It's not the blatant self interest and lobbying that I find most offensive, but the need for these politicians to make up such silly lies and the gullibility of the constituents who accept them.
> The state is extremely poor
> coal is still a massively important industry
similar arguments could be made for plenty of industry, historically.. even going back 200 years
> Manchin is driving a bargain and is representing his people
you are dramatically off-base on this. People do not form industry, companies, their executives and stakeholders form industry. Individuals are paid wages and then also have expenses, for example to their landlords, and also a company store perhaps?
> who've ruined their economy and environment
many lives are suffering now, and in the past, agree
> powering the rest of the country for the last 100 years
wasted water, electricity and money, are not unique to our age
> The rest of the country needs to help make the impact on coal country
that has been an explicit goal for union organizers, environmentalists, policy makers and is a core reason to have a common governance. Your emotional appeal is probably well-meaning, but.. falls apart quickly. King Coal - your time is over
Peoples' jobs are a part of industry. It's not just the CEOs and shareholders. And the point was, Manchin is not just representing CEOs. He's representing little peoples' jobs. At this point, you were kind of ignoring what pirate787 was actually saying, and therefore your reply was rather wasted.
> ... and also a company store perhaps?
This just looks like smear tactics. Are there any company stores in 2021? I'm pretty sure they're at least quite rare.
Yeah, that's.... the entire point. That's why his statement is not just wrong, it's morally repugnant.
The supply chain has tons less carbon per MW (pumps and pipes vs trains and trucks and drilled wells vs mines) Obviously there's huge pollution improvements. And most importantly gas can be throttled so it leaves lots of room for renewables to pick up load.
I support efforts to give miners other opportunities but we have to be realistic about what's possible.
The utility industry has cut electricity generation from coal by 50% in about 15 years. Manchin is right.
2. What matters is the rate at which we're shedding emissions, not the rate at which we're cutting coal. Moving from coal to natural gas represents a reduction in emissions, but it's not enough to meet our emissions targets, hence this bill.
The problem is, by common projections such as:
We need to cut it by another 60% by the end of the year. That is not happening without government intervention.
You have to understand if you aren't 70+, this is going to impact you much worse the longer we wait to make changes.
This is beside the point. Rural voters are overrepresented by the structure of the Senate. You could argue that Democrats have used poor political tactics, but the fact is that in a representative system they wouldn't need to kowtow to rural voters in order to get a majority.
To put it a little differently, I want a political system that incentivizes cooperation and good behavior and disincentivizes bad divisiveness and bad behavior. In this particular case, our political system actually delivered on that. So while in many other regards our system may be broken, I don't think the balance of representation is particularly broken.
No, in representative democracy, it isn't subjective at all. Each voter should be represented equally.
> the fact that one party can't both overwhelmingly succeed and repeatedly, deliberately, and overtly offend millions of voters
The Republican Party is damn close to doing just that. They've already basically entrenched one-party rule in states like North Carolina and Wisconsin, and you'd better believe they'll do whatever they can to accomplish this at the national level as well. Gerrymandering, vote suppression, Citizens United - these are all tilting the balance of representation further in one direction. The Senate is part of what enabled this dysfunction to spread, and fixing it should be a part of the solution.
I think this is just semantics. Whether everyone should be represented equally is still a subjective matter (irrespective of whether or not you or I agree). In particular, the constitution was designed to give each state 2 senate seats for a reason--so a few populous areas couldn't tyrannize the whole country. I think that holds today as well. And Democrats can and have worked within this system in the past, so it seems clearly workable to me.
> The Senate is part of what enabled this dysfunction to spread, and fixing it should be a part of the solution.
You say this like the constitution guarantees that Republicans get the rural vote or something. That's obviously not true, Republicans got the rural vote because Democrats gave it to them. It seems like your position is "Democrats should be free to offend rural voters without loss of power" and I don't think that's a desirable property.
Democrats control government by a thread right now, after a Republican president who literally based his entire campaign on fomenting divisiveness and rejecting compromise. And now that they are out of power, Republicans are reacting, not by moderating their positions, but by passing laws to try and ensure that it will be more difficult for Democratic-leaning voters to exercise the franchise.
I'm not sure I agree that Republicans in general are trying to offend urban voters. The Democrats completely ignored rural and blue-collar America for a decade and then for 5 years after that, lambasted them as racists, white supremacists, and the cause of virtually every social ill and historical moral failure in our country. While many Republicans like to lambast certain liberal urban strongholds (e.g., for crime and corruption), they're not categorically attacking urbanites and certainly not to the degree or duration that Democrats savaged rural and blue collar Americans.
I certainly don't agree with "due to the Senate". You mentioned several causes: gerrymandering, vote suppression, and Citizens United. I'm pretty sure most of these largely followed the demographic shift (rural areas voting Repulican), so they certainly can't be caused by the democratic shift (although there are ongoing attempts to gerrymander and suppress votes). Moreover, CU was a Supreme Court ruling.
To be clear, I think gerrymandering, vote suppression (excluding voter ID requirements), and CU are all bad things that should be reversed, but my point is that these aren't meaningfully products of the balance of power between rural and urban areas. The fact that rural areas are powerful doesn't inherently advantage one party over the other, rather, one party chose to cede rural power to the other party, so this can't be considered evidence that the balance of power is to blame.
> Democrats control government by a thread right now, after a Republican president who literally based his entire campaign on fomenting divisiveness and rejecting compromise.
You don't have to sell me on "Republicans (and Trump in particular) have behaved badly". I'm with you. But I don't agree that we have to overhaul our constitution so that Democrats can hold power and still abuse rural and blue collar Americans. There's a path forward that gives Democrats power, affords dignity to rural and blue collar Americans, and doesn't involve overhauling our constitution and for any Democrats who aren't hell-bent on maligning rural America, that's a win-win-win.
Justifying every bad behavior by pointing out someone else's worse behavior is, while common, deflection and race-to-the-bottom mentality, and it's really killing our country. The country can't afford for the Democrats to aspire to be only 1 moral unit better than the worst caricature of Republicans. Everyone should aim for their party to be morally better than they were yesterday, not just better than they perceive the other party to be.
To put these in two separate categories is extremely disingenuous. There are plenty of Democrats still actively campaigning in rural areas and there are plenty of Republicans railing against "coastal elites." Seriously, have you never looked at the comments section on foxnews.com? A guy literally shot up a pizza parlor looking for a Democrat-run child sex ring. There is plenty of demonization being perpetrated by both sides, but the crucial fact of the matter is that, based on the results of recent national elections, one side represents a clear majority of Americans, but still struggles to maintain power. That is fundamentally anti-democratic (note the small d). I'll further note that when the Constitution was written, the population difference between the largest state and the smallest state was still within an order of magnitude; that is no longer the case.
> Justifying every bad behavior by pointing out someone else's worse behavior is, while common, deflection and race-to-the-bottom mentality, and it's really killing our country.
Sorry, but one side really has been much, much worse. I never claimed that Democrats were perfect, but you are the one who seems to be justifying an anti-democratic system just because some politicians, at some point, were mean to some country folks.
I think you're the one being disingenuous. Railing against "coastal elites" isn't an attack on urbanites, it's an attack on coastal elites. Moreover, that there are Democrats in rural areas doesn't contradict anything I've said or implied (I didn't claim or imply that rural areas are totally devoid of Democrats--that would be absurd).
> Seriously, have you never looked at the comments section on foxnews.com? A guy literally shot up a pizza parlor looking for a Democrat-run child sex ring. There is plenty of demonization being perpetrated by both sides
It doesn't make sense to rebut "Democrats should court rural voters to gain more senate seats" with "but Republicans are mean too!". I don't dispute that Republicans are meanies too! It's just not productive to weigh the sins of either side, and it's explicitly counterproductive to use "Republicans are meanies" as a reason to defer something actionable today ("Democrats courting rural voters"). This is a loser's mentality.
> Sorry, but one side really has been much, much worse. I never claimed that Democrats were perfect, but you are the one who seems to be justifying an anti-democratic system just because some politicians, at some point, were mean to some country folks.
Don't apologize, I generally agree with you that Rs are worse. My point, per my previous paragraph, is that it's counterproductive to delay progress until we get the whole country to agree about who is worse. We can just stop being dickish to rural voters--that costs nothing.
Anyway, calling the US system "anti-democratic" is absurd, and I'm not sure how to have a reasonable conversation if we're throwing out overt falsehoods. Similarly, the Democratic Party has failed rural and blue-collar Americans for decades and its politicians, pundits, and media have increasingly used rural and blue-collar Americans as the scape goat for virtually every one of our national social ills--if you reduce that to "some Democrat politicians were mean to rural voters" it betrays any appearance of good faith or reasoned participation, and I likewise don't see how this conversation can advance productively.
It was clear from the context that I was talking about the Senate bias towards rural states, not the overall system.
> I'm not sure how to have a reasonable conversation if we're throwing out overt falsehoods.
Don't worry, I think the conversation has run its course. It seems we're in broad agreement about many things. I hope you'll call your Senators and Representative to express your support for the Freedom to Vote Act (especially if they are Republicans). It may not fix the Senate issue but it's a step in the right direction.
I'm surprised and not surprised that you think this is fine.
Republicans have been categorically attacking "city-dwellers" and murmuring about a cold civil war and reckoning from the heartland for nearly a decade. Cultural war between the disgraced and disenfranchised white rural male and urban establishment elites has literally been the defining leitmotif of Trump era populism, and that itself draws from the long-held Republican precept that only rural people possess or respect "authentic" American (read Christian and conservative) values.
Even the persecution complex Republicans have about that one time HRC said the "d" word is expressed, when it so often is, explicitly in terms of righteous anger by rural people against the urban elites. Whatever the Democrats may have done to alienate rural voters, the Republicans have more than doubled down on in their response.
And let's not even get into how often Republicans have attempted to delegitimize black urban activism as domestic terrorism. The Republican party has a long history of weaponizing fear of the Angry Black Man, and that is inextricably linked to anti-urban rhetoric.
This is certainly the impression one gets from the progressive media, but I don't think it bears out considering Trump's popularity among black and minority voters is quite high among Republican candidates in the last 20+ years. Similarly, 40% of women voted for Trump over a female candidate. Further, the media made a lot of hay making Trump out to be the scourge of immigrants (invoking lots of Nazi comparisons, esp 'concentration camps' and so on), but his policies were largely a continuation of Obama-era policies and he deported fewer immigrants than Obama.
I do agree that Trumpism opposes the cultural elite and I have many strong criticisms of Trump and his followers, but the gender/racial identity framing is entirely disingenuous.
> And let's not even get into how often Republicans have attempted to delegitimize black urban activism as domestic terrorism.
First of all, Republicans didn't deligitimize "black urban activism", they delegitimized "woke progressive activism" and the two aren't the same considering only a minority of blacks fall under the "woke progressive" monicker or support any of their policies. Woke progressives (including those in the media) try very hard to give the impression that the culture war is black vs white or male vs female, but it's largely progressives (and if anything, white progressive elites) against moderate liberals and conservatives. The racial component is small and whites and blacks and men and women share far more common ground than woke progressives would have you believe.
Secondly, per my previous post, whatever bad behavior you or I attribute to Republicans, it doesn't vindicate bad behavior by Democrats (nor do our attempts to minimize or whitewash Democratic bad behavior).
I'm clearly not arguing that "proportional representation is semantics"--that doesn't even make sense.
The more concerning problem is that the climate change initiatives are spending trillions on what amounts to a drop in the bucket. If we could muster the political will to pass carbon pricing legislation, we could actually generate revenue and carbon pricing is a far more effective way to combat climate change, but it's a bridge too far for fossil fuel companies (and their politicians) so we won't get that.
This is not true. Plenty of the $3.5 trillion is aimed at healthcare. Everything is still up for negotiation, but there are lots of provisions focused on health.
- Expanded Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing is in there .
- Lowering Medicare age to 60 .
- National paid leave .
- Negotiated drug prices .
> Economists believe that in 2030, the Clean Power Plan could save the country $20 billion in climate-related costs and deliver $14 billion to $34 billion in health benefits. The shift to energy efficiency and cleaner power will also save the average American family $85 on its electricity bills in 2030.
Similar effects are found for various similar things, like the Clean Air Act, and California's auto emission legistlation.
It would allow govt to negotiate drug prices which should ideally save money e.g. less tax increases needed for pay fors.
Perhaps amongst some other things like more obamacare subsidies.
But i'm sadly not super optimistic. I think biden's initial plan was huge knowing it would get negotiated down. But now we're being held hostage and it will probably get small....
I would also argue pre-k, food, expanding child tax credit are key to health too.
and climate change is too amorphous of a concept to muster enthusiastic support from a broad base of americans. the framing needs to be air and water pollution, the reduction of which (as others have pointed out) has significant health benefits across the board, rather than amorphous arguments about lower the temperature and saving some animal/plant species and habitats (which we should certainly try to save too, but we save them through framing for broad support).
The linked Reason article makes some libertarian arguments against Buy American clauses that if you know anything about libertarianism you can anticipate, but I am not a libertarian and personally think that more things should have Buy American clauses.
We've literally purchased so much vaccine that its free. We've pumped so much money into COVID19 that its ridiculous. Not only have we purchased free vaccines for everyone, we've also put in millions of orders of $2100 per dose monoclonal antibody treatments. That's billions-of-dollars of treatment.
It happened with a snap of the finger. We noticed we were running low on monoclonal antibodies (and they are a relatively safe and effective treatment for those who are inflicted with COVID19). Since we're running low on supply, Biden allocated money for it, and then billions poured in. A big purchase agreement was made, we'll have millions of doses ready in a month.
This process happened months ago as well (which is why we have monoclonal antibodies even with an unprecedented surge in COVID19 cases occurring across the USA). It probably will happen again as we prepare for the winter surge.
Those are also free, thanks to all the money the government thrown at it.
The fact of the matter is: free vaccines / free monoclonal antibodies / etc. etc. is not even a debate. Literally everyone agrees on it. So it happens, it happens so quickly no one even notices.
Only when a "debate" comes up will you ever hear about it in the news.
You'll also see it come up when poor planning causes a problem. We famously had the PPE shortage and needle shortage last year. (Can't inject vaccines unless you make more needles), but those were resolved rather quickly and seem to be forgotten about now. Money can't solve poor planning: people need to buy things months in advance so that they're ready in time for the emergency.
Private health insurance has its bribes paid up.
The corporations this bill has a negative impact on are pinning their hopes on Joe Manchin because they can't afford to bribe the entire Democratic party.
the cynical view is that plenty of people who can read are also economically invested in the existing system, while many people who do not read much, are fed those headlines
> More Government waste and handouts while the environment goes down the shittier
painful, true, agree
We haven't had much bipartisan support for anything since before the bush years really: https://www.businessinsider.com/animation-rise-partisanship-...
It was particularly intensified during the Obama administration where McConnell's stated intent was to pass nothing and make him a one term president, but he hardly invented the effect.
Sure, and they mean it. Its just that everyone means “both parties voting for my preferences” when they say “bipartisanship”.
Bipartisanship is a nice idea, but if two parties are ideologically opposed then sometimes no compromise is possible. The options in the U.S. to move legislation then become: use budget reconciliation and 50 votes plus the vice president, get rid of (or seriously reform) the filibuster, or wait for a 60-vote Senate supermajority. The latter happened in 2009 and lasted for a couple of weeks (it took a long time for Al Franken to be seated, and then Ten Kennedy died), and may never happen again in our lifetimes.
Did you ask this question about all the partisan bills passed by the GOP when they were in power? And if so, was the answer not the same?
> I don’t have any sources, but I thought a sizable segment of the voting public in the US favored bipartisanship.
In the abstract, yes. In reality, politicians get punished for failing to deliver on campaign promises and the GOP obstructs campaign promise success using any means possible. So its political suicide for a Democrat to rely on that. Which leads to:
> Just wishing we weren’t so polarized…. Also wishing I better understood what interests were pushing the polity towards polarized ideologies. I’m not convinced it’s a completely organic phenomenon (rather, that there are special interests benefiting from the polarization).
Yup. Its called oligarchy and its the real government model of the US at this stage. Polarization is really just two camps of rich people fighting it out with PR/political campaigns. More polarization leads to better viewing and better base turnout.
One group of rich people who think the rich should be taxed more, that climate change should be tackled, etc.
And one group of rich people who want lower taxes and to obstruct the first group.
A similar phenomenon. Polls show that everybody hates Congress, but everybody likes their own congresspeople.
That was a big one for bipartisanship, been like 20 years of presidents talked about it. Infrastructure week is here!!!
But beyond that I don't know.
McConnell explicitly said he will not allow Republican votes on the debt ceiling if Dems push for this bill.
That is INSANE imho. Even that thread is damaging.
I don't know if there is a solution given the huge differences that are growing.
From my perspective there is a not only a refusal to negotiate in good faith on the right but active attacks on Democracy. It's hard when a 30% of their constituents live in an alternate reality compared to the other 50+%. Politicians are attacking democracy and pushing dangerous racist/gender attacking social policy in their attempts to replace Trump (see DeSantis and Abbott).
A consequence of two party primary politics and the make up of the Senate. Leaders (on both sides) appease the small % that vote in a primary.
I view myself as a center left progressive (very left on climate, right on foreign policy like China) and the behavior of Republicans just seems completely incompatible with bipartisan governance or the absolute dire needs we have to at least try to address.
even on social issues, check out comments from last thread I can't believe we're still arguing over some of the beliefs that white men on this board still hold. And it seems the others feel so attacked and fragile that they lash out.
They feel the same about me/us.
I guess one way to view bipartisanship is when Rs get control back they will repeal the tax increases, while the popular expansion of child tax credits, medicare stay in place. Which just make it even more unaffordable. A kind of 'balance' but a dangerous one.
Whenever a government goes into debt to finance infrastructure the bean counters will tell you, no, you can't waste money like that. That infrastructure will only last 20-30 years. Future generations will be burdened by the roads, public transportation and clean energy infrastructure we have built for them.
The truth is that when you are doing something like an infrastructure investment, the people that are making sacrifices are people who could have worked on something more productive. Companies don't seem to care. If they are lacking labor they simply set up business in Asia. If the infrastructure bill hires unemployed people then the present net burden could even be negative.
Polls consistently show people favoring bipartisanship as long as it's the other side that has to compromise: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-much-do-americans-r...
I think EV conversions of regular passenger cars should also qualify for a tax credit. (Perhaps there should be a few minimum standards for safety and usefulness.) EV conversion is rarely done now because it's a lot of work and doesn't make financial sense given the cost of parts, labor, and custom engineering. However, if the costs were less it might be more of a thing. Especially if major manufacturers started selling kits that can be installed by a mechanic in a reasonably short amount of time. This could create a lot of jobs.
Some other things I think we should be looking at are establishing some pilot projects and mechanical and electrical standards for electrified highways. EVs would be a lot more attractive and less expensive if people could drive cross-country without lugging around 800 pounds of batteries and instead could recharge at regular intervals while they're moving at freeway speeds on major interstate highways. The benefits for long-haul trucking would also be enormous.
Something else to look at is establishing high-capacity transcontinental high-voltage DC lines so we can buy and sell renewable power internationally. If we can sell surplus solar energy to Asia and Europe during our day and buy solar energy from the Sahara during our night, then we wouldn't need to spend so much on grid-scale battery arrays.
Saves one character and leaves room for the near-certainty that there will be larger spending bills in the coming decades.