The new Wonder Woman 1984 film, which premiered just this past Christmas, pitted the DC Comics Amazonian against a Donald Trump type of villain. In a mind-boggling, baby-brained plot, Trump possesses a magical wishing stone, and he uses it to obtain power.
Wonder Woman eventually defeats the Trump villain by convincing him that wishing for things is cheating, and we must play by the rules. The “wishes” he was granting were actually lies that did more harm than good, and he simply had to realize that “the world was a beautiful place just as it was.”
Americans in WW84 may have wished for selfish or destructive things like dead boyfriends coming back to life or more nuclear missiles, but in the end, the whole world renounced their wish. They made it a big deal in the movie–everyone had to say “I renounce my wish” to reset the world.
While it’s a very convoluted view of Trump (and a pessimistic view of what humanity would do with their wish), the messaging also applies to how Sen. Sanders’ ideas are treated. Platforms like Medicare-for-all, eliminating student debt, and now the $2,000 stimulus checks, are viewed as pipe dreams that will somehow do more harm than good.
“We don’t have an unlimited checking account. We’re $27 trillion in debt.” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said of our lack of money to pay for coronavirus stimulus checks last Thursday on CNBC. “Somebody has got to be thinking about the effect of this on our future generations.”
Mitch McConnell similarly stated that, “Borrowing from our grandkids to do socialism for rich people is a terrible way to get help to families who actually need it.” He said the bill would send “thousands of dollars to people who don’t need the help.”
However, it’s apparently not too much money to approve $740 billion for defense funding, which the Senate just did this past week.
“I am a little tired of that hypocrisy,” Sen. Sanders retorted. We have “endless amounts of money for bloated military budgets and tax breaks for billionaires. But when working families need help, oh my God, we can’t afford it!”
Last Monday (Dec. 28), the usually standard yet still disheartening vote to approve the defense funding bill took place. This year, the Senate was asking for $740 billion.
Congress was ready to override Trump’s veto of the bill (which the President did not for the insane amount of money but because it didn’t include a provision that would eliminate protections for social media companies), but don’t bother. Just know that the goal that day was to approve the bill as is and go home for New Years.
The problem, however, was that approving a $740 billion defense bill seemed like a pretty tone-deaf thing to do while you were supposedly arguing over whether Americans should get either a $600 or $2,000 stimulus check for the ongoing pandemic.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Bernie Sanders pushed for McConnell to allow for a vote. He argued that his $2,000 stimulus bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), had passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
To vote for the defense bill and then adjourn for the New Year would be a disservice to the American people in a time of crisis. “I’m going to object until we get a vote on legislation to provide a $2,000 direct payment to the working class,” he tweeted. Sanders later added in his speech that, “This is about life and death for millions.”
McConnell objected, leaving Sanders and the Democrats with one choice left. If the Democrats refused to vote “Yea” for the defense bill unless McConnell agreed to bring stimulus talks to the floor, the Senate Majority Leader would be forced to concede to their demands. Without them, he wouldn’t have the 2/3 majority that he needed.
The bill passed by an overwhelming 81-13 count. There was no progressive stand for stimulus relief.
Sanders, Markey, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were among the only six Democrats to vote “Nay,” while notable Democratic senators such as Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who originally co-sponsored the bill, voted “Yea” to pass the bill and go home. It is public record.
I have yet to see a response from the Democrats who voted “Yea,” let alone any questions posed. The day before conceding to McConnell on this vote, Harris was even asking him to bring “[her] bill on the floor for a vote.” So, why did this happen? Why are they going down without a fight?
For top Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Kamala Harris to not take a stand with Sen. Sanders, they’re saying that they are not willing (or that they do not care enough), to fight to get people help. To misquote Jay-Z, “what’s worse than one Mitch McConnell? Two.” Or in this vote, 83 Mitch McConnell’s to 13 Bernie Sanders’.
Amidst a pandemic where Americans are being laid off en masse, shot in the street for protesting police violence, or were one of the near-4,000 casualties who have died from the coronavirus, the majority of our Democratic senators are saying that we don’t need to wish for anything to improve our lives. Just like Wonder Woman 1984, our senators are telling us that wanting anything more is greedy, because they believe the world is okay just how it is.
Do not renounce your wish.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.