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Democrats should spike the football

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Author Topic: Democrats should spike the football  (Read 71 times)
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« on: March 10, 2021, 04:58:10 pm »

Democrats should spike the football

Opinion by Jill Filipovic

Updated 4:32 PM ET, Wed March 10, 2021
Here's what the $1.9T stimulus bill means for you

Here's what the $1.9T stimulus bill means for you 02:40

"Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book "OK Boomer, Let's Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind." Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. View more opinion articles on CNN."

(CNN)On Wednesday, Democrats delivered for Americans. The Covid-19 relief bill is a crucial lifeline for millions of struggling Americans that frankly should have come much sooner.
Jill Filipovic
Jill Filipovic
The House passed the $1.9 trillion bill, overwhelmingly thanks to Democrats. Not a single Senate or House Republican voted for the bill, and one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine, voted against it.

The relief package is groundbreaking: It sends $1,400 stimulus checks to close to 90% of American households, directs billions to small businesses and schools, pours necessary resources into vaccine distribution, extends unemployment benefits and offers parents an unprecedented child allowance -- a cash benefit for families with children. No, it's not everything progressives wanted. But it's the most ambitious cash assistance plan I've seen in my lifetime.

It didn't come sooner, though, because Republicans were in charge until seven weeks ago. And Democrats should remind voters of exactly that. Trump and the GOP passed tax cuts in 2017 that disproportionately helped the wealthiest, but when the pandemic hit in 2020, they were out to lunch. Public health messaging was garbled and inconsistent. The President spread dangerous and deadly false information. When the Republican Party did put forward a stimulus bill that sent out cash payments and provided much-needed support for small businesses and communities, Democrats were on board: They supported the bill because it was the right thing to do for a country in crisis.

But now, a year into a deadly pandemic that has killed more than 520,000 Americans -- more than all the wars of the past 100 years combined -- and left hundreds of thousands of more without jobs, homes or basic stability, Republicans are refusing to come to the rescue.
Democrats have, which is why Americans have gotten the additional help we needed. That's the message Democrats need to hammer home as they take well-earned credit for what they've achieved here.

This week marks one year since Covid-19 upended our lives. It's OK to let ourselves feel whatever emotions that brings up
This week marks one year since Covid-19 upended our lives. It's OK to let ourselves feel whatever emotions that brings up
Taking credit isn't just so Democrats can pat themselves on the back; it's so the public understands how and why this happened. Many Americans do not pay close attention to politics, and don't necessarily tie the decisions made in Washington to the realities of their day-to-day lives. Democrats need to connect those dots for them, loudly and repeatedly, so that voters can understand what's at stake in elections and what both parties truly stand for.
Right now, conservative news outlets and pundits, and Republican politicians, are spending their time obsessing over "cancel culture," Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head. Fox News' Tucker Carlson did a segment on whether Meghan Markle is a narcissist after her interview with Oprah Winfrey, comparing Markle to favorite right-wing punching bag Hillary Clinton, who has not held office in nearly a decade. While the right is ranting, Democrats are spending their time passing legislation that could reduce poverty by a third, cut the number of kids living in poverty by half, put food on tables and keep roofs over heads.
The relief package did not include everything progressives wanted -- most notably, a $15 minimum wage. And some economists (and some Republicans) say that a cash influx this generous runs the risk of fueling inflation. But other top economists, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, say it's a risk worth taking. And while progressives were certainly disappointed that some important proposals were stripped out of the bill, it's tough to argue that, taken as a whole, it's not a pretty stunning achievement.
Plus, Democrats aren't done. Raising the shamefully low federal minimum wage remains on the table. The Biden administration is also turning its attention to America's crumbling infrastructure. Most importantly, many Democrats are pushing their own party to make early moves to ensure that power is fairly distributed, and that every American gets an equal vote and a voice in our elections. That includes getting rid of the filibuster, ending partisan redistricting, strengthening voting rights laws and finally giving voters in Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico -- all American citizens -- the full representation that comes from statehood.

Republicans have long claimed to be the party of small government. But under Donald Trump, they turned into the party of all bluster and no governance. The danger of that ideology came into sharp focus as Covid-19 hit and Americans desperately needed a functioning federal government to inform the public, enforce commonsense health regulations, and provide necessary aid to keep families afloat. The aid that came last year thanks to both parties was important, but not nearly enough. And its benefits were eclipsed by the total bungling of the pandemic response, to devastating result: a team of experts recently concluding that Trump's mismanagement of the pandemic "caused tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths."
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We can't bring back all of the people whose lives were lost thanks to Trump's recklessness. But with Democratic majorities in Congress and a Democratic president in the White House, we have more competent political leadership that could propel us toward a brighter future. Republicans are still standing in the way of getting folks the support they need -- and of governance in general. But the American people deserve to know who is doing what for them. Democrats should shout it from the rooftops.
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"Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."

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