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Not My Party: Dems in Trouble—the Price of Incompetence

Americans don’t know what’s in the bills.
November 4, 2021
Tim Miller: Dems In Trouble: The Price of Incompetence

[Editor’s note: Watch Not My Party every week on Snapchat.]

Tim Miller: All right, y’all. School’s back in session. Let’s kick off class with a little pop quiz.

Professor Sherman Klump: Pop quiz. Pop quiz.

Miller: This is “Not My Party,” brought to you by The Bulwark.

Remember a couple weeks ago, we talked about the Democrats being on the struggle bus as they failed to pass their Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the—

Creepy robo-voiced fake AOC, Bernie Sanders, and Pramila Jayapal: Human Infrastructure.

Emmett “Doc” Brown: There’s that word again.

Creepy robo-voiced fake AOC, Sanders, and Jayapal: Human infrastructure.

Miller: —mega-bill. After a little break, I’m wondering, do you know what’s actually in these bills? I’m betting many of you aren’t a hundred percent sure, but guess what?

Sean Maguire from Good Will Hunting: It’s not your fault.

Miller: It’s really not: 7 in 10 Americans say they know little to nothing about these bills. This lack of clarity is a big PR fail for the Biden administration.

“Cousin” Greg Hirsch: It sounds bad.

Joe Biden: Uh, sorry.

Miller: But it’s also partly on the media and smartasses like me who think it’s more fun to cover the slap fight between the Squad and Senator Denim Vest than the substance. So before we get to the politics—

Parody Robin Williams from Family Guy: Oh, politics.

Dan (Jude Law) from Closer: I’m addicted to it.

Miller: Here’s the tl;dr on the BIF and the BBB. Let’s start with the Bipartisan Infrastructure package. It includes the biggest investment in bridge repair since we created the highway system; fixes roads; replaces literally every lead pipe in the country; puts $100 billion into public transit and trains—libs are really horny for trains, for some reason; fixes up some airports; funds electric vehicle charging stations; and upgrades nationwide broadband to make sure your snaps are loadin’ nice and fast even when you’re in the boonies.

Guy trying to use Snapchat in a field: I got a signal!

Miller: It also puts a considerable amount of money into preparing us for the extreme weather events and increased flooding that will come as a result of a changing climate.

Truman Burbank getting rained on: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh ha ha!

Miller: It will cost a half a trillion dollars and increase the debt by a couple hundred billion. But it seems like only Joe Manchin and us Never Trump cucks care about that these days.

Don Knotts: Did you get all that?

Hank Schrader: Yeah, I think so.

Miller: The second is the lovely—

Creepy robo-voiced fake AOC, Sanders, and Jayapal: Human infrastructure.

Miller: —bill, aka the BBB, the Build Back Better bill. Negotiations on this are still ongoing. But here’s what’s currently in the bill’s framework. Universal free preschool; money for child and elder care; $300 tax credit per child per month, which adds up to a lot of moolah; a buttload of cash for climate mitigation and building wind turbines and solar panels and clean energy tax credits; hearing benefits for the olds—

Grampa Simpson: That’s what they’re saying under their breath? How awful. I wanna hear all of it.

Miller: —construction rehab and improvement on more than one million affordable homes, which is my favorite part of the bill; and a bunch of other stuff aimed at the hot new progressive buzzword: equity.

Caesar Flickerman: Interesting concept.

Miller: So there’s a lot of good stuff in here, but when I say a lot, it means the bills take longer to read than the Dune books. It’s too much for people to wrap their mind around. And while the Democrats are arguing among themselves about how much to spend, the Republicans are just trolling Biden. Over problems real—

Steve Liesman: Inflation. Replacing COVID as the number one threat to the economy.

Miller: —and imagined:

Jason Selvig: What’s the most important issue here in Virginia?

Man-on-the-street interviewee: Not teaching them “Critical Race Theory.”

Selvig: What is “Critical Race Theory”?

Interviewee: I don’t have that much knowledge on it. But it’s something that I don’t care for.

Ben Wyatt: Fair point.

Miller: It’s time for the Dems to wake up, ’cause Biden’s poll numbers are tanking.

Judy Woodruff (voiceover): He’s facing some of his lowest approval ratings yet. . . . He’s 37 percent approval, 50 percent disapproving.

Miller: They need to shed this human centipede act and figure out how to get a fresh start. Like Pete and Kim K.

Veronica Deane: But how?

Miller: Here’s how. Focus on a couple popular items that are easy to understand and affect people’s lives. They could center their messaging on affordable housing and free pre-K. And emphasize that the super-wealthy are gonna pay for it.

Robo voice over footage of Mark Zuckerberg: Warning. System overheat. System overheat.

Miller: That’s popular. And then make sure everyone in the country knows that this is what Joe Biden is doing. And rather than sniping at each other, campaign on how it’s the Republicans who are trying to stop these popular policies. That’s good politics. Because if the Dems keep on this current trajectory of infighting and being prickly with the media—

Reporter: Mr. President.

Biden: You are such a pain in the neck.

Miller: —well, that’s a path to ending up sounding like a whiny loser.

Donald Trump: It’s called fake news.

Miller: See you next week for more “Not My Party.”

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark’s writer-at-large and the author of the best-selling book Why We Did It: A Travelogue from the Republican Road to Hell. He was previously political director for Republican Voters Against Trump and communications director for Jeb Bush 2016.