The Struggle ✊🏻 is Real: The Peacock Progressive Quandary Between Trashing Biden and Taking Credit for His Accomplishments

Some of the most despicable, vicious, and stinging lies that Joe Biden was attacked with during the 2020 campaign - including questioning his mental acuity, falsely accusing him of sexual misconduct, and attacks on his family - came not just from the Trump right but the gatekeeper left that sees as its prerogative to arbitrarily decide, based on some gut feeling, who is and isn't a "real" progressive. This strand of the left, generally supportive of Sen. Bernie Sanders's two primary campaigns in 2016 and 2020, lamented that Joe Biden could never beat Donald Trump, and that if he somehow managed to reach 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with his 'cop' running mate Kamala Harris, they would simply compromise away the potential to do something big at the alter of bipartisan kumbaya.

Much to their chagrin, events have refused to unfold in a manner conveniently befitting their narrative.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were not only earned a historic victory with nearly 82 million votes - the most ever in the history of presidential elections - their victory over an incumbent president who did not either have a significant intraparty primary challenge or a viable third party general election candidate is unparalleled in modern history.

Once they moved into the White House after a transition period marred with historic obstructionism of the former administration and an election lie by the former occupant of the Oval Office culminating into a failed insurrection against the United States, the Biden administration moved with unprecedented speed and agility to confirm historic nominees for cabinet and other high-level positions and tackle the the most pressing and urgent challenges facing the country. With the help of the unparalleled Speaker Nancy Pelosi and newly minted Senate Majority Leader - thanks to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris helping two Democratic Senators get elected from Georgia - the President signed into law a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package into law on his 50th day in office.

The opposition to Biden's plan did not just come from Republicans. The showboating left did its best to derail it as well. They claimed Biden was going back on his promise to give people $2,000 checks because the bill includes $1,400 to augment the $600 payments Congress already passed in December. It's a mathematical pretzel even Bernie Sanders found to be ludicrous. Then they threatened to scuttle the bill over Vice President Kamala Harris refusing to single-handedly and unconstitutionally scrap Senate rules prohibiting a minimum wage increase in a budget reconciliation bill, until it was revealed that their champion Bernie Sanders, at the epitome of his power as the Senate Budget Committee Chairman, could barely muster 40 votes for a $15 minimum wage in the Senate.

But at the end of the day, the coalition held, and the bill passed. When it did, leftists claimed that the bill they tried to kill at least twice was all their idea anyway.

The immensely popular legislation, despite zero Republican votes in Congress and razer-thin margins for Democrats, moved quickly and largely unscathed. The American Rescue Plan was not only the largest emergency stimulus package in history, but it earned accolades for shifting the paradigm to directly assisting working- and middle-class individuals. In addition to direct checks to Americans in need, the ARP is poised to cut child poverty in half, make health care coverage affordable to millions more, and safely reopen schools, among a host of other progressive agenda items.

Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate are already moving onto the next big agenda item: infrastructure. President Biden kicked off the first part of his economic revival agenda on Tuesday, priced at $2.7 trillion ($2.3 trillion in spending plus $400 billion in clean energy tax credits. A second part of the economic revival agenda is poised to be unveiled in the next couple of weeks that will address health care, child care and other care needs, bringing the total spending to $4 trillion over 8 years. The packages also come paired with tax increases for corporations and the ultra rich, with the infrastructure package pairing highly popular corporate tax reform to pay for much, if not all, of it.

Despite the fact that Biden's infrastructure plan makes once-in-a-generation investments in physical and broadband infrastructure, creates history's largest clean energy transformation project, and does so on the back of making corporations pay - things 'progressives' generally say they are all about - somehow (of course) the Peacock Progressive Caucus, in and out of Congress, are going back and forth about why this is a terrible, horrible, inadequate proposal and why, when it nevertheless passes, they should get credit it nonetheless.

Varshini Prakash, the Executive Director of the extraordinarily ineffective Bernie Sanders front-group Sunrise Movement, released a statement on Tuesday declaring victory that President Biden had "heard" them and was "speaking [their] language." At the same time in political triangulation of the worst kind, Prakash, whose organization had called Biden a coward for proposing the same plan just days earlier on the grounds that it doesn't spend enough money, couldn't resist the temptation to engage in not-enoughism once again.

The Sunrise Movement is a group whose lead its Congressional supplicants - namely the Squad and a good part of the Progressive Caucus - usually follows, and this instance has been no different. People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and Ed Markey have all panned Joe Biden's proposal as failing to meet the moment.

The fatal flaw in their argument - besides for perpetually trying to keep their feet in two boats ('Biden sucks,' and 'this was all our idea') - is that all they have is a big number, not a big idea.

Joe Biden's plan of infrastructure investment is detailed. It has line items, specifics, and justifications: $621 billion to build and fix transportation infrastructure, $650 billion towards building infrastructure including replacing 100% of lead pipes in America, $400 billion for caregiving infrastructure, $300 billion for manufacturing, and more.

All the Sunrise Movement and its allies in Congress have is a number: $10 trillion. They have no specifics, no legislative line items, and no corresponding justifications about what needs fixing, what needs to be built,or accounting that shows what it will cost.

Judging a plan by the topline number is just as poor of a call whether that topline is portrayed as too big or too small. When the Republicans portrayed the coronavirus stimulus as harmful because its topline number - $1.9 trillion - was "too big" rather than laying out exactly what they would spend on what priorities and what they would leave out and why, it was a bad - and bad faith - argument. The argument from the left that the infrastructure bill needs to carry a topline figure of $10 trillion without laying out just on what and for how long and why that money should be spent is just as much of a bad-faith, opportunistic, and craven one.

It's especially craven since they have signaled that they intend to take credit for Biden's plan anyway, the same way Republicans are attempting to take credit for money in the coronavirus stimulus that is going to their constituents even though they voted against it en masse.

But this is the modus operandi of political extremes. They are more comfortable with opposing than proposing, and more at home with taking credit for someone else's work rather than playing a supportive and constructive role to make that work happen.

I can't stop them from doing it, but I sure as hell can call it out.

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