ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Domestic Policy" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The GOP's Double Standards

[ Posted Friday, February 26th, 2021 – 18:31 UTC ]

In the past week, two of the biggest political stories have been which way the Senate parliamentarian was going to rule on an arcane rule in the chamber, and how one of President Joe Biden's nominees might be in trouble because in the past she had (gasp!) tweeted such mean things as: "vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz" (a statement that is not provably true only because vampires are mythical creatures while the heartlessness of Ted Cruz is, sadly, all too real).

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The Crucial Overlooked Issue In The Minimum Wage Debate

[ Posted Thursday, February 25th, 2021 – 17:39 UTC ]

The increase in the federal minimum wage currently being discussed in Congress will be revolutionary if it passes, but not for the reason you might first suspect. Admittedly, a raise to $15 an hour will be monumental in absolute terms, since it will more than double the paltry current rate. That's pretty notable, but it's not what I mean when I say revolutionary. Because the truly revolutionary thing about this bill is that it will quite likely be the last minimum wage raise Congress ever votes on. And surprisingly, this is actually a good thing.

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Manchin Is The New Lieberman

[ Posted Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

While everyone agrees on the obvious truism that President Joe Biden is now the most powerful Democrat in Washington, the person next in line in this new partisan power structure isn't as obvious. Because it is not actually Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, or Nancy Pelosi, despite them being (respectively) vice president, Senate majority leader, and speaker of the House. No, instead the biggest power player in Washington after Biden is now Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He has now set himself up to be "the next Joe Lieberman." Under President Barack Obama, Lieberman acted as a virtual caucus of one, determining what was allowably "centrist" enough for him to support and vote for. Manchin has now thrust himself into exactly the same position, and by doing so will hold the keys to Biden's ultimate legislative success or failure for at least the next two years.

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Democrats Hold The Winning Hand On COVID Relief Bill

[ Posted Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 – 17:31 UTC ]

Joe Biden's first major legislative initiative is going to be a winning one for Democrats, and (hopefully) a big anchor around the neck of all the Republicans in Congress who vote against it (which, as of this writing, looks like it's going to be "all of them"). It's rare that a bill this popular doesn't have bipartisan support, because most politicians on either side of the aisle know full well that voting for something wildly popular -- even if your party didn't propose it -- is usually good politics. It's something to brag about in the next election campaign, in normal times.

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Fighting The Ongoing Big Lie

[ Posted Monday, February 22nd, 2021 – 17:49 UTC ]

Since the riot at the Capitol last month, both Democrats and the news media have managed a notable achievement, by slapping a label on what is actually a persistent and ongoing danger to both them and American democracy -- Republicans using made-up "voting fraud" claims to make it harder and harder for citizens to vote. Because this fake and non-existent "voter fraud" was not just what Trump latched on to in order to try and overturn an election result he didn't like, but it is also the root of a decades-long Republican attempt to cling to power even while getting a minority of the votes cast.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ted Fled!

[ Posted Friday, February 19th, 2021 – 18:44 UTC ]

After one short month in office, President Joe Biden has already achieved his biggest goal. The country is united again. We all universally agree on one thing, with true bipartisan spirit. What is this unifying belief which all Americans now share? That Ted Cruz is an awful excuse for a human being.

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Biden Brilliantly Redefines Bipartisanship

[ Posted Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – 17:28 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has had his ups and downs in his first month in office. His biggest down to date has been his propensity to telegraph much too early that he knows his bargaining position isn't going to carry the day -- before the bargaining is even really close to being over. He's done this on the push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and now he's doing it on the immigration bill just proposed, by hinting that it might have to pass in several pieces instead of a comprehensive bill. Signaling what he'll ultimately accept too early undercuts Democrats fighting for the strongest bill possible, so this could be the start of a worrisome trend. However, Biden did hold rock-steady on the size of his COVID-19 relief bill, even in the face of faux bipartisanship, where Republicans offered an opening bid of less than one-third of what Biden wanted (proving it was really nothing more than the old "stall and obstruct" Republican tactics, in "bipartisan" clothing). So we'll have to wait to see which tendency becomes more prevalent in Biden, over the next few months.

But on the up side, Biden has already accomplished one brilliant political bit of jiu-jitsu. He has totally redefined "bipartisanship" in a way that bodes well for many progressive agenda items in the near future. This move was absolutely brilliant, even though few have realized it yet.

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Unvarnished Republican Dogma

[ Posted Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 – 17:44 UTC ]

Donald Trump changed a lot of things in American politics, including one that's likely to be around for some time to come -- normalizing the practice of a politician not using any "code words" or "dog whistles," but instead just boldly telling you what he really feels. The unvarnished truth, as he sees it, in other words. Why pussyfoot around? Just tell it like it is, and anyone who complains is obviously some sort of liberal weenie, so you can ignore all of them and their complaints as being too "woke," or something.

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Returning To Normalcy

[ Posted Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 – 16:58 UTC ]

I had a choice of topics for today's column, one of which was weighing in on the debate over the possibility of earmarks returning to Congress. I say this to make a point -- American politics may not be back to normal by a long shot (since the Republican Party obviously hasn't quite returned from their Looney Tunes vacation yet), but in his four weeks in office, President Joe Biden has moved us all a significant way down the road to normalcy once again.

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Friday Talking Points -- Republicans In Disarray

[ Posted Friday, February 5th, 2021 – 18:59 UTC ]

This week we were treated to the spectacle of the Republican Party largely voting in support of an advocate of using deadly violence towards her political opponents. How the mighty have fallen -- since this used to be the party that dearly loved to sanctimoniously lecture everyone on how high morals were an absolute necessity in politics, and that even the concept of "moral relativism" was evil. That all went out the window when they nominated the most amoral man imaginable for president, of course, but it's still rather shocking to see this once-publicly-righteous party wallow in the filth of QAnon and flirt with ideas like advocacy for assassinating political opponents.

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