Senate Democrats Just Killed the $15 Minimum Wage.

Corporate Democrats continue to prove they can’t even be trusted with the bare minimum.

Lauren Elizabeth
Mar 5 · 4 min read
CHERISS MAY/NURPHOTO /GETTY

After weeks of negotiations on Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill, not one or two, but eight Senate Democrats have officially voted to kill Bernie Sanders’ amendment to include the $15 minimum wage.

Along with West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, Jon Tester of Montana, Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Angus King of Maine, and Tom Carper and Chris Coons of Joe Biden’s own state of Delaware all joined the Senate Republicans to prevent the lowest income workers in the country from getting a desperately needed pay raise that they have not had since 2009.

I’m not sure how much more clear that the Democratic party could make it that they have become nothing more than controlled opposition, puppets and tools for the donor class, big banks, and corporations that have paid them to do their bidding at the expense of the American people.

This outcome is not on the Republican party. This has nothing to do with Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Kevin McCarthy, any of them. The Democratic party just made the calculated decision to destroy any last shred of hope the American people had for these next four years. Senate Democrats decided to take all of the hundreds of millions of dollars, the organizing efforts, and intensive ground game that went into giving them unilateral control of the government, and burned it, all for the sake of showing the lowest income workers that Democrats, too believe they aren’t worth the dignity and respect of a living wage.

As I have said now countless times before, writing has been my chosen release since I learned how to read. It is the tool that I turn to to express whatever emotions I am currently feeling, and it’s difficult not to consider what the Democratic party has just done and feeling anything less than raw anger bordering on rage.

To be clear, the vote of these eight Senate Democrats was a message. A message not of weakness to the American people, but a message of power to the progressive Democrats in the House. Funny, isn’t it, how the number of Senate Democrats willing to vote no on the bill if it included a $15 minimum wage suddenly jumped from two to eight after progressive Democrats in the House began to consider withholding their votes if it was not included?

I never, ever want to hear “vote blue no matter who” again.

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling tired of the excuses, both from these feckless and frankly useless lawmakers and their loyal voters. I am tired of feeling so cynical. I am tired of the broken promises. I’m tired of the Democratic party flexing more political power to kill any progressive policy goals than they have used against the Republican party in forty years. I’m sick and tired of them serving as active barriers to progress, choosing not to deliver on what they pledged in their campaigns, then turning around and having the audacity to demand the votes of the very same people who they spend their careers subverting and ignoring.

The Democratic party deserves to lose, and it grows more and more clear with each passing day that this truly is their goal. They do not want the power. They do not want the expectations to deliver. They do not want to be held responsible for campaign promises, and would instead rather hide behind the Republican shields while simultaneously doing the bidding of oftentimes the very same donors who fund Democrats’ supposed opposition.

In three years from now, Kamala Harris will likely be running for President, with Donald Trump as it stands today probably selected as the Republican nominee. Kamala Harris, I’m sure, is going to be standing on a campaign or debate stage, still trying to convince the American people that she wanted that $15 minimum wage.

They are convinced these games are going to continue to work.

For months if not years, those of us on the left were gaslit, browbeaten with the same tired mantra that no, Democrats really do want the minimum wage increase and if we just gave them the power to do so, they would implement it. Any time we expressed skepticism about their intentions or disappointment in their leadership, we were told that we must want Trump instead. Leave it to corporate Democrats to prove after barely a month of having unilateral control that we were right about their games all along.

Eight Senators would not have voted against that amendment that had originally been included in Biden’s bill without his blessing. The two no votes from his home state of Delaware reflect his true position. It was the first thing he intended to drop from the legislation, he succeeded, and now the American people get to pay the price.

Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Dialogue & Discourse

News and ideas worthy of discourse. Fundamentally informative and intelligently analytical.

Lauren Elizabeth

Written by

Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

Dialogue & Discourse

News and ideas worthy of discourse. Fundamentally informative and intelligently analytical.

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