Will Democratic Lawmakers Finally Stop Pretending the GOP Can be Reasoned With?

After the January 6th commission vote, can we expect our legislators to accept reality?

Phoot by Eric Thayer/Reuters

As one most likely anticipated, Republican lawmakers in the Senate voted against the establishment of a commission to investigate the events leading up to and during the January 6th riots at the Capitol. While I wanted to know what was going on with the Capitol police and those surrounding Donald Trump during the riots on the 6th, it’s difficult for me to even be angry about the GOP’s decision to vote it down, considering the fact it was all but certain they were going to do it. There are other means of investigating as well, such as hearings.

Personally, I’m more interested in how the Democratic Party will respond.

Will Democratic Party lawmakers finally stop trying to convince Americans that their Republican colleagues can be reasoned with?

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has been perhaps one of the most fierce defenders of the Republican Party since Democrats took control, vehemently refusing to reform or nuke the filibuster because he insists that Democrats should work with them in a bipartisan manner. Over the months that have passed since Biden took office, with McConnell and the GOP literally vowing to block the entirety of Biden’s agenda, Manchin’s excuses have only gotten more flimsy.

Now, Manchin calls GOP votes preventing the establishment of a committee to investigate the events of January 6th “unconscionable”.

Please, spare me.

Frankly, Manchin’s antics are insulting, and it all speaks to how Democrats view their base more than anything else. They have — correctly, admittedly — determined that all they have to do is feed their base a narrative, no matter how ridiculous, and they will go along with it. After all, it’s always been “vote blue no matter who”, hasn’t it? But how much longer, especially after this vote, are they going to expect to be able to get away with it? Do they really think so little of their base, that we can’t see how obstructionist and dangerous the GOP has become?

Democrats use the GOP as a shield, and that becomes more and more apparent with each passing day. Their donors don’t want progressive policies passed, and the Republicans are a convenient excuse as to why things like prescription drug reform and student loan debt cancellation won’t come to fruition. Acknowledging the GOP for what they are, and using the tools Democrats have at their disposal — like nuking the filibuster — to prevent them from hijacking their agenda would mean they are unable to hide behind the likes of Mitch McConnell anymore.

All that said, it’s certainly going to be interesting to see the pretzels Democratic lawmakers twist themselves into in order to continue justifying their supposed attempts to work with the Republican Party. Meanwhile, precious time gets wasted and more and more desperately needed legislative policies get ignored.

As they refuse to nuke the filibuster and continue to argue the GOP can be persuaded no matter how many times McConnell proves otherwise, the Democrats have the temerity to continue to fundraise off of this unnecessary gridlock.

Even former Clinton administration alum Robert Reich has weighed in, writing on Twitter:

“Republicans won’t vote for Biden’s plans no matter what’s in them. So why not go big? Why not a total repeal of the Trump tax cut plus a tax hike on the super-rich? Why not Medicare for All? Why not a Green New Deal?”

What Mr. Reich laid out in his tweet is nothing more than common sense politics and negotiation tactics, but Democrats continue to think they can persuade the American people not to believe their lying eyes. At what point will the American people who elected the Democrats into power say enough is enough? When are they going to hold their feet to the fire, and let them know that we’ve had enough of the games?

Well, as to the question of whether or not Democratic lawmakers might finally learn their lesson, Chuck Schumer seemed to indicate that no, they haven’t. In response to the January 6th vote, the Senate Majority Leader said:

“I hope this is not the beginning of an effort from Senate Republicans to prevent this chamber from debating reasonable, common-sense legislation”

The beginning of an effort?

At this point, it feels as though it’s all nothing but parody.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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