Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The moderates plot to strike back

1 year ago 53

Since our political punditry gets things wrong at least half the time: what if Biden's mishandling of classified documents — with an investigation (that’s a key point) — helps him a bit because it clarifies Trump isn't being unfairly and uniquely pursued?

What if we don't know how it shakes out yet?

Just saying.

Sarah Ferris/Politico:

The Real Power in the New Congress Isn’t Where Matt Gaetz Thinks It Is

Josh Gottheimer believes his caucus of centrists is going to play a key role getting important bills passed in a narrowly divided House

On a bitterly cold night 14 months ago, an obstreperous Democratic congressman from New Jersey was sitting in the Capitol hideaway of House Democrats’ heir apparent, talking about trying to do the impossible.

It was exactly one year before November’s midterms when Josh Gottheimer sat down with Hakeem Jeffries, and Democrats were confronting a bleak future. A Republican had just won the governor’s race in blue Virginia, and President Joe Biden’s agenda was all-but-dead despite Democrats’ trifecta of power in Washington. Jeffries — now minority leader and then caucus chair — was part of a Black Caucus bloc eager to score a legislative win by dislodging Biden’s $550 billion infrastructure bill from a months-long stalemate caused by Democratic infighting.

But Jeffries and his allies knew there weren’t enough Democratic votes to get the roads, rails and bridges plan through one of the tightest House majorities in history. They’d need at least a handful of Republican votes.

That’s when Gottheimer said he could deliver a dozen of them. That many GOP votes, Jeffries and other senior Democrats quickly realized, could neutralize the most hardline progressives who were threatening to oppose the infrastructure deal.

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