Democratic lawmakers, strategists, and ordinary supporters are growing increasingly frustrated by the liberal party’s inability to make sweeping legislative change amid intransigent resistance by Republicans and political infighting among its ranks, Politico reports, citing party operatives.
“It’s just frustration,” Kelly Dietrich, a former Democratic Party fundraiser and founder of a national programme engaged in the training of Democratic candidates, told the outlet, saying that even “realists” like herself would like to see changes “move faster.”
Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, a Democrat-aligned political action, echoed the sentiment, saying “a lot of people are jaded” and want lawmakers to “actually start to move some stuff.”
Simpson suggested that the party has “flatlined” since the passage of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill in the spring, and that there was “no real significant change that we can see for anything else on the horizon.” The PAC operative warned that the lack of progress “hurts the energy” and “momentum” of the party ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
One strategist who was not named warned that the Democrats would be “f***ed in the midterms” if they didn’t “get s*** done soon.”
Using the 50/50 Senate split and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s tendency to vote against his own party on numerous issues to their advantage, Republicans have managed to torpedo, significantly weaken or otherwise alter major Democratic legislative efforts on issues including gun control, police reform, and a sweeping elections bill known as the "For the People Act," which the GOP fears may cause the party to lose power forever in many jurisdictions.
Republicans have also forced the Democrats to whittle down Joe Biden’s signature $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending bill to $1.7 trillion, cutting out hundreds of billions in what they have suggested is unnecessary spending. A bipartisan group of senators confirmed on Wednesday that they had reached a deal on a “framework” for the bill. Biden announced Thursday that he agreed with the group’s proposals.
Rank-and-file Democrats are also reportedly growing increasingly disenchanted with their party and the president, with 32 percent of those self-affiliating with the party agreeing with the sentiment that America is "on the wrong track" in polling conducted earlier this month, up from just 12 percent who felt that way in April.
Some on the party’s progressive wing have expressed their frustration over its willingness to reach out across the aisle on some issues, with Democratic Congressman and Squad member Jamaal Bowman openly attacking Manchin, hailing him as the “new Mitch McConnell,” in reference to the Republican Senate Minority Leader.
The party has also faced growing criticism from forces to the left of the Squad, including disenchanted Bernie Sanders supporters like political commentator Jimmy Dore, who has spent months blasting Democrats from failing to force a vote on medicare for all in January, and hitting out at Biden over his continued pursuit of US military aggression overseas following the bombing of Syria.