Real Democrats are DONE with Peacock Progressives, and it's a beautiful sight.

Source: Problems Solvers Caucus, govt. website.

This morning, my Congressman Ro Khanna put out the most ridiculous tweet I have ever seen from a Bernie Sanders fan, and I have seen a lot of ridiculous tweets from Bernie Sanders fans. In it, Khanna credits Bernie Sanders for ensuring that there will be some form of direct payments in the emergency coronavirus relief package, negotiations for which are going down to the wire. But, the package that he credits Bernie Sanders for negotiating, he says, is just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad.

Khanna is is evidently executing what appears to be a top-down talking point strategy, along with Ilhan Omar, others in the so-called Squad, and Bernie Sanders himself. They are going with a two-prong, logically contradictory strategy of claiming credit for the direct payment provision that seems to be making its way into the final deal, all the while loudly denounce the overall package without which no one would actually see a penny of the all-important direct payments the populists claim are so, so critical.

The truth is, of course, that the only reason Congress is even moving toward a deal now after Mitch McConnell's logjam for most of the year is that a group of pragmatic lawmakers from both parties and both chambers of Congress shook themselves loose from their respective party's ideological extremes. This group of moderates and centrists, led by Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, Sen. Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House decided to take matters into their own hands and propose their own bills.

Their proposal, divided into two parts, would include $160 billion in state and local aid, a $300 weekly enhancement to unemployment benefits, and money for forgivable loans for small businesses. The bipartisan proposal left out direct payments akin to the one-time $1,200 checks that were part of the first relief package. Congressional leadership - which for the first time in nine months met to negotiate the final relief package on Wednesday - appears to be restoring partial direct payments at the cost of cuts in aid to state governments.

The final package won't look exactly like the legislation that the group of bipartisan dealmakers crafted. But a lot of it will, and by breaking out, they demonstrated that votes were there to pass a compromise deal, if only McConnell would get out of the way. They did the most important part of the job: they took away McConnell's excuse that his caucus was so tight that a majority of Senators could not be cobbled together to pass a deal.

Having flexed their muscle and sparked the leadership into action, the gang in the center is feeling empowered, and a bit ballsy. They had been beaten down by the respective extremes of their parties, but it's pretty clear - especially on the Democratic side - that they have had enough.

First, it was Sen. Manchin reveling in a feud with New York alt-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at the beginning of December. Manchin knocked Ocasio-Cortez for being more interested in being a social media influencer (or as I would put it, a brandstander) than an effective legislator, just as the bipartisan COVID proposal was emerging. Apparently, Manchin is not afraid of AOC's dagger stare.

Today, it was Mark Warner's turn. Sen. Warner, a Democrat from Virginia and a member of the bipartisan group, laid it thick during an interview on MSNBC today, saying Sanders, Omar, et al had never successfully negotiated any legislation.

It wasn't very senatorial. It wasn't perfectly collegial. It wasn't 'let's agree to disagree.' It was 'I don't have time for this juvenile sh*t.' It was a counterpunch. It was feisty, and it was the truth.

The real Democrats who do the real work of legislating are done. They have had it. 

They are done with Bernie Sanders-style peacock progressives who protest Democrats while leaving Republicans alone. They are done with the alt-left signing up with the alt-right to accuse Democrats of being pro-corporate when their own are steeped in corruption. The real Democrats have had it with the "squad" being more interested in peacocking their opposition to mainstream Democrats than in doing the hard work of legislating. They have had it with Sanders and his backers helping out Republicans by antagonizing and turning off Democratic voters every midterm.

And most of all, they have had it with the peacock progressives grabbing the spotlight every way they can and amplifying echo-chamber sloganeering that keep costing Democrats winnable House and Senate seats because Republicans successfully hang AOC and Bernie around the necks of candidates who have little in common with either.

For those of us that care about making progress, and know that progress requires compromise, also know that without compromise, there is only the status quo, or worse, regression. We know that legislation is not passed by pounding podiums. We know that progress isn't achieved by the best memes on the gram.

That's why we need to hit back, and hit back hard. That's why real Democrats need to not only throw hard punches but get attention doing it. That's we need to take back the Democratic party as a party of reform, nor revolution, and make a splash doing it.

Sen. Warner, Sen. Manchin, and others are doing us a great deal of favor by demonstrating - not least for the benefit of Georgia voters next month - that the Sanders alt-left is a bug in the Democratic party, not a feature. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, by building a competent, accomplished, progressive cabinet that doesn't subscribe to hard-left ideological dogma, are feeding the same narrative.

Real Democrats have had it with Peacock Progressives, and we're not going to take it anymore.

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