Are Dems Incapable of Defending Democracy? Or Just Unwilling?

Are Dems Incapable of Defending Democracy? Or Just Unwilling?


As a reminder, this subreddit [is for civil discussion.](/r/politics/wiki/index#wiki_be_civil) In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don't attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, **any** advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban. If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them. For those who have questions regarding any media outlets being posted on this subreddit, please click [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/wiki/approveddomainslist) to review our details as to our approved domains list and outlet criteria. *** *I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/politics) if you have any questions or concerns.*


About 5-10% are unwilling. That makes the other 90-95% incapable.


“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” \- John Stuart Mill


It’s more like about 1/3rd don’t want to and are okay with 5% taking the heat because they have no problem flaunting it.


the largest number anyone has come out with has been 10, and that was an aide that may not know what they're talking about. 10/50 is not 1/3, but 1/5.


Pretty much. Just enough aren't willing to do anything, and that's enough.


I'd buy that if there were a parade of Democrats speaking in WV, and Biden would even mention Manchin or Sinema by name. Heed the question in the title. The leadership provably conspired against a real progressive, and now they want this laundry list of highly progressive legislation? After 30 years of neoliberalism? And they won't fight for them? They just like being able to pay lip service to these things without angering the donors that put them and the Republicans in office.


Same shit different stripes. Corporate democrats are a big problem and a hindrance to any progressive legislation. The difference between them and their republican friends is, I dunno, stuff most of us don't give a shit about. The class battle has been won by the rich. We have a blossoming aristocracy in this country and none can deny that.


Sad part is that our constitutionally mandated electoral system not only inevitably leads to this (2 minimally responsive parties, beholden to special interests), it prohibits any electoral solution. Both parties would have to vote not only to undo masses of legislation they passed against 3rd party access, they'd have to agree to alter the constitution to allow proportional representation, or something similar to break the duopoly. Anyone who believes *either* party would ever vote to lessen their own legislative influence is a true believer beyond help.


I think it's worse than this. The donor class all wants the same thing regardless if it's GOP or DNC. Problem is, they know they need to maintain a sensible option or else a progressive party will arise. So, just always convince JUST enough Democrats to side with Republicans. Once the GOP becomes the only party standing, it'll be much cheaper to bribe politicians. It'll be 50% off overnight. Fascism (in the since of corporate governance) will be solidified.




Democrats and Republicans hate democracy, that's why they love the way the US is run right now. Could you imagine their horror if the working class had a say?


Is this a trick question? The answer is both!




> Biden should pull out all the stops to win over Manchin and Sinema: offer them any inducements that he has available—and threaten them with severe punishments for not toeing the party line. So what "severe punishments" can Biden actually threaten them with, that he hasn't? Articles like this all work backwards from the assumption that Manchin/Biden aren't toeing the line because Biden isn't making them. Maybe they aren't toeing the line because Biden doesn't have the leverage to make them? The author certainly hasn't suggested anything concrete Biden could do.


> So what "severe punishments" can Biden actually threaten them with, that he hasn't? Getting the party to fund primary challengers who agree with the party platform... That's pretty basic, incredibly damaging to those two, and completely legal and doable.


> Getting the party to fund primary challengers who agree with the party platform... > > That's pretty basic, incredibly damaging to those two, and completely legal and doable. Except Manchin is standing down at the end of this term - he has no fear of being primaried


you could still dangle a super progressive candidate in front of him. i bet you his pride wouldn't allow him to stand idly by as his seat gets "defiled" by some progressive


It's highly unlikely a progressive candidate could win his seat.


They can't really threaten, Manchin may not run again & he could switch parties whenever he feels like. He has to be bribed, that piece of shit


Yeah but that exposes a major flaw. Many democrats are fed up with the system and literally only vote out of fear. What actual influence do you think JB would have over something like that. He doesn't have a cult following like cheeto boy, in fact he is mostly there because he is not cheeto boy.


I mean, sure it is a flaw... but they have no other way to win elections. Since the troublesome senators only care about themselves and money, how do you deal with them? Threatening their selves and their money. Its the best we can do in a legal democracy. The only problem is that most elected dem senators don't actually care enough to put enough pressure on those two to actually get anything done... which is another major flaw in the party.


I'm sure there are more than a few D senators that dont want to see the party platform succeed and are happy Manchin and Sinema prevent it from passing while they dont have to take the blame for voting against it.


This. You can quote me: There will always be a conveint excuse for inaction. We essentially are the same as we were before JB, as he promised his donors" nothing would fundamentally change". That's double speak for: all us rich people are benefiting from the dysfunction of the system, don't worry I don't plan to change anything". The fact that he agreed to only " think" about progressive policies (to get votes) while also knowing progressive policy would mean his biggest supporters lose money, let's me know he is the swamp. But rainbows and racism are what campaigns are run on and the Orange Cheeto man is gone! We win! Except we don't... because it won't, because rainbows and racism are inconsequential when you're facing actual facism disguised as democracy.


Well that’s a problem many in this sub have. “The blue no matter who” sycophants pretty much guarantee you get a shitty Dem party instead of one capable of governing effectively


> Getting the party to fund primary challengers who agree with the party platform... That might work for Sinema, but it's not gonna affect Manchin. He knows no one like that can come close to winning in West Virginia - Paula Jean Swearingen received just 27% of the vote in 2020.


Manchin also plans on retiring at the end of his term. His moves now are to secure a cushy oil lobby gig, not help Americans.


Oil lobby? As opposed to...the coal lobby?


I mean... pick one?


> Paula Jean Swearingen received just 27% of the vote in 2020. And if the DNC supported her she'd have been a hell of a lot closer.


No amount of support makes up for a 40% loss.


41% does...


So you think the "DNC" can just rig the election and give Swearingen "41%" more votes?


I just dont understand why you think the result wouldnt be different if the DNC supported the challenger and not the incumbent. You said "no support makes up for 40%" which is obviously not true. I was pointing out how ridiculous it is by saying 41% would be enough, obviously any number larger than 40% would be...


Support from the DNC doesn't mean votes.


Thats a fantasy that doesn't make sense. Lets look at the current situation: Joe Manchin will and has laughed off any such primary challenge in WV. Good luck finding someone with Joe's appeal in a deep red state that Biden lost by double digits. Furthermore, Joe Manchin might not even be running for re-election opting instead to go for Governor. He can do this like Jim Justice did by switching from Democratic to GOP. Kyrsten Sinema has already committed political suicide. Any politician with an understanding of the electorate would already have been concerned with *half* the clown act Sinema has put on. She clearly doesn't care about being re-elected or is too stupid to understand that she isn't going to get GOP voters for her brave stand against poor people or her support of the filibuster and she's bleeding Democratic voters. What pressure is Biden going to have against these two?


> Joe Manchin will and has laughed off any such primary challenge in WV. Because he had the full support of the DNC... If the DNC funds a primary challenger, it's a completely different ball game.


No, it's not. Funds don't equal magic.


Game that scenario out, what was the result be? Two more Republican senators.


Sinema voted to convict Trump. She would essentially be forfeiting a political career after 2024 if she switched sides. Her only path forward is as a Democrat.


Not to mention they only vote for leadership every 2 years. If they both switched to R today, it wouldnt effect the Senate leader until the 2022 vote. It would just mean their next elections they get to be "democrats" running on the R ticket, guess how likely they are to make it out of the republican primary. No republicans are going to vote for former democrats that stood against trump. It would be career suicide for either to try and win a republican primary.


I really dont understand why people think those voters are voting for Democrats and want them to have Republican postions... There's been multiple times just this year that Manchin has opposed the party until another Democrat goes to WV and explains to his voters what Manchin is stopping. Then the voters call for Manchin to side with the party and he does it.


I don't understand why you think West Virginia voters who overwhelmingly voted for Trump *doesn't* want Republican positions.




I don't think there's super strong evidence that Kamala's trip to WV swayed joe significantly.


I mean except the timeline: 1. Manchin went against the party. 2. Harris goes to WV and explains to his voters what Manchin is stopping. 3. WV voters demand Manchin side with the party. 4. Manchin sides with the party while saying it had nothing to do with Harris showing up. He's only saying it didnt matter because he doesnt want it to keep happening.


Manchin was going to side with the party anyway. Manchin almost always comes home when he's the remaining vote. Your issue is that you're thinking Manchin (and to a lesser degree, sinema) are the reason things are gummed up when in reality there's at least 5 more democrats who think the same on HR1 and the infra bill. If it was just Manchin, he'd fold like he always has.


> Manchin was going to side with the party anyway. Manchin almost always comes home when he's the remaining vote. Tell that to HR 1...


Post hoc ergo propter hoc.


What's the alternative? Why did Manchin insist he couldnt support the platform because his voters wouldnt want him to when his voters really insisted he follow the party platform? Did Manchin just conveniently change his mind about what his voters wanted? Lets hear an actual alternative instead of just taking Manchin on his word when it doesnt match with reality.


How should I know why Manchin voted how he did? Similarly, how should *you* know? I'm just saying correlation isn't causation so something coming before another thing doesn't mean the first thing is the cause of the second thing.


Can you name an example of what you’re describing?


It looks like they're talking about Manchin's initial refusal to back Biden's Covid relief legislation until [VP Harris did interviews](https://climatechangedispatch.com/sen-manchin-lashes-out-after-kamalas-wv-interview-i-couldnt-believe-it/) on WV TV to pressure Manchin.


Ah ok that makes sense, thank you


Do you think a liberal is going to win West Virginia? Manchin is what we have, and it is a blessing that we have him Maybe we should find policies people vote for


Or Biden doesn't want to.


>So what "severe punishments" can Biden actually threaten them with, that he hasn't? Ask corn pop


The GOP has the power to make their caucus fall in line, if the DNC can’t do the same they’ll always be at a disadvantage.


The GOP has that power because they're a cult to Trump. The Democrats are not a cult for Biden. Also the GOP doesn't really have that power either. John McCain humiliated McConnell with his thumbs down, and 2-3 Republican senators voted for many Democratic nominations and bills in 2009 - one even defected to the Dems and became the 60th vote to pass the Affordable Care Act.


They voted as a bloc before Trump too. There are exceptions sure, but they are way more cohesive than the dems. Not saying it’s right, but it is how they operate.


The GOP fell in line with GOP plays before trump. You cannot attribute this to Trump.


You are literally replying to a comment citing two specific examples to prove that they didn't.


You're pointing to 2 events and claiming a trend that's counter to observed events.


The GOP voted as a bloc way before Trump and Democratic Presidents have gotten their agenda railroaded by rogue actors in their own party for years and you can go back to Lieberman in 09 to watch a young Obama have the same issue. The thing is the GOP has no problem ostracizing those who get out of line. The DNC has given Manchin and Sinema the incentive to feel like they can dictate policy


>if the DNC can’t do the same they’ll always be at a disadvantage. How can they do that? Explain that in concrete terms.


Biden can break the law as he pleases, as proven by Donald Trump, who will never face punishment of any kind. Biden should be breaking laws and then letting the courts try to stop him. He has the power to delay the courts until his presidency is over. Biden could explicitly bribe them, or he could get in touch with the senators' local police forces and bribe them to harass the senators until they give in. Sure, these are terrible things to do, but they are just the most extreme possible examples that he would never be punished for. There are more subtle things a President can do (legally and illegally) that are not being tried at all. The stakes are absolutely that high that this is a serious consideration. Biden is up against the Nazi party.


You forget Regan, Bush Sr and Jr.


> Biden can break the law If Biden do that are we really under the illusion that pundits like this writer wouldn't be riling against him for being "authoritarian and just as bad as Trump"? > There are more subtle things a President can do (legally and illegally) that are not being tried at all. Maybe, my point is that no one seems to be able to describe any of these things.


they aren't subtle and they aren't illegal. They're called Executive Orders, and POTUS's have been abusing them for decades. Biden doesn't want to, he wants to try to legislate first, because he has the House and Senate, but it turns out the Senate is just too narrow for the Dems to get much done.


Any severe penalties that the Schumer and the Democrats might try to impose on Manchin or Sinema risks them switching parties and giving the Senate to Mitch McConnell.


Right. Schumer and Biden were there when the Dems got Arlen Specter to change parties in 2009 and cast several pivotal 60th votes. I'll bet they'd be particularly definitely mindful of being on the receiving end themselves.


Sinema is vulnerable to a primary, Manchin could lose committee seats and seniority, Biden could call on Schumer publicly to raise the issue. Or he could call them and tell them to support the things he wants passed if he actually wanted them passed, which worked for every other president


> So what "severe punishments" can Biden actually threaten them with, that he hasn't? He hasn't threatened them with _anything_. "We've done nothing and we're out of ideas!"


If you would have told me prior to 2016 that the democrats are paid to lose I would have said your crazy. Now though. Watching democratic leadership go out of their way to protect Trump. Whether that was by only issuing strongly worded letters instead of subpoenas or not even enforcing the subpoenas they did issue, I really believe democratic leadership is told by the donor-class to let the GOP walk all over them.




I would say both! We have 2 Dems that vote lockstep with the GOP. Until there is a true majority, the GOP will continue to destroy democracy. This is fascism, people! Wake the fuck up!


Both, apparently.






Actually a good thread. Congratulations, posters. This is a woefully slow process, of the U.S. Congress and the House of Representatives slowly responding to 1 6 2021. It is just a matter of time. Even some states are capable of thrashing around a bit. Take even Texas, California, New York, Arizona, and Georgia.


Incapable. The republicans changed the way that American politics worked decades ago, and the Democrats still haven’t figured it out. All they need to do is copy the republican tactics and strategies, “monkey see, monkey do” and the republican “party” (that’s right, they’re a fucking terrorist organization now, not a political party) would have been a thing of the past long before we ever got to donald fucking trump.


At the end of the day both republican and democrat politicians are rich. Republican policies all gargle the balls of wealth. Republican leaders are single mindedly focused on their own self-interest, while dems are eternally split between their own ideology and, "oops we lost, guess I'm richer now." They're always more tepid in pushing their policies as a result, and this bullshit is slowly killing the country.


Democratic leadership is lazy. They are banking on Republicans being so token evil that even their extreme suppression laws don't fix the alienation a continuing extremist group experiences. Why work when your opponent doesn't come off as a threat? This will of course backfire and hard in only a few years. Democracy won't die, but it will once again be tested in civil bloodshed. I keep hoping that something will change but it appears with each passing day, that war of some kind is all but inevitable.


So Republicans are evil and Democrats are (as a party) incompetent. Can we stop hyper-focusing on the two-party system now and get back to talking about what the US should do in order to broaden the amount of options people have when voting?


Dems don't want anything beyond the status quo. Manchin is doing exactly what the Party wants. This is pure theater.


Dems need to stop being pushovers




I mean it's not really an either/or, rather it's cause and effect. Dems are incapable of defending democracy because they are unwilling to do so. ​ Fucking nightmare of a midterm upcoming...


Oh, c'mon, you oughta at least try to look forward to what might be the last election in our lifetimes /s


Knee jerk reaction to the title and the idiotic comments: Since the biggest attacks on democracy come from Republicans who cannot win an election without suppressing voters, outright cheating, or attempting to overthrow a legitimate results of an election with an armed insurrection, Democrats are the only ones who *are* defending democracy. If you don't like it, try actually supporting democracy rather than attempting to install a dictatorship sitting atop a banana republic. Reaction after reading the article: Yep, just enough moderates to stymie measures to prevent unconstitutional voter suppression that would likely never be overturned by the current Supreme Court. The filibuster is a double edged sword. It has prevented some atrocious legislation that would have really hurt the public. It has also been used to prevent some extremely beneficial legislation that would have helped millions out of poverty and gone a lot further to address systemic racism. The prevention of voter suppression has broad, bipartisan public support. Getting Congressional Republicans to vote against the very laws their party is scrambling to institute to cheat Trump back into office isn't going to happen. Pretending otherwise is idiotic and intentionally blind. The moderates of the Democratic party are not doing the American people any favors right now.


this too many defeatists/doomsayers in this thread


Everything is always the dems fault! Republicans ruining the country by being racists and cancelling unemployment benefits while throwing more people off of medicare/medicaid? That's IT don't for the democrat! LMAO


Oh so you're saying Joe Manchin is no longer a problem and is willing to pass necessary legislation? That's great news!


Some are unwilling which makes the rest incapable because there is not a majority in the Senate that wants to protect democracy.




Cute coming from the rag that spent years defending Putin


America is a duopoly where there are only two realistic contenders: Democrat or Republican. If Republicans are destroying anything it isn't democracy. They are getting in the way of your right to vote Democrat. The Democratic Party is not concerned with your right to vote for whomever you want but rather your right to vote Democrat in perpetuity. Try coming to this sub during the mid-terms and saying you'll vote third party and you'll get a taste of how much here people care about this so-called democracy that they're defending.


The left wing have always been catastrophically inept and universally incapable of acting as a united front. They just don’t want it as much as the right-wing do, and are never willing to do what needs to be done in order to achieve their goals. They’ll forever be mired in prevarication and in-fighting, and are never going to succeed long-term in defending the people from right-wing, authoritarian rule. All it takes to be a democratic representative is a solid grasp on current social trends and a social media presence, unfortunately the left have repeatedly elected people based on how “nice” or “good” they are, not how competent.


Shit title Republicans are actively destroying Democracy but let’s put the blame on all Democrats because of 2 of them


The two who are taking the blame are just the lightning rod. There are plenty of others who just hide behind their ‘moderate’ vote knowing their progressive votes won’t matter. Blaming Manchin/Sinema while excusing the party as a whole is like saying the only problem with the GOP is McConnell.


This is a big problem with political reporting: GOP gets a total pass for all of its shit whether they are in power or not in power.


Unwilling; in no way, shape or form are they incapable.


Manchin(R) ... Sinema(R) ... who?


Republicans are actively attacking our federal government literally and all these pieces of shit have to say is that it's the democrats fault for not stopping them.


Incapable. The Rs have corrupted both the system and the process the system uses to correct itself, and now we are likely in a democracy death spiral. Honestly my biggest hope now is that when the Rs (cheat to) win again and turn America into something out of the Handmaid's Tale that the blue states protect their citizens and rebel. Balkanization is the only way I can see out of this Republican-led forced march to Hell on Earth now. Though, because the new fascist America would certainly worsen climate change and cause mass exodus from places like Florida, they probably won't be able to keep control for long.


Unwilling. Sinema is a republican. Stop calling her a democrat. She’s a paid off Green Party spoiler.


What are they supposed to do bully manchin? Disinvite him from the lunch table?


Are Republicans capable of keeping themselves from sliding into fascism? Or just unwilling? I didn't realize it was the Dems job, alone, to govern the country and protect it from the anti-democratic neo-nazis that rebranded themselves as the "alt-right". Their burden alone, not like the people or other republicans could help some.


If they were either democracy would have died a long time ago.




Most of them don't think a "Christian" Theocracy is a bad idea.


Yes. Yes, they are.




Where did that happen? Voter fraud is highly illegal, so where did millions of people commit voter fraud, and how exactly did they do it?


Well there were a few cases where Trump supporters voted as their dead spouse or family member to throw an extra vote to Trump but I don’t recall seeing any for the dems.


They read it in a meme, remember if it isn't in meme form it isn't "real" news.


Some people illegally voted twice for Trump but it definitely wasn’t millions


> [...] allowing millions of illegal votes to just pour in. This is misinformation.


Citation needed


Undocumented immigrants won't go to the police when they're victimized; won't go to the hospital when sick or injured; won't use banks; yet somehow, they're all somehow fine going to the polls every 4 years and somehow voting despite not being on any rolls. Sure thing.


Whatever you say, bot