Mehdi Hasan: Centrist Democrats are helping the GOP deprive Americans of 'basic rights and living standards'

Mehdi Hasan: Centrist Democrats are helping the GOP deprive Americans of 'basic rights and living standards'
Mehdi Hasan in 2012, Wikimedia Commons

The hurdles that President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda is facing come not only from Republicans, but also from centrist Blue Dog Democrats such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan railed against Manchin and Sinema during a September 26 monologue, arguing they are preventing Americans from having things that residents of other developed countries take for granted — including universal health care and policies that address the dangers of climate change.

The progressive firebrand told viewers, "The main story here that should bother all of us is that the American people are suffering for no good reason. They're being gaslighted. Why is it that the U.S. is the only industrialized country that cannot guarantee health care or childcare or family leave for its citizens?"

Hasan added, "Now, you have even top Democrats in Congress — supposedly centrist, moderates, realists — saying, 'Sorry, America, you can't have what everyone else has.' I'm sorry, but they're lying to you. We can afford $3.5 trillion over ten years. We can afford to tax the super rich. We can afford to guarantee basic rights and living standards to the people of this country."

Originally from the U.K. and now based in the Washington, D.C. area, Hasan brings an important perspective to the U.S. media. Hasan, being British, has seen first-hand the types of policies that progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City are fighting for — and he realizes that by European standards, Sanders and AOC are hardly considered radical or out of the mainstream. By Swedish, Dutch, French or Norwegian standards, they are considered average liberals. And Hasan complained that in the U.S., the political conversation always gets moved to the right — even when Democrats have a majority.

Hasan said of the political climate in the U.S., "Those on the left, progressives, are constantly told to be more realistic — just be pragmatic, maybe consider a compromise. But no one ever asks the conservatives, the centrists, the quote-unquote 'moderates,' to compromise or back down, do they?"

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