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Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Democratic activists increasingly at odds with Biden

Democratic activists are losing patience with the leader of their party, expressing anger over President Biden’s lackadaisical approach to everything from abortion rights and climate change to gun violence prevention. On the outside, progressives are getting louder and louder as they grow increasingly tired of seeing the president’s campaign promises be cut down to size, only to have the midterms fall further out of their grasp. They are becoming more disagreeable, sparked, they say, by his inaction and inability to bring his own agenda to fruition. They believe the White House keeps minimizing their concerns — leading them to caution about the consequences. “We’ve been warning Democrats that unless they correct now, they are going to lose the engagement of so many voters, threatening their chances in 2022 and 2024 even further,” said Ellen Sciales, spokesperson for the climate-oriented Sunrise Movement. “Democrats are heading into November with a president with low approval ratings, a Congress that has not passed Build Back Better, and we are losing young people, the future of the party and the future of the country,” she said. ADVERTISING That disappointment is felt among a range of left-leaning interest groups. Climate activists believe Biden hasn’t done nearly enough to address the global problem of rising temperatures, and other issue-based organizations feel just as passionately about him coming up short. “This isn’t some inner-party fight, this isn’t about beating up Biden because we want to relitigate 2020 or fight about what happens in 2024, this is about foreseen disaster in the midterms and we wanted to fend off that disaster,” said Aaron Chappell, political director at Our Revolution. “We think without seeing strong action from the party, it is going to be really tough to motivate voters in November.” On Monday, that bursting-at-the-seams sentiment came to a head over the paralyzing nature of mass shootings, another area where advocates say the administration should be doing more. A gun control activist whose son was killed in the 2018 high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., went as far as to interrupt Biden in protest during a speech at the White House on the new bipartisan gun control law. Moon Milk Is Trending For Self Care. Here's Why. SPONSORED CONTENT Moon Milk Is Trending For Self Care. Here's Why. BY CLOVER SONOMA “He can expect that this frustration will bubble up to a head like this. You can only send so many letters that are ignored until things come to a head,” said Noah Lumbantobing, a spokesperson for March for Our Lives, a group founded after the Parkland shooting. Manuel Oliver’s civil disturbance was motivated, in part, by the event being billed as a “celebration” of the legislation, which fell far short of what most Democrats, advocates and even Biden wanted. The president has consistently called for an assault weapons ban but has been criticized by advocates for not aggressively pushing for a filibuster carve-out in order for it to pass in the Senate. Lumbantobing said Oliver’s “spontaneous action … speaks to the broader frustration of the base of the Democratic Party.” “Democrats are frustrated with the president,” he went on, “because he hasn’t been a leader. He’s been a friend, but he hasn’t been a leader.” Tensions over climate and gun-related problems are just as strong as those felt by millions of people maddened by the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. But over the weekend, it wasn’t the high court that took the majority of the heat: It was one of Biden’s most trusted advisers. Many on the left took to public platforms to express their outrage over what they said was a sloppy and insensitive statement by the administration’s outgoing communications director that called some activists “out of step.” Kate Bedingfield, a senior and longstanding Biden adviser, used the word “satisfy” as something that’s not a top priority when addressing activists’ concerns around abortion rights. “Joe Biden’s goal in responding to Dobbs is not to satisfy some activists who have been consistently out of step with the mainstream of the Democratic Party,” she told The Washington Post, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe. Bedingfield’s comments paint a White House that is generally uninterested in, and, at times, publicly bothered by pressure from the progressive left, one of several important Democratic voting blocs. “These women aren’t some small fringe of the party — they’re its base. The party is going to need them to win in November, and in our experience, scolding your base rarely results in enthusiastic support,” Rachel O’Leary Carmona, executive director of the Women’s March, told The Hill in response to Bedingfield’s comments. Liberals — and even some moderates — say the Biden press shop lacks speed and focus and is often tripped up by comments that last several news cycles, rather than just a brief moment of cleanup. Those who are critical say they’ve been outright ineffective at messaging around the domestic issues that they say are the most important. The White House often punts to Congress on actions like codifying abortion rights, forgiving student loan debt and passing a comprehensive federal voting rights bill, and declares that none of these items can be done without a larger Democratic majority in the Senate. Progressives, though, want to see the president announcing more executive actions and abolishing the filibuster, which Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are opposed to. “I don’t believe that the president of the United States can’t find a way to move two senators in his own party. I don’t know what that way is, but we do think the president has the power, has the reputation as a dealmaker,” Chappell said. He argued that progressives have even pulled back on their demands, turning to drug pricing fixes as opposed to pushing for “Medicare for All” and supporting reasonable, achievable climate solutions instead of more extreme measures. “We have been yelling about a looming disaster for a while now. I think the progressive movement tried to be very levelheaded, reasonable about what was possible,” Chappell said. “The president had plenty of warning with the leak on the Roe decision, so again it’s just, why is it taking so long to respond?” “We just had to show that the party takes these concerns seriously,” he said. “Without doing that, I think it’s really hard to convince people to come back out.” Right now, polling for the president is getting downright bleak. A New York Times-Siena College survey this week showed 64 percent of Democrats would prefer another candidate from the party to run in the next presidential election, essentially sending a volt of electricity to already charged-up progressives on edge. To make matters worse, the poll wasn’t an outlier. A separate survey taken by Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll found that roughly 71 percent of Americans do not want Biden to run for reelection at all. Former Oath Keeper: ‘We came very, very close to having a civil war kick off on Jan. 6’ Preview: Biden’s trip to the Middle East “So many of us poured our hearts into the 2020 elections and had so much hope for what the government could do with a flipped Senate and with the presidency back,” Sciales said. “Now we are watching as our fundamental rights are being stripped away, climate disasters are worsening, districts have been gerrymandered for the next 10 years, and the message young people are receiving from leadership is, ‘Vote harder.’” Whether Democrats show up to vote is an entirely different question than if they will show up for Biden again. Talk about a potential primary challenge has continued to build, with a grassroots organization that supported Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) first two White House bids launching a campaign this week in opposition of Biden’s renomination in the 2024 Democratic primary. The group, Roots Action, said that Biden has been “neither bold nor inspiring” and said they would launch the #DontRunJoe campaign one day after the midterm elections. For more information, please contact us at: http://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/index.html

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