The Democrats’ big tent helped them win. Now that threatens Biden’s agenda.

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Mr Sanders has targeted recent news that a moderate think tank, Third Way, is working on a project to push Democrats to the center for the midterm elections. He said issues such as canceling student debt, raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and tackling climate change were “political winners.”

Today’s American working class – white, black, Latin – is suffering. They want us to react vigorously, ”he said. “If we do, I think they’ll reward us in 2022. If we fail them, Republicans will be able to say, ‘Hey, you gave these people the House, Senate, and White House and they got nothing. made. for you, “we will not do well in 2022.”

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Yet the entrenchment by moderate senators – and the president’s current deference to him – presents a challenge for activists hoping to influence the administration. And while progressive elected officials are confident that Mr. Biden will eventually join them, a growing chorus of activists are looking to him for more immediate action.

K Trainor, a student activist who has worked with progressive groups to train Democratic students, said Mr Biden’s response to mayor was deeply disappointing. She said if the administration ignored young voters, it would be more difficult to persuade them to participate in future elections.

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“I think a lot of people in my generation ask, ‘Where’s the courage? ”Ms. Trainor said. “It feels like they’re going backwards and we don’t even have 100 days.”

Reverend William J. Barber II, a co-chair of the Campaign of the Poor who organized the meeting of West Virginia workers with Mr Manchin, said the debate reflected an ugly belly of Democratic politics. While the working poor and low-income, especially those who are racial minorities or young people, form the core of the Democratic base, he said, the policies that interest them most have often been sacrificed because of political calculations.

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They represent the human cost of the big tent, he said.

“The Democrats ran on it, they put it in their platform and they said that’s what has to happen,” said Dr Barber. “It would be the ultimate surrender and betrayal to then get here and have the power to do it and then step back.”

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