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Democrats' Wasted Year: Sinema and Manchin Aren't Moving on Filibuster or BBB

January 26, 2022

Senators Manchin and Sinema have torpedoed the progressive agenda.

Months ago we wrote this….

Beating Dead Horses: Forget 'Build Back Better' and Get Bipartisan Already

In which we noted the very obvious:

“DC hasn’t legislated in election years in decades.  So this off-year was all the time there was for anything to get done.  And we’ve wasted nigh its entirety beating the dead horse that is the fake ‘Build Back Better’ bill.

“I have a sense that if a Republican majority was myopically stuck on a piece of partisan legislation, the entirety of the planet would have in Week II begun chastising them for wasting everyone’s time.  Republicans would be incessantly cajoled to get back to working on bipartisan things that can actually get done.”

Nearly a year into the exceedingly awful Joe Biden Administration, neither Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema or West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin have moved even a little in their opposition to large swaths of Build Back Never.  Or ending the filibuster.  And they never lied about this.  Au contraire.  They have been very openly saying they would not move even a little. 

But Democrats have insisted on remaining steadfastly impervious to these facts.  And we are rapidly approaching the year anniversary of their titanically wasting our time.

But this is Big Government.  And this is Big Media and Big Tech.  So instead of The Zeitgeist asking the overwhelming majority of Democrats why they continue to flog deceased equines?  We continue to get idiocies like this….

How Manchin, Sinema Are Blocking a New Democratic Consensus

Manchin and Sinema Continue to Stand in Way of ‘Build Back Better’

Dems Left With Zombie Voting Bills After Sinema, Manchin Death Blows

Clyburn: Sinema, Manchin Should Quit Their ‘Foolishness’ in Opposing Filibuster Suspension

And how’s this for dumbness beyond measure?

How Manchin and Sinema Completed a Conservative Vision

If only….

Meanwhile, there’s a whole lot of really important stuff DC needs to be getting done.  Just as there was a year ago - when the Democrats began this idiocy. 

And here’s the rub: A lot of it has bipartisan support.  But DC won’t get out of its own way and get to it.   

Months ago we also wrote this…:

“One of the reasons Big Tech is so very big (and obnoxious, and market-murdering, and….) is they can sell us and our data completely unimpeded by any privacy legislation whatsoever.

“You read that right.  We are into Decade II of Big Tech’s crushing planetary dominance - and DC still can’t get its act together on legislation to protect us and our data from them.

“(Gee, I wonder if Big Tech’s crushing crony-donation dominance has anything to do with their success impeding privacy law progress…?)

“You don’t want a patchwork quilt of fifty different state laws smothering the Internet.  On privacy, or Net Neutrality, or….  It’s a regulatory nightmare mess.  It’s a WORLD Wide Web.  We need one national slate of Internet policies - the better to mesh with the rest of the world’s Web.

“There has, in fact, been bipartisan DC privacy legislation for years.  Here’s a latest example….

“‘Senators Roll Out Bipartisan Data Privacy Bill’

“It’s just that DC hasn’t prioritized any of it.  It has done Big Tech its crony favors - and instead keeps getting sidetracked and bogged down with idiotic hyper-partisan nonsense like Build Back Never.

“They should put down the dumbness and slowly back away.  And instead spend time on data privacy legislation that actually helps actual Americans.

“Of course, Big Tech requires more legislation than just data privacy.  And here DC has been all around the solution but generally missed the mark.

“We don’t need any new antitrust legislation — bipartisan though it may be.  We can do plenty with existing law - and don’t want to further open that awful can of worms.

“There’s been some bipartisan discussion of Section 230 reform.  That’s getting closer to the solution.  But what we actually need is….Section 230 repeal.

“‘How Did Big Tech Get So Big? Massive Government Cronyism – Like Section 230’….

“Oh: And Section 230s massive, ever-expanding crony protections were added to 1996’s Communications Decency Act (CDA) — as an offset to the ‘indecency’ speech limitations the CDA emplaced.

“Except the Supreme Court in 1997 (rightly) dumped the CDA’s ‘indecency' speech limitations.  But left in place Section 230s massive, ever-expanding crony protections.

“So Big Tech has retained its unique, massive crony protectionism payoff - without the downside the payoff was supposed to pay off.

“Section 230 has to go.”

Indeed it does.  But if that’s asking a little much of DC - let’s at least begin to rein-in Big Tech’s free rein. 

With Section 230 - and Big Tech’s limitless, multi-trillion-dollar abuse of our digital data. 

Both needed doing a year ago.  Both still need doing.

Our two non-insane Democrats certainly think so.

Oh: And both Section 230 and data privacy reform are bipartisan….   

Sinema Calls for Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Arizonans’ Privacy

Klobuchar, Kennedy, Manchin, Burr Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Privacy of Consumers’ Online Data

Section 230 Will Be On the Chopping Block at the Next Big Tech Hearing:

“Committee Chairman Roger Wicker called the decision to hold the hearing “imperative” in order for Americans to ‘receive a full accounting from the heads of these companies about their content moderation practices.’

"Remarkably, the decision to subpoena the CEOs was unanimous, with ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell joining the vote to subpoena the companies after initially opposing the decision….

“Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee include Wicker, Ted Cruz, John Thune and Rick Scott. Democrats on the committee include Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Brian Schatz and Kyrsten Sinema.”

Manchin Section 230 Bill Inbound:

“A bid for bipartisan Section 230 reform: It’s the latest proposal in Washington to set its sights on the legal shield.

“‘As the Internet rapidly changed, we failed to keep up. Now we must amend Section 230 to reflect the way the Internet impacts our lives today – both good and bad,’ Manchin told Politico.”

And it ain’t just DC’s elected denizens that want to move on movable stuff.  And it ain’t just DC.

Tech and Business Coalition Launches Push for Federal Privacy Law

State and Local Coalition Letter Calling for Data Privacy Legislation

There’s a lot of good stuff DC could do. 

If it wasn’t so myopically fixated on awful things it can’t.

First published at: Substack.

Photo by Senate Democrats, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Article Tags
Government & Politics
Author
Seton Motley is the president of Less Government, a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the power of government and protecting the First Amendment from governmental assault.
smotley@lessgovernment.org @SetonMotley