Washington Post opinion writer Kathleen Parker writes: “Whoever came up with ‘Build Back Better’ needs to go back to the marketing department or wherever they came from. At least ‘Make America Great Again’ didn’t sound like a 5th grade diorama assignment.”
The critique stuck in my head, but I have to agree with her. Too often, it seems, Democrats appear tone-deaf when it comes to messaging. Fortunately, there’s a more strategic slogan, and the President has already thought of it.
After months of haggling, the House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on November 5. The Senate had already approved the landmark $1 trillion infrastructure bill in August by a bipartisan vote of 69 to 30.
In the House, the infrastructure bill has been linked to the Build Back Better Act, a large package of “social safety net” and climate change spending. Many of the proposals in the package have popular support and would be paid for by new revenue measures, but House and Senate Republicans will not vote for it because that’s the way they are.
The House haggling, though to some appearing to demonstrate disarray within the Democratic Party, is rather a necessary process to produce a bill acceptable to the party’s progressive and moderate wings and that also would have the support of every Senate Democrat.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus had insisted that the two bills—infrastructure and build back better–should be voted on together but the caucus has now accepted assurances that House moderates will support build back better, pending a determination by the Congressional Budget Office that the proposed spending would not add to the budget deficit, and that a vote will happen by mid-November.
Two days before the House passed the infrastructure bill, President Biden said “people want us to get things done.” In context, Biden was speaking to the Democratic Party and urging passage of both the infrastructure bill and the build back better bill, but “Get Things Done” would be a great political slogan.
Democrats Get Things Done. In May, they got a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill done. Now they’ve gotten the infrastructure bill done. Democrats will continue to Get Things Done by passing the build back better package.
In the next twelve months, Democrats should Get Things Done about voting rights.
Democrats should Get Things Done about climate change.
Democrats should Get Things Done about immigration reform.
Get Things Done is more than a slogan. It is a rallying cry to act.
Some other stuff for later,
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