The G.O.P. Walks a Tightrope

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The G.O.P. Walks a Tightrope

Marjorie Taylor Greene gets a slap on the wrist from Republican leaders, but the House is set to vote on her fate today. It’s Thursday, and this is your politics tip sheet. Sign up here to get On Politics in your inbox every weekday.

A moment of prayer was held during a congressional tribute yesterday to Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who was killed during the Jan. 6 riot, as he lay in honor in the Rotunda.


Ten years ago, the left wing of the Democratic Party was in the middle of a long, tortured process of falling out of love with President Barack Obama and top regulators in his administration.

Joined at the hip with Obama during his 2008 election run, as he railed against the irresponsibility of Wall Street and pledged to take on special interests, die-hard progressives felt betrayed when he subtly pivoted once in office and tried to work within the legacy parameters of policymaking in Washington, which had been business-friendly and insider-heavy for decades.

The core of the Obama policy team viewed many of his appointees to executive branch agencies as pragmatic-minded technocrats who were committed to working across the aisle. The party’s left, which had much less power at the time than it does now, saw many of them as corporate sellouts, blaming them for, among other offenses, failing to prosecute those most responsible for the systemic fraud at the center of the subprime mortgage crisis.

After Biden won the 2020 Democratic primary, emboldened progressives feared an administrative state captured by big business interests. Less than a month into the Biden administration, however, a number of progressives find themselves in the odd position of being pleasantly surprised. Jesse Eisinger, a senior reporter and editor at ProPublica, captured this tension in an Op-Ed article this week: “How Afraid Should Corporate America Be of Joe Biden?

“Key financial regulatory positions remain unfilled, and progressives oppose some leading candidates,” Eisinger writes. “Still, the left is experiencing a once-inconceivable feeling: It’s … not unhappy?”

Jeff Hauser, a Washington activist and founder of the Revolving Door Project who specializes in the workings of the federal bureaucracy, told him: “In 2008, the progressive voter candidate turned out to be extremely disappointing. This cycle, the candidate of restoration has been pretty good for progressives.”

Biden, he added, has absorbed the lesson that “not enforcing the law is no less political than actually implementing the law.”

Eisinger then goes on to survey the professional history and ideological leanings of the appointees who have been named so far. It’s worth reading in full, and then keeping your eyes peeled.

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Source: New York Times

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