Last night, I happily threw out any notion of nutrition and ordered dinner from a fast-food restaurant. I am far from being a foodie or a snob. I enjoy a good cheeseburger and fries just like the next plumber named Joe. Watching what I eat, as I get older, is more a matter of preservation than epicurean pretentiousness; the Colonel and I are good friends. When I hit the key on my pc activating the place order bar, thus setting in motion the delivery of my big sandwich, fries, and large soft drink, I looked at my screen and felt rage. While Republicans are perched on Mount Potato Head and ‘fix bayonets’ in defense of Dr. Seuss, they gleefully forsake the poorest of Americans—who for many an hour of work [$7.25] is not enough to buy a Value Meal, denying them a raise in pay. The meal I ordered was over 8 bucks. It infuriated me to think that some of my hard-working neighbors have to work multiple hours to treat a family of four to a meal from McDonald's or Chick-fil-A.
Sure, the cynical among us would say buy a few pounds of ground beef and some bread (who needs cheese or condiments) and be happy. My first job, in 1977, paid me $2.85 an hour and I put in long physical hours. My supervisor made ten times my pay and I am sure he treated his family to dinner with more financial ease than I ever could. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. Today a group of seven Democratic Senators along with Independent Angus King, joined with Republicans to vote down an amendment to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to 15 dollars an hour. There were some points of order cited by the Democrats as to why they voted no, but to the average American, that is as vague as the 14 secret herbs and spices.
The Democratic party needs to be more aggressive and push its legislative agenda with the same ruthlessness as Republicans. In 2017 the then GOP Senate majority passed a 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut for the rich using budget reconciliation bypassing the filibuster. The then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still smirks when accused of hypocrisy or double-dealing, in the interim, Democrats clutched their ankles and smiled. McConnell ignored norms, tradition and the Constitution when he denied former President Obama his right as president to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Cynically he cited a non-existent rule while laughing under his breath. Ironically, the Kentucky Senator cited the “Biden-rule” to stop Obama and ignored it mere weeks before the 2020 election.
Currently, the Democratic party has tenuous control of the Legislative branch and a firm grip on the Executive branch of the United States government. They should be performing feats of legislative strength while flexing their statutory muscles. The way you prove your ideas worthy is by allowing them a chance to work. The Republicans have abandoned governing because they have proven to be miserable failures at it. As a result, they have zeroed in on culture wars and suppressing votes. The Democratic party is responsible for the biggest middle-class growth in America's history, post World War II, thanks to the policies of FDR. Roosevelt was called a socialist and un-American, but his bold moves made America Great. President Joe Biden has promised that type of bold legislation and he needs a bold Congress to make it work.
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