Throughout 2021 we’ve had to listen to the media and the pundits routinely insist that President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, and his infrastructure agenda in general, were “doomed.” That’s the actual word that kept being used on every cable news network. The thing is, at no point was it ever accurate.
We have tangible proof of this now that Build Back Better has passed the House, and is on track to do the same in the Senate. But those of us paying close attention, and applying simple logic, knew all along that there was a roughly 100% chance of infrastructure getting done this year. It was only ever a question of how big the two infrastructure packages ended up being – and that was always going to come down to how much time we spent placing pressure on the bad actors who needed to be pressured.
On the whole we did pretty well. The irony is that the defeatists whining today about what didn’t get included in the infrastructure legislation, are the same people who spent all year insisting it would never happen at all, instead of rolling up their sleeves and trying to help the rest of us push for the biggest package possible. It’s a reminder that these types are alway best ignored and/or shouted down. They do real harm.
But as always, this is about winning – and this is a huge victory for Biden, the Democrats, their supporters, and America at large. Democratic leaders are going to do everything in their power to promote the right messaging about how Build Back Better positively impacts voters’ lives. The media, and most liberal pundits, will do nothing to amplify that messaging. That means it falls on you, the liberal activists, to take the Democratic Party’s messaging and amplify every word of it that you happen to agree with.
To be clear, we’re just getting started. In the new year we’ll start seeing significant movement on voting rights legislation. Why? Because that was always going to come next. This one might be a bit trickier, which is saying something given how complex of a path the infrastructure legislation ended up taking. But we’re going to get voting rights done. The people insisting that it’s “doomed” and that it’ll “never happen no matter what” are the same people who said the same thing about infrastructure.
Of course the media already seems intent on scaring us into believing we’re still doomed, so we’ll give up on activism and spend all day staring at our screens and boosting their ratings instead. When I turned on MSNBC yesterday afternoon, the big headline was about how the Republicans have already somehow magically stolen the next election. Whatever. This kind of doomsday hysteria is a distraction.
We’re going to get voting rights legislation done over the next year, even as the media spends the entire time trying to scare us into believing it’ll never happen. Here’s a fun idea: ask those types how their infrastructure predictions ended up working out for them. Then turn off the TV for a minute and rest up, because we’ve got work to do on voting rights legislation, and it’ll be all hands on deck.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report