Former President Donald Trump is watching Democrats in Washington fight this week, rooting for them to fail. And so far, they're accommodating him. Trump's position that President Biden is weak and will fail is as close to platform or policy as the Republican Party gets, Susan Glasser writes in the New Yorker, and Trump wants congressional Republicans to vote against everything the president wants to help that failure along. They're happy to sign onto that strategy, by doing what they can to keep any legislative victories out of Biden's reach—though Democrats are doing a pretty good job of that on their own.
"The long-predicted Democratic civil war between progressives and moderates has begun," Glasser writes. One Democrat said his car is older than some members of the progressive wing who are blocking the infrastructure bill vote. One first-term progressive said his allies don't just oppose the other Democrats' wishes, they're "saying, ‘Hell, no.'" Glasser says, "It's as if they never really accepted until this week the idea that a fifty-fifty Senate means that any one Democratic senator—or two, in this case—can have extraordinary power to dictate the outcome of legislation."
Sen. Joe Manchin, who with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are the Democratic holdups in their chamber, put the issue in stark terms: If liberals want to pass more bills, they should "elect more liberals." Winning congressional approval for his policies and promises will have much to do with how Biden's term is judged, and it doesn't look promising for him right now. "The reality of life in Biden’s Presidency is a Democratic Party in which the center has moved left but hasn’t figured out what to do about its remaining centrists," Glasser says. (Read more congressional Democrats stories.)