Biden Should Have Let Pelosi Take The Heat

[ Posted Monday, June 28th, 2021 – 15:07 UTC ]

President Joe Biden made a political mistake, last week. Thankfully, it looks like he has rectified it with the right people, meaning it will not be a major stumbling block in the continuing negotiations over his hoped-for bipartisan infrastructure deal with a group of moderate Republican senators. Biden walked his error back, and everyone sounded placated a few days later, and now the process is back on track once again. So far so good. But Biden never needed to get out in front of this issue in the first place, because Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had already volunteered to take all the political heat. Which is precisely what Biden will now allow her to do, and what he really should have done from the start.

The trouble erupted right after the deal was publicly announced. Everyone has known all along (don't believe the fake Republican histrionics now, they knew just as well as everyone else) that there would be two bills. The first was designed to gain GOP support so everyone could bask in the wonderful glow of bipartisanship. "Kumbaya" would be sung at the signing ceremony, and all of that sort of thing. The second piece of legislation was designed from the start to contain all the things Biden thought no Republican would ever vote for (higher taxes on high-income earners, social spending, etc.). The only real question was how much of the first bill would have to be shifted to the second one. Republicans drove a pretty stingy bargain, coming up with a magic definition of "infrastructure" that they insisted everyone must swear allegiance to. So a lot got shifted to the second bill. These bills were always designed to pass in tandem, as two legs of a three-legged "Biden economic agenda" stool (the third leg, the COVID relief bill, already passed).

So the deal was announced. The GOP would deign to accept $579 billion in new spending, down from the $2.25 trillion Biden had sought. But the problem among Democrats is that progressives are worried (and not without cause) that if the bipartisan bill passes, their own members (Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, for the most part) would balk at voting for it. This would have left only a two-legged stool at the end of the day -- which progressives (and Joe Biden) do not consider a viable outcome. The quandary was how to ensure Manchin's and Sinema's votes on the partisan bill if the bipartisan bill had already passed.

And then Nancy Pelosi stepped in and provided the perfect answer. She would not introduce the bipartisan bill for a House vote until the Senate also delivered the partisan second bill. Period. This perfectly and brilliantly fixed the problem progressives were having.

But then, a few hours later, Joe Biden needlessly inserted himself into this elegant solution, and in answer to a question said that both bills must be passed "in tandem" or he wouldn't sign the first one.

If you take Pelosi at her word, however, this never could have happened -- because the bipartisan bill would never make it through the House without the second bill being inextricably linked to it. Biden would just never face the choice of signing one without the other, because Pelosi would have made sure it never happened that way.

Biden interjecting himself into this political fight (for no real reason other than to send the progressive Democrats a strong message of support) distracted all the Republicans and the news media for days. Even yesterday, on the political morning shows, everyone's focus was completely on Biden and the Republican senators -- Pelosi's name either never came up or came up briefly, in passing.

That will not last long, now that Biden has walked his remarks back. Republicans like Mitch McConnell are already training their sights on Pelosi, in fact. Here's what McConnell had to say about it today:

Unless [Senate Majority] Leader [Chuck] Schumer and [House] Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi walk back their threats, then President Biden's walk-back of his veto threat would be a hollow gesture.... I appreciate the president saying that he's willing to deal with infrastructure separately. But he doesn't control the Congress. The speaker and the majority leader of the Senate will determine the order.

He's right about that, and he should be -- because he has personally used this particular trick so many hundreds of times in the past.

So the process will happen thusly (barring unforeseen events): the Senate will pass the bipartisan bill and send it to the House. Pelosi will say, "Thanks," and then promptly sit on it. Bernie Sanders will then write the second bill, and the Senate will pass that on a 51-50 partisan vote. When the second bill gets to the House, Pelosi will introduce them almost simultaneously (both votes will likely happen on the same day), and the two measures will pass and be sent to the Oval Office. Biden will sign them, and everyone will move on.

The only real question (assuming everything works out this smoothly -- which, to be fair, is in no way guaranteed) is how long it will all take. Schumer has promised, very recently, that both bills will get a floor vote in July. The Senate will pass them before their obscenely-long August summer vacation begins. The leverage of "nobody's going home until this is done" might be enough to convince Manchin and Sinema to get on board, at the last moment. If that happens, Pelosi will pass them immediately -- even if she has to call the House members back from their own vacations, if that's what it takes.

Biden can sign both at the end of July or start of August, and Democrats can get down to the serious business of running for the 2022 midterms with the wind beneath their sails.

That is an incredibly ambitious timeline, so I will be watching like a hawk for any signs of slippage in this process. If it does work out, that will be fantastic, but betting on Congress moving smoothly and in a timely fashion is a pretty foolish thing to do even in the best of times.

Throughout it all, from the passage of the first bill to the passage of the second (no matter how long it takes -- and it could easily slip into "months"), Nancy Pelosi will be taking incoming fire from McConnell and the GOP. But you know what? Nancy Pelosi is a political street-fighter from Baltimore who grew up learning politics literally at her daddy's knee, so I'm not too concerned about her ability to take the heat. She'll do so proudly, and wear it as a badge of honor. If McConnell gets too annoying, Pelosi can just laugh in his face about his pleas for the other house of Congress to pass bills, because she sent him hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of such bills, which McConnell promptly ignored forever. So he really has no leg to stand on and the best person to point this out is, you guessed it: Nancy Pelosi.

Joe Biden was never going to face the hypothetical situation he described. Pelosi would never do that to him. Which she had plainly already stated. So his entry into the fray was no more than a gigantic distraction. Thankfully, this tempest in a teapot burned out fairly quickly and we can all move on again.

Sit back, Joe. Let Nancy take the heat. She's up to it, and she's eager for this fight. Any further questions to Biden should be directed to Pelosi herself so Biden doesn't have to interject himself into a purely congressional political fight. Just let Pelosi take the heat -- because she is ready, willing, and able to do so.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


60 Comments on “Biden Should Have Let Pelosi Take The Heat”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Damn ... that's pretty disappointing.

  2. [2] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    That she's better at politics than he is?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think they are both good at politics. They just have a different way of getting things done.

    I was trying to be a bit sarcastic, anticipating yet another MDDOTW handout. Ahem.

  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    ...and Democrats can get down to the serious business of running for the 2022 midterms with the wind beneath their sails.

    I think "wind BENEATH" should refer to "wind beneath my wings," not sails.

    The Metaphor Police

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yep, Joe made an unforced error. But all it did was give right-wing media a couple of days off from braying about "critical race theory."

    Considering Joe's history of gaffes this is no big deal.

  6. [6] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Not to worry, Elizabeth. My sources tell me Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have reserved the MDDOTW "awards"for the rest of the summer.

  7. [7] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'll believe that when I read it.

  8. [8] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i nominate andrew cuomo for that "honor"

  9. [9] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    LizM [3],

    I think they are both good at politics.

    Maybe so, but dead heats are rare.

    anticipating yet another MDDOTW handout

    Well, technically he screwed that up last week so you should be OK. OTOH, it's disappointing that he's dropping bombs in countries with which we are not at war.

  10. [10] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm too hot to care about dropping bombs in those places. Sorry.

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    In fact, with Biden in charge, I don't have to care about anything US-related anymore and, I'm lovin' it!

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    care means worry, really

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I will always care! Well, you know what I mean ... I'm done.

  14. [14] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    Orange Jr looks like maybe he's going through some things in his latest ill-advised, incoherent video.

  15. [15] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    it doesn't really matter what it "looks like." acolytes of the cult of personality could watch the whole family strip naked and take a dump in the woods, and call it a "bold statement on the decline of national park facilities." that's just how they roll.


  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Copy that. Remember, our Military-Industrial Complex has great influence on American politics, and they can't sell more bombs unless we, you know, use some up.

  17. [17] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    It's completely unclear to me what the MAGAt death cult's delusions have to do with Cyrus Vance and his project's effect on Jr.

  18. [18] 
    John From Censornati wrote:

    That cavalier attitude about bombing other countries is exactly why the Dems don't get my votes. Drive off just enough people like me and we'll end up with President DeSantis. Same difference. Who cares?

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @jfc [18],

    if that's truly the case, it's not too far from where you are to where don is. all you need is a plan to get all the underwear, and then... profit!

    not saying that's actually the case, just pointing out the [admittedly fallacious] slippery slope.


  20. [20] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    if that's truly the case, it's not too far from where you are to where don is

    Since you were not clear, I'm assuming that you're referring to the last four words in my comment which were sarcastically referring to the "I don't care" attitude expressed by others. I obviously do care. The difference between Death Harris and JFC is that I don't delusionally believe that I have the answer. I just won't vote for a party that is so committed to war without end.

    If you'd been paying attention to me all along, you'd know that it's nothing new. I'm not a Democrat and I don't vote (D) most of the time and I never vote (R). I voted for Biden only because of the orange one.

    I didn't vote for Gore, King George W, Kerry, Obomber, McCain, Rmoney, HilRod, or Florida Man.

    Of course, because of our undemocratic system of electing our officials, it rarely if ever matters if I vote at all. But like I said, all the Dems need to do is drive off a few people who are repelled by endless, pointless war and they are out.

  21. [21] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i was referring to the entire post. just because you haven't yet accepted and devoted yourself to the gospel of pie, doesn't mean your rejection of other forms of pastry is meaningless.

    The US has always been a bit violent - sadly, the MIC is more a reflection of us than we are of it. so if you're going to be a one-issue voter, it'd make more sense to have public discourse on that issue by itself, without tying it to 3rd party voting, which in our system is essentially non-voting.

    If you REALLY want your vote to count more, find a swing district in a swing state, and be politically active there. lest you think i'm being hypocritical about it, in september of 2004 that's actually something i did.


    you don't have to explain how "lost in space" you are, everybody already knows. my references to culture and logic were intended for JFC, i.e. someone who i thought might understand them.

    read a book!


  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    ah, pardon. that was supposed to have a link attached.

    read a book!


  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    That cavalier attitude about bombing other countries is exactly why the Dems don't get my votes. Drive off just enough people like me and we'll end up with President DeSantis. Same difference. Who cares?


    Dial down the Sophistication of my SARCASM for John From Censornati

  24. [24] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    The US has always been a bit violent

    More than a bit and it includes the (D)s. You should have noticed that I didn't blame the MIC. It/they are not the problem. "We" are. In other words, my issue is with (D) voters as much as with (D) politicians.

    if you're going to be a one-issue voter

    Ever heard of the straw that broke the camel's back? War w/o end is not the only problem with the Dems. It's just where the too much money goes that could be better spent elsewhere.

    without tying it to 3rd party voting, which in our system is essentially non-voting

    A vote that doesn't really count is not a lot different from non-voting.

    find a swing district in a swing state, and be politically active there.

    It's not completely clear what you mean by that. I won't be moving to another state so that I can feel like my vote counts "more". I'm old and disabled and have limited resources. I can't even retire. If you mean motivating others with money and phone calls, I don't agree that that would make any difference at all to my vote.

  25. [25] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    You know what? I was the one who pointed out what you meant by your Jewish village SARCASM. Sophistication? Sure.

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i moved to another state, and volunteered for a campaign there. i know not everyone can; i just mean that who you vote for is only a very small part of an individual's potential political activity. while in that state i also vote-traded with a friend in a not-so-swingin' state. i didn't like the democratic candidate, so she voted 3rd party in exchange for me voting democrat.


  27. [27] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    the logic reference is the slippery slope, which is the logical fallacy of presuming what might happen if an argument were taken to its most extreme form. in this case, i applied it to JFC's point of view on 3rd party voting, which is to say, acknowledging the reason why my own argument wasn't logically sound.

    the cultural reference was the underwear gnomes, which are characters in south park that have become an internet meme. it applies to your attempts to form a political movement, because you seem fully convinced of the soundness of your plan, in spite of some glaring omissions.

    Read a book!


  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    you asked, so i answered. if you aren't satisfied with the answers, it must be tuesday.


  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:



    I have been dwelling here in CW's comments section for 2+ years now and have observed that YOU REFUSE TO "ENGAGE" IN ARGUMENTS AGAINST your silly not-well-thought-out OD. And it's not like even C.R. Stucki disagrees with the notion that Big Money© is a cancer on our Constitutional Republic. So NO ONE disagrees with you in that regard. We just don't see how OD fixes that problem.

    Telling me to "Look it up" [your arguments for] is NOT "engaging" in a discussion about OD.

    Why should ANYONE have to go through that hassle? It's ON YOU to change minds, hello?

    And it's not like anyone (including myself) haven't tried to address OD. You simply REFUSE TO MAKE THIS CASE FOR OD.

    So, on behalf of Weigantia, kindly fuck off and die. And trouble us no more unless you can "bring something to the table."

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Do you copy?

    Either put up or shut up.

  31. [31] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Wow, calling someone a coward, how grade school of you. Beyond the silliness of using the insult it's self, Everyone whom you use it on is engaging with you and therefore by definition not a coward. They are only a "coward" for not buying in to your bullshit. It's beyond pathetic.

    I am fully convinced one Demand could work and want to find out.

    No you don't. You want your stupid little movement of one so you have reason and a pretend aura of gravitas to talk smack in comment sections. If you really wanted to succeed you would have built up your organization and corresponding website to deliver on the promises it makes rather than dicking around comment sections pestering people who have put in the work to do it all for you.

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's too hot.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Like seven inches from the midday sun.

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [30] John From Censornati wrote:

    You know what? I was the one who pointed out what you meant by your Jewish village SARCASM. Sophistication? Sure.

    I thought it was nypoet22 who objected to my "start a little Pogrom" joke, but whatever.

    I fucking HATE Political Correctness, and I'm as flaming Libtard as the come.

    Yep, sorry about the Shoah and 2000 years of Christian anti-Semitic aggression.

    But I am of 100% Ukrainian ancestry and I'm sorry that Stalin killed 2-5 million Ukrainians (including likely most of my ancestors who stayed behind) during what Ukrainians refer to as the Holodomor.

    But I don't get "triggered" as easily as you apparently do, so I suggest that you realize how "rough and tumble" political discourse can get, put on your "Big boy pants" and DEAL WITH IT.*sheesh*

  35. [35] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Libtards getting "triggered" plays right into the Repug's hands. Grow up.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    JFC is most decidedly NOT the sensitive type. Or, at least, he never used to be.

  37. [37] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Congrats to Ukraine then, for making their first major tournament quarter finals.
    I thought it was MyVoice who first objected to the pogrom joke, but it could well have been someone else.

  38. [38] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Thanks for the congrats. After the U-S-A U-S-A I do cheer for the land of my ancestors.

  39. [39] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Even though I HATE Bibi my 3rd soccer/football choice to cheer for has to be Israel. After all, they had Shoah while Ukraine had Holodomor.

  40. [40] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    NOT as insensitive as might seem.

  41. [41] 
    John From Censornati wrote:


    So, not only are you not good at SARCASM, you are apparently bad at reading comprehension as well. In addition, your memory is faulty. I too believe that it was MyVoice who objected to your SARCASM. She asked for an explanation, and since you were not responsive, I offered her a correct one. I was not triggered, but I did comprehend your "sophisticated humor". I told her to imagine that Borat had said it.

    As for the rest of your PC diatribe, thanks for letting us know that your subsequent apology was insincere.

  42. [42] 
    John From Censornati wrote:



  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Yeah, I think we all woke up on the snarky side of the bed this evening

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's just too hot.

  45. [45] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Are you in the PNW heat wave or a different one? It was 115F at my house yesterday. A nice and cool 93 today...

  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    30 degrees celsius where I am in sunny southern Ontario, no or little air-conditioning at work ... work very hard ... very tired and hot ... but, it's a lot worse out in BC where temp records are being broken right left and center with 46.7 degrees in Lytton, BC

    Oh, how I wish I was in the PMW, anyway!

    Say, what's your favourite PNW band?

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    46.7 C = 116.06 F

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    There have been some pretty fun thunderstorms around here, though ... the other night the sky was lit up like electric blue with a couple of very bright lightning bolts and a crack of thunder louder than I've every heard ...

    ... as if to signal the beginning of a war to end all wars. Ahem. :)

  49. [49] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Luckily, we have central air and it managed to keep up with the heat for the most part. I'm a recent transplant from the Bay Area and never much of a grunge fan. More San Francisco sound and Ska with weirder tastes beyond that...

  50. [50] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    for the time being i'll ignore the insults and respond to the question. there are too many specific omissions to comprehensively list, but the biggest is any sort of business plan. most business plans are at least 30 pages long, and include sections that help convince people to support your venture.

    the hartford has a pretty good basic overview of what that should contain.

    additional oversights tend to fall into one of 4 categories:

    1. logical reasons why the plan might eventually work
    2. plans to address potential pitfalls
    3. additional details of infrastructure to implement the plan.
    4. evidence that the larger plan has worked on a smaller scale.

    russ, someone who actually HAS run a successful non-profit, spent hours of his own time and effort trying to address (some of) these oversights, in an attempt to help you succeed. instead of thanking him and attempting to practically address his findings, you responded by accusing him of attacking and misrepresenting you.

    personally i think baking a pie would be so much easier, tastier, AND more effective. in either case, best of luck!


  51. [51] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    nobody (other than yourself) who has read your writing more than casually believes you have adequately addressed those issues, on a website or anywhere else. if i'm wrong about that and there actually is someone, find that person and ask them to help promote you.

    you have every right to believe the whole world is wrong and you are right, and you have every right to say so. however, practically speaking that might not be such a wise policy for growing an organization.


  52. [52] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    That is cowardice.

    Uh, no it's not. Coward and cowardice seems to be your poorly used end of the line juvenile attempt at an insult that so misses the dictionary definition that it just makes you look the fool.

    Deriding a snake oil salesman is not cowardice but the proper habit of a rational person.

  53. [53] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Speaking of [28] can you back up this statement:

    FDR said he would not have passed the New Deal if the progressives had not said we will not vote for you unless you do.

    I would be curious to see this quote as it kind of goes against the history of the New Deal considering FDR won in a massive landslide, had huge bipartisan support in congress and the New Deal was basically an exercise of throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks...

  54. [54] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i (and i think everyone else here) will concede that your proposal sounds good at first glance, and positive comments exist.

    however, your proposal consistently fails on closer examination. i think to convince anyone that people exist who continue to support you after their initial interest leads them to visit your website, you'll have to produce an actual live human being.

    your argument [28] using FDR or ralph nader or bernie sanders, is fallacious because none of them are remotely equivalent to you, and none of their programs are remotely equivalent to yours. each of them have (or had) extremely detailed infrastructure, and you don't.


  55. [55] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Just because you say it doesn't make it true.

    Which also applies to you...

    Avoiding discussion with dodges is cowardice by any definition.

    OK, you convinced me, you are a coward.

    Thank you.

    Your welcome, I'm glad you have accepted one demand is snake oil.

    That is why I deride CW and the other commenters here when they attempt to deride me for pointing out CW's snake oil propaganda.

    Is that what your word salad translates to in your mind?...interesting.

    One Demand is basic democracy

    No it's not. It is a poorly executed attempt at advocacy that has failed miserably.

  56. [56] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i'm not sure why you think it's somehow a different point. i'm drawing a distinction between people who read your initial pitch and people who examine your plans more closely. there are plenty of positive reactions among the former, and as far as i know not a single solitary supporter among the latter.

    "moving on" to better ideas, like pie.


  57. [57] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    I did previously provide that reference.

    Bullshit. Prove it!

    I explained why One Demand is basic democracy.

    And you are wrong. I corrected you. Democracy is government by the people, exercised either directly by voting or through elected representatives. OD is advocating how you would like someone to vote and since you have 4 supporters in twice as many years, it is failed advocacy.

    You did not explain why it isn't becauseb you can't so you troll.

    And a covfefe to you too...

    By the way, no one seems to be at all concerned that another commenter told me to fuck off and die.

    You missed part of the quote.

    Unless you can bring something to the table.

    So, can you? All I see is repetitive bullshit you have posted many times and dodges to any and all criticism...

  58. [58] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    I don't have to prove it. It is common knowledge.


    Yes. I bring a lot to the table.

    What? Lies, cowardice and snake oil?

  59. [59] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If i'm wrong and there is someone out there who cares about your efforts, ask them to place a comment here. I have no problem whatsoever being wrong. It wouldn't make me want to join you, but it would make me feel a lot better to know.

  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don has made efforts!?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

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