Sunday, April 25, 2021

100 Days: Great But Not Good Enough

Given everything about where we're at, it was inevitable: the first 100 days of the Biden administration have been great (compared to the past four years!) but they are nowhere near good enough.

It's an odd feeling. In some ways, they've been better than I expected in our current reality (oh yes, I know it could have gone much worse), but it's still disappointing and you could see it coming if you look back at some of the things that were written about what Biden needed to do. Yes, Manchin and Sinema, blah blah, we know that. But some in leadership are still dithering beyond those two, as if they think Republicans will ever "work across the aisle." As if they don't know Republicans have moved beyond being the Party of No — that's just Mitch McConnell. They're now the Party of No One But Us Should Be in Government.

David Perry @lollardfish got me thinking about this today. I wasn't planning to do anything about the 100 days thing. But he's right: obviously, the vaccine rollout and COVID rescue plan passing were excellent, and the introduction of the infrastructure bill is good so far. There are many other good beginnings, and not to mention just the relief of not worrying so much about who's being appointed to lifetimes of bad decisions. 

But the work on saving democracy from the minoritarian Right is weak tea and the Right is getting more entrenched in those efforts every day that passes.

January 6 and its immediate aftermath were a narrow window of opportunity that's fading, even without the full-court-press underway from the Right's PR machine to fake it away and keep telling us the 2020 election was stolen, as they are right now in Arizona with their bizarro recount. (Did you hear about that? There are almost no words to describe how bad that situation is.) And as they introduce bills in dozens of state legislatures to restrict voting, purge the rolls, and control the certification process.

We need to protect the right to vote nationwide, and we need to have a country that's a representative democracy or a democratic republic — but for either of those, you need free and fair elections by the people in all places. Including places that aren't considered states, like D.C. for sure, and Puerto Rico if they want to be a state. Gerrymandering needs to be done away with, so you don't get legislatures like Wisconsin's. The Electoral College — which is essentially a gerrymander — needs to be made irrelevant, one way or another as well. 

We can't be a country run by an ever-dwindling percent of the population. And the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress need to do everything in their power to make sure that doesn't happen.

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