Backlash is real. Democrats should not fool themselves into believing that passing a massive $3.5 trillion plan that provides Americans with government benefits from “cradle to grave” will be seen by the public as a good thing. Americans are far more likely to be skeptical of whatever legislation passes via reconciliation precisely because, in this day and age, reconciliation is a partisan process. As the poll numbers show, Americans prefer that major policy changes happen in a bipartisan fashion. This is why House moderates argued with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to “de-link” the Senate infrastructure bill from the reconciliation budget vote.
But beyond Democratic self-interest lies the moral argument that every parent has said at least once: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” More to the point, when two parties — whether individuals, organizations or countries — are fighting, the onus for ending it is on the one who is stronger and less desperate. Dignity comes from not having to always have the last word.