Well there is one thing I think we can all whole-heartedly agree on, and that is "politics [..] responds—and reliably—to money". Look to where your politician or political party derives their campaign money, and you can accurately determine to which causes they will be beholden. But Bill your view that Joe beat Joe implies that there was ever even a fight. When I think of a politician fighting for something, I think of FDR. If FDR was fighting for this bill, he would have dragged Manchin all over the news, would have held speeches in West Virginia, that would have been a real fight to watch. But when push came to shove in this match-up, when progressives led by Pramila Jayapal of the Congressional Progressive Caucus dared to refuse to pass the infrastructure bill until BBB was out of the senate, what did Biden do? Did he back progressives in fighting for his own bill? Did he double down on the pressure on Manchin? No, he had a chat with Jayapal, and whatever words and secret deals passed between those two, Jayapal quickly gave up and voted the infrastructure bill through, the last remaining leverage the D's had on Manchin, which ensured the death of BBB. So in the end Biden fought his own bill.

I also take issue with this passage, "For fear of offending Manchin and losing his vote, Biden has pulled his punches on things like leasing federal land; his administration last week gave strong signals that it would permit a huge new oil development in Alaska." Are we really just going to blame all of Biden's failures on Manchin now? Losing Manchin's vote on what exactly? In political fights there is generally a give and take, all I see here is give.

And let us not forget exactly where Biden is at this very moment. He is in Saudi Arabia, a despotic kingdom waging a brutal, terrible, deadly war in Yemen with US weapons. He is sitting down to talk with a man who killed an American journalist in cold blood. And you know what they are discussing? How many more weapons the US needs to give Saudi Arabia so they can pump more oil to lower gas prices for the mid-terms. All this rhetoric about how terrible Putin and how much we love democracy sounds pretty hollow now doesn't it? All this rhetoric about caring about climate change seems pretty hollow as well. We can see here what really matters to Biden. It's not human rights, its not climate change, its using the power of the US weapons industry and our foreign policy to improve chances for D's in the mid-terms.

I also take issue with this passage, "[Biden] has managed to deal as an adult with a series of remarkable crises, most notably the Russian invasion of Ukraine." When I think of dealing as an adult would with Russia, I think of JFK and how he held direct talks with Gorbachev, how he de-escalated a tense situation and used diplomacy and not the tools of war to end conflict. Has Biden tried to hold talks with Putin? Has he attempted diplomacy? Tried to broker peace between Ukraine and Russia? No, he only seems interested in sending more and more weapons to Ukraine, issuing bellicose rhetoric aimed at Putin and prolonging the conflict and bloodshed. This is the behavior of a madman bent on war, not a calm adult.

The only up-and-coming politician running as a D who gives me any hope for the future is Lucas Kunce running for the Senate seat in Missouri. He takes no corporate or super-pac money, grew up poor, and has vowed to fight for working people, so the Democratic Party has backed his opponent in the primary, an heiress to the Anheiser Busch fortune. That right there tells you everything you need to know about the Democratic Party and what they stand for.

But you are right Bill, "Time to tug [...] hard on the one marked “Money.” Because, ultimately, it was money that handed us this defeat."

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Well said 👏 Bill.

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I understand why you say don't desert the Democratic Party. But since we have an alternative -- grass roots organizing from below, including demonstrations, strikes, and civil disobedience -- I have decided to go that route.

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Biden was elevated by the party elites to make sure that climate legislation never passed. That was the whole point.

Anyone who though the Senator From MBNA would suddenly become a progressive after a half century in office feeding treats into the maw of big business was admirably positive, but laughably naive.

What is it folks like to say these days? When someone tells you who they are, believe them?

Well, Joe has been helping his crackhead son sell access to the Chinese, sending good middle class jobs overseas to be performed by people who are all but slaves (where the only way you can quit is to commit suicide, remember?) all the while writing and/or supporting policies that put black people in jail for the same reason.

What does he care about the future? Like Manchin, he uses his power to enrich his corrupt family. They can always buy real estate in the mountains.

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