“We need to tax billionaires and megacorporations that dodge their fair share. And we need to fight back against unchecked corporate power that increasingly shape our lives.”
Squad member and Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib felt the need to offer her own response to Biden’s SOTU speech this week.
Many people thought it was an odd move, considering that she was responding to a speech by a member of her own party, but she clearly knew Biden wasn’t going to go far left enough for her and others.
Tlaib made her speech on behalf of the far left Working Families party. I watched the entire speech, and it’s pretty much what you would expect. Tlaib doubled down on defunding the police, free health care, and forgiving all student loan debt.
The thing I found most surprising was Tlaib’s multiple references to the working class, which she obviously thinks is still a strong part of the Democrat coalition. I’m pretty sure that ship has left port.
Here’s a partial transcript, from Twitchy:
I have been taking care of people all my life. My service in Congress is guided by my roots. That’s why I’m committed to standing up for our communities that just want the opportunity to thrive in the richest country in the world. It shouldn’t be this hard for so many to have a good life. Tonight, I am proud to deliver a response on behalf of the Working Families Party.
The Working Families Party is a voice for the multiracial working class, fighting for a nation that cares for all of us. I’m a lifelong Democrat. I’m also part of the Working Families Party because I believe that our government must put the needs of working families first in difficult times. We must never lose sight of each other’s humanity. Two years ago, we couldn’t have imagined a pandemic that has taken nearly a million lives here at home, in nearly 6 million across the world.
It also threw tens of millions of Americans, our neighbors, out of work. And it exposed our inhumane, profit driven healthcare system as our essential workers were pushed to the breaking point and hospitals ran out of beds. When President Biden took office just over a year ago, he took action. He started getting shots and arms. He acted quickly to deliver emergency relief.
Congress approved direct relief checks. We helped our working parents. We stopped evictions. We sent resources to our schools and our local and state governments. We show the potential of an administration and Congress that can act together at the scale of the challenges we all face.
We showed how our government can be in the service of the working class majority, not just the wealthy few. And it worked. President Biden and Congress stopped what could have been an economic resolve. Not a single Republican, not one voted for the relief package. We created 6 million new jobs.
She blamed Republicans, Manchin, and Sinema for standing in the way of Biden’s plans:
But two forces stood in the way. A Republican Party that serves only the rich and the powerful, and just enough corporatebacked Democratic obstructionists to help them succeed. Some important parts of the President’s agenda became law with the infrastructure bill, but we campaigned on doing even more. Roads and bridges are critical, but so are child care and prescription drugs. And we shouldn’t have to choose people like India Beckham, a mother of seven children in my district who is the sole provider for her family.
Tlaib touched on crime, which is ironic given her support of groups like BLM and Antifa:
Nothing is more important than keeping the people we love free from harm. We all deserve to be safe in our neighborhoods. The path to community safety is investing in what people need to thrive, like access to jobs, quality education and real opportunities. We can’t police away homelessness, poverty or mental health crisis in our country. Care, care, not more criminalization is how we ensure lasting safety for all.
And of course, this was right out of the Bernie Sanders playbook:
Over the last two years, the richest people in America doubled their wealth as profits skyrocket. Corporations have the nerve to blame inflation while increasing prices on essential goods and services. This is more than simply corporate greed.
It’s extortion. We need to tax billionaires and megacorporations that dodge their fair share. And we need to fight back against unchecked corporate power that increasingly shape our lives.
You can watch the whole thing below:
Writing at the Daily Beast, Elanor Clift called Tlaib’s speech a gift to Republicans:
Rashida Tlaib’s State of the Union Response to Biden Is a Gift to the GOP
On the night of President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address, in which the president called for unity against both foreign and domestic threats, why would a fellow Democrat feel compelled to deliver a progressive response?
Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib spoke on behalf of not the Democratic Party but the Working Families Party, in her post-SOTU comments. She was careful not to call it a rebuttal, but whatever you call it it’s a slap at her party’s leader at a time when he is facing multiple crises and the Democrats have the slimmest of margins in the House and Senate…
At a time when polls show voters think Biden is already too far left, Tlaib’s grabbing a State of the Union platform struck others in the party as self-destructive in the extreme. “Why does any Democrat at this moment think it’s a good idea to attack other Democrats on the night of the President’s State of the Union, it’s insane,” says Matt Bennett, a co-founder of Third Way, a moderate Democratic group.
A reckoning is coming for the Democratic party. People on the left are going to have to choose a side in this battle between the center left and the radical left.
Featured image via YouTube.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.