who win elections. The far-left has taken the position that it’s better that nothing passes if they don’t get what they want. It’s a remarkable level of hostage-taking.

If you believe, as I most certainly do, that inflation is a significant issue facing the country, these fights are beneficial because it’s preventing the country from getting pushed even deeper into an inflationary cycle. Progressives do not care. Why should they? Their districts will re-elect them no matter what; they’re impervious to criticism or bad outcomes.

That’s not true for anyone elected in a purple district or a swing state. Those folks are far more attuned to the political realities of the country.

It’s not that progressives don’t care about their country or the people in it. It’s that they’re so blind to anything negative occurring because of their policies, and they’re immune to the political consequences of bad decisions. They’re not incentivized to think ahead; they only focus on unicorn ideas, even when they’re sitting in a divided government where working together and finding compromise is essential.

Joe Biden’s instincts are as wrong as ever. And when his party needed him the most, when they needed a president to show backbone to push legislation through, Biden undercut both his leadership team and the moderates who give him the slimmest of majorities.

Republicans will already be favored to retake the House in 2022. Biden is making those odds even better by tying the entire Democratic agenda together with the extremists.

Joe Biden has been rolled by the Taliban and tried to convince Americans that working with these terrorists is within America’s best interests. Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan as a result.

Biden tried to convince everyone he could end the pandemic. He allowed his public health policy team to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, make so-far empty vaccine mandate rules, and undercut the vaccine rollout and Operation Warp Speed.

Biden’s now been rolled and caved to the progressives. At every step of the way, Joe Biden has capitulated to the wrong group, and it’s cost both Americans and now his own political party.

Everything Biden touches dies.