U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared at a press briefing like the proverbial cat that ate the canary yesterday morning after a stunning sequence of massive Democratic-led initiatives passed his august body — a $1 trillion infrastructure bill followed by an unexpectedly swift $3.5 trillion budget — in the course of the last 24 hours.
Of course, the measures will also pass the Democratic-majority House soon enough, and the nation will be on course for its most transformative makeover since all the components of FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s, or of Lincoln’s sweeping Whig agenda in the 1860s, thrust the nation forward to become and to enhance its role as a formidable and subsequently dominant world power.
This comes despite all the attention being given to the considerable problems with the Delta variant of the Covid-19 pandemic, the utter stupidity and duplicity of key Republicans trying to block straightforward public health measures to stem a horrible rise in the death rate as a result, the tireless efforts of that same GOP to rewrite voting rights laws at the state level across the U.S. to deter the public’s right to vote, and more.
Despite all the bad news coming to light of sedition in the Trump administration that culminated in the January 6 sacking of the Capitol and ongoing election denialism, the less-sexy passage of hard-won legislative victories in the last day will have far, far more of a consequential impact on the nation going forward than any of the rest.
From the standpoint of the big picture, the unholy alliance between certain U.S. elites and sworn enemies of the U.S. and its democratic institutions to rip up the U.S. Constitution has been dealt a mighty setback. I’d say it was an irreversible setback, but we all know that’s more than anyone can promise, at least as long as the nation is not in a state of high alert as it became under the treacherous Trump.
It has been that state of high alert, of a U.S. citizenry aroused by the bald faced criminal intentions of Trump and his cronies from the time of his Russian-aided election in 2016 that will go down in history as one of this nation’s greatest achievements.
We should never lose sight of the rallies and demonstrations that brought millions of Americans into the streets the day after Trump’s regrettable inauguration which kicked off a non-stop mobilization against him and all he stood for. This is what led to the Democratic takeover of Congress and Trump’s sound defeat in the 2020 election, factors which have been decisive for the legislative achievements of the last few days.
When push came to shove, as it did with Trump’s rise, a significant majority of the American people were able to see through all the BS and to act accordingly.
For some reason, which we should discuss going forward, the major media sought to focus its attention through all this on the trouble that Trump was able to cause, and the decisive minority who voted for him, rather than on the will of the majority that threw this bum out.
The real news was how that happened, in the wake of all the power of an incumbency that Trump was able to wield, and willing to wield far beyond the bounds of decorum or legality. How about the valor of every democracy-loving American who joined the movement and voted against him? I think we all deserve medals!
Certainly, everyone who stood and voted against Trump and his treacherous allies can take well-deserved credit for the good things that are going to happen for the nation and its people with the passage of the epochal legislation of this week.
I could go on about what’s in those bills, and what they spell for the nation going forward, including free childhood and post-high school education, new and repaired infrastructure and a new civilian conservation corps that will create jobs and stem the effect of climate change and much more.
But those details will be in all the papers. The bigger picture is that America will now enjoy its greatest days just ahead.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]