One of the most ingrained memories from my football playing days (which consisted of three years in high school in the mid-80’s) was of a brawl that took place between my school’s team and our fiercest rival my sophomore year.
As I recall, it occurred near the end of the contest and we were losing fairly badly, basically waiting for the seconds to tick down so we could head to the locker room and be berated by our superiors for all the mistakes we’d made. I remember being positioned near the midfield sideline when all of a sudden, the benches cleared and players from both sides were on top of each other wrestling and trying to pull their antagonists’ helmets off. Some were throwing punches, which even at the time made no sense because… what’s the use of punching somebody with all that padding on?
Shortly after the melee broke out, one of my coaches, an ex-Green Beret who drove a big silver Cadillac and was literally tough as nails, ran out ahead of a small group of us. Gesturing with his arm fully extended and an opened hand -- and eyes that looked as though they were about to burst from his skull -- Coach shouted above the din, “STAY BACK!” Not really desiring to take part in the fracas anyway, myself and about a half dozen others did as we were told.
It’s not that we were scared to take on the enemy and assist our teammates... but why do something so stupid and fruitless?
To make a long story short, with the field soon cleared and the game declared over, our coaches tried calming themselves while speaking to the team about what had just occurred. It was bad enough to lose, they lectured, but to initiate a fight added salt to an already gaping wound. They announced that, effective immediately, four of our players, including our starting quarterback, were being kicked off the team. (I subsequently learned that they’d planned the trouble all along.)
Before such shocking news could sink in, however, a couple of the perpetrators who’d been given the boot started in on those of us who’d done as the coaches ordered and stayed out of the clash. The miscreants accused us of being traitorous (I don’t remember them using the exact term, but you get the gist) and cowardly in not assisting a teammate in his time of trial. Oh, to learn what it felt like to have your former comrade-in-arms insulting your honor!
A life’s lesson was learned that night. You may all wear the same uniform but it doesn’t mean you’re all of one mind. I attended a “diverse” high school and at least some of the players were gang members… they wanted to fight more than they wanted to win.
At any rate, this vague memory from almost four decades ago seems strangely similar to what the Democrats are going through these days as they scratch at each other’s throats over politics and passing the bulk of senile president Joe Biden’s socialistic agenda. What had appeared to be a tranquil and united collection of liberals earlier in the year has devolved into a virtual pissing match between the so-called “moderates” (they’re not, they’re just not ardent socialists) and the ambitious and radical leftists who truly believe that spending unlimited amounts of government money is something people actually want them to do.
It got so bad last week the term “civil war” was being bandied about. Hanna Trudo reported at The Hill:
“Democrats engaged in a verbal war [last week], with progressives and centrists accusing one another of essentially sabotaging President Biden’s agenda and putting the party’s majorities in jeopardy.
“The two factions have been growing more and more mutually irritated by the day amid a stalemate over the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate and a larger, sweeping social spending measure now being crafted. But as lawmakers wondered whether they would be voting on an infrastructure bill that progressives have vowed to tank unless the budget bill moves first, the gloves really came off…
“Moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, accused progressives of being too skeptical of centrists. And in truth, many progressives believe it is important for the social spending bill to move through the House and Senate ahead of the infrastructure bill because they do not trust centrists to back the larger bill without the leverage of infrastructure.”
You go first. No, you go first. No, you go first. No, you go first. Loser! Traitor! You nincompoop! You scoundrel!
That’s how stupid it’s gotten in Democrat-land, where a comparative handful of “moderates” aren’t trusted to go along with the much larger zealous socialist contingent to pass every Democrat pipedream project under the sun. It’s the stuff they’ve been talking about and promising for decades, and just when they’re on the verge of realizing their fantasies, Democrats collapse into insults and name calling (and following Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom stall).
For conservatives, it’s a beautiful thing to witness, especially since Democrats took such delight in any miniscule intra-caucus disagreement that sabotaged the entire effort when Republicans controlled Congress. It wasn’t all that long ago that GOPers were the ones griping and whining and hair-pulling about political matters that were serving as roadblocks to the effort to Make America Great Again and the government more responsive to real needs.
In 2010, for example, Republicans promised to repeal the socialistic and fiscally disastrous Obamacare, but when Americans granted them the power to do so, the RINOs got cold feet (or is it hooves?). So much for passing a straight repeal of the Big O’s signature legislative accomplishment. The establishment GOP House and Senate leaders couldn’t herd their sheep to push through even a partial repeal.
We heard the standard excuses. “Uh, it’s an election year next year and polls show that a majority of registered voters like Obamacare and would punish Republicans if they took it away from them now. Just vote us into the majority one more time and we’ll get it done… but, by the way, we need a friendly president, too. The Democrat veto pen is waiting at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
It was the same for serious budget reforms, though Republicans were successful in pressuring Democrats to agree to caps and sequesters that many said, at the time, that future congresses would ignore. The naysayers turned out to be right on that one, weren’t they? Weak-kneed GOP Speakers wouldn’t even use the House’s power of the purse to coerce Democrats into being more reasonable.
Then the establishment was stunned on Election Day 2016, when the results showed that the GOP would have a Republican president in addition to majorities in both houses of Congress. Not to be greedy, but with Trump appointing a new justice to fill the dearly departed Antonin Scalia’s seat, we would maintain a mostly conservative majority on the Supreme Court, too.
Now that the shoe’s on the other foot, Democrats don’t like it. The same establishment media geniuses who’ve continually praised Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader “Chucky” Schumer weren’t so impressed when the leaders seemingly lost control of their respective caucuses, all-but allowing the “moderates” and “progressives” to vie for the public narrative in the ultimate game of “She said what?” and, “They’re selfish and they don’t care about the people.”
Hence, even Democrats are proving to be prisoners of human nature. All along, we’d thought they were immune to political pressures and that in then end, they’d cave and unite and do whatever San Fran Nan and “Chucky” told them to do. Remember the press conferences when the leaders’ smugness was tangible and the ancient Democrat honchos promised to deliver the moon?
No one’s sure how this will pan out. There’s still time for Democrats to figure out some scheme to make every one of them happy. It’s only money, isn’t it? Not only that, it’s someone else’s money (the taxpayers), so it’s even easier to appropriate amounts with lots and lots of zeroes!
Unlike with my high school team, there won’t be any accountability for the actions of a relatively small percentage of troublemakers. Pelosi can’t threaten to suddenly kick the problems off the squad (forgive the pun) because she doesn’t have enough backups to supply the votes she’d need to get what she wants -- which is as much treasury money as she can wrap her dirty talons around.
Ditto for “Chucky” Schumer, who counts 48 lockstep “progressive” spenders, including two “Independent” senators who are more loyal and knee-jerk dependable to the Democrats than two of the party’s own members. It’s often been argued that Joe Manchin is the de facto most powerful man in Washington. That’s an exaggeration, but when it comes to the bottom line, the West Virginian holds all the cards.
Perhaps most interesting about the latest Democrat “civil war” is the establishment media has been forced to report on the lack of harmony among the liberal leadership and different factions in the party. There is still no such animal as a completely reasonable Democrat, but a little internal strife will benefit the country. It might supply some lasting memories, too.
$3.5 trillion reconciliation budget
Kyrsten Sinema bathroom
Democrat civil war