For some time now, a widening gap has emerged within the Democratic Party between members of its far-left progressive wing and members who take a somewhat more moderate stance.
However, that gap is threatening to become a chasm as Democrats battle one another over trillions of dollars in proposed new spending. According to at least one observer, the division has left President Joe Biden with “a ticking timebomb.”
Rick Moran, a writer for PJ Media, argued in a recent piece that Biden’s two primary legislative proposals are “are in mortal danger of collapsing under their own weight.”
Moderates vs. progressives
He was referring to the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed by the Senate earlier this year, along with the $3.5 trillion spending package that has many progressive Democrats chomping at the bit.
While the infrastructure package is favored by moderates, the party’s activist wing is refusing to move it along unless their much larger, social spending initiative is passed first.
Moran says that’s led to frustration, writing, “Resentful moderates feel they’ve been lied to by the president and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised an up-or-down vote on the bipartisan bill before the end of September.”
What’s more, Moran cited a Washington Post report that suggested that intraparty conflict is a situation that the president needs to begin to take much more seriously.
Some Dems agree
Bill Galston, a former domestic policy official who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration, said Biden’s perception of how his legislative agenda is moving along doesn’t seem to match reality.
“If Biden thinks he’s adopted a middle course that should leave people equally happy, he has misjudged the situation,” Galston explained.
“The prevailing view of the centrists is the president has tilted decisively in the other direction,” he continued, adding, “There’s not a lot of joy in Mudville.”
Galston’s take seems to be born out by how high-profile Democratic moderates have been treated in recent months. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has been repeatedly attacked by members of the so-called progressive “Squad,” while Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) was recently harassed in a public bathroom, as Fox News previously reported.
Moran concluded his piece by declaring that “unless the president can find a way to reconcile the two wings of his party, it’s not likely to be saved.”