It’s been a week that could arguably described as the effective end of the Biden presidency. Over a span of just 72 hours, the administration announced that the student loan payment freeze would expire at the end of January, that they would defer to Congress to deliver the $10,000 in student debt forgiveness they promised on the campaign trail, and that they’re shelving Build Back Better until 2022.
Permitting student loans to continue as one of covid’s most virulent variants descends upon us in the dead of winter is bad enough. Punting to a dysfunctional Congress on debt forgiveness is tantamount to abandoning it altogether. Delaying further negotiation on Biden’s would-be signature legislative accomplishment is itself an admission of defeat.
But the bad news didn’t stop there. The cherry on top came courtesy of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who defiantly asserted her and her colleagues’ rights to buy and sell stock, citing our “free market economy” as justification.
"We're a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that." -- Pelosi's rationale for why spouses of members of Congress should be able to trade individuals stocks is not very convincing pic.twitter.com/NuOw0VznVm— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 15, 2021
This avalanche of self-inflicted wounds coming at a time when Democrats’ midterm prospects are already historically dark and the economy is looking increasingly precarious as inflation soars and coronavirus surges. That a party with control of both chambers of Congress and the White House, elected precisely to provide relief and guidance through the pandemic, would portray this level of indifference about delivering on their most basic of promises, begs the question of whether or not at this point, they even want to remain in power.
After all, it’s been a common refrain on the Left these past five years that the Democratic establishment would rather lose to Republicans than win with progressive candidates. The events of this week are simply a manifestation of this very priority set.
Extending the loan payment freeze and forgiving student debt would certainly be a boon to their electoral prospects in November of next year, as would coming out against the idea that one can appropriately be a public servant and a private investor at the same time.
Of course, the party isn’t willing to do any of these things, because, as we’ve been saying for years now, they would rather lose to Republicans than upset their apple cart in this way. And so instead of seeing Democrats try and right the ship, we’re seeing more a resignation to the fate they’ll soon be the minority party again, which to them is just the price of doing business.
We discuss the implosion of Build Back Better, Pelosi’s defense of stock trading by herself and her peers, and more, on episode 129 of our podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence on Apple,Stitcher,Spotify,Castbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.
Photo: Public Domain