Twice this month, Mr. Biden has traveled to the U.S. Capitol to beseech House Democrats to vote for his two-part domestic agenda.
Both times, the Democrats’ response to President Obama was, essentially, “Don’t let the door get in your way.”
Presidents like to project authority when leaving our shores, so Mr. Biden‘s message to House Democrats on Thursday morning was: The world is watching us and wondering whether we can function.
And the party’s response was a big fat N-O.
Adding to Mr. Biden‘s humiliation, he went on national TV after the meeting to announce that Democrats had agreed on a “framework” to move forward. But you could tell from Mr. Biden‘s first words that he really wasn’t sure.
“Today I am happy to announce that after months and tough negotiations, I believe we have a historic,” he said, before correcting himself. “I am certain that we have a historic economic structure .”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the chief cat-herder and chief cat-herder. She had previously vowed that she would hold open a vote on the floor for as long as it took to force progressives to choose, but she pushed back the vote to Thursday night.
She was unable to vote with the president. This is again.
And we won’t even mention the gazillion face to face meetings that the president hosted over the past few months at the White House with Democrats, which are said to have the largest home-court advantage anywhere in the world.
Forget about the opposition Republicans. It’s now painfully clear to the country, and the world, that Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi can’t even manage the progressive-moderate split in their own party.
” People are frustrated right now,” stated nine-term Rep. Jim Costa (California Democrat). “There is a lack in trust, and there are a lot members here who have only been here for four years or less. They don’t seem like they understand how to get things done .”
Or maybe they don’t, but it’s the older guard that doesn’t.
It was the third time Mrs. Pelosi abandoned plans to vote because of objections from progressives.
Mrs. Pelosi had raved about the amazing legislative work that was in progress before she made her punt.
” It’s amazing. It’s amazing in that it’s big vision, larger vision than we have seen in a very while,” she stated of the president’s plan.
It was so remarkable that even her party could not be persuaded by her to vote for either side.
Mission is not completed.