October 1, 2021 (from www.rationaloptimist.wordpress.com)

Republicans have repeatedly cynically harmed America by playing the government shutdown card. Democrats, with narrow Congressional majorities, managed to head off the latest.

But still looming is the debt ceiling. If not raised by mid-October, we’ll default on our financial obligations, an unthinkable economic apocalypse. This too has been cynically exploited continually by Republicans. In the past, they’ve always blinked, if only at the last minute. But now they insist Democrats must do it solely with their own votes. Even threatening to block them with a filibuster.

As ever, the ploy is to paint Democrats as spendthrifts. When in fact raising the debt limit entails no new spending, it pays for past spending. And Republicans under Trump ran up huge deficits. Their hypocritical debt ceiling brinksmanship makes me puke.

But they’re not the only irresponsible Congressional crazies.

Amazingly — amazingly — President Biden had successfully negotiated a desperately needed infrastructure bill (a ball Trump repeatedly dropped, in his standard feckless bullshitfull way.) Biden got enough Republicans on board to win Senate passage (overcoming the filibuster hurdle). Now it only needs passage in the Democrat-controlled House, where Republicans can’t block it.

But “progressive” Democrats can — they’re holding it hostage, refusing to vote for it unless the Senate also passes their giant $3.5 trillion bill for other spending. Which cannot happen. The votes just aren’t there, with several Democratic Senators (and all 50 Republicans) adamantly opposed.

Will House “progressives” (like AOC) really kill the infrastructure bill for the sake of the impossible? Is this what you’d call “progressive?”

Those holdout Democratic Senators seem open to compromise on something less than $3.5 trillion. “Progressives” must also compromise. Otherwise they get nothing. The perfect as the enemy of the good.

Meantime, for all the political jockeying, there has been almost no real public debate about the immense economic and social ramifications of the $3.5 trillion plan. This is sadly typical of today’s America, so full of political intensity, but void of actually coming to grips with actual issues.

And if “progressives” wind up with no infrastructure bill and no omnibus spending bill passed, Biden might seem a failed president. Helping Republicans regain Congressional control, if not also the White House.

Then you fools can kiss goodbye all “progressive” dreams. And America too.