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Ted Cruz, Working-Class Hero
Just kidding. But if the Democrats can manipulate the reflexive partisanship of Cruz, Rubio, Hawley and others into winning sick leave for rail workers, let them posture all they want.
Things are pretty wild today in the Senate. Republicans Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Josh Hawley all say they won’t vote for the House bill enacting the September rail contract negotiated by Labor Secretary Marty Walsh because four of the 12 rail unions involved, including the biggest of the 12, rejected the contract in rank-and-file votes. They don’t give a damn about working people, of course, except insofar as they can appeal to their worst selves waging culture war. But it’s a real put-up-or-shut-up moment because there’s an alternate bill passed by the House and pushed in the Senate by Bernie Sanders that would address workers’ objections to the contract by adding 7 days’ sick leave. President Joe Biden doesn’t support the alternate bill because he’s afraid it will gum up getting anything passed and prompt rail workers to go out on strike. But surely Biden would be delighted, in a Br’er Rabbit sort of way, to see Senate Republicans furnish the necessary 10 votes to enact the Bernie bill into law. He’d also end up looking like a genius.
Alas, my spies tell me this isn’t likely to happen because except maybe for Hawley the Republicans are all bluffing, and Walsh isn’t nimble enough to mousetrap them. If this is true then my New Republic piece explaining how, less than one month after the Democrats’ working-class support dropped five percentage points in the midterms, Biden blundered badly here, is in no danger of being overtaken by events. Would that it were. You can read the piece here.
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