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The limited series has six episodes on Netflix.
UMKC’s Women’s Center hosts Feminist Film Friday
Renée Ashley, Staff Writer • September 30, 2023

  UMKC Women’s Center hosted a Feminist Film Friday, featuring the first episode of the new Netflix series “Ladies First: A Story of Women...

GUTS soundtrack features 12 songs, rounding out at 39 minutes.
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  Forget a sophomore slump; Olivia Rodrigo just put out a sophomore statement.   Rodrigo released her new album earlier this month, titled...

The Kansas City Repertory Theater is located on UMKCs campus and has a variety of shows throughout the year.
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Aurora Wilson, Lifestyle and Culture Editor • September 25, 2023

Dri Hernaez, a third-year MFA acting candidate at UMKC, didn’t expect to find a career in acting, but KC Rep Spencer Theater helped her grasp...

The Art Garden KC
The Art Garden KC
Aydan Stigler, Photographer • September 20, 2023

A mural of Patrick Mahomes on the side of Ale House.
The Best Places to Catch the Chiefs This Season
Alexandrea Erisman and Adedeji AdebaworeSeptember 15, 2023

Let’s face it, the spot to be on game day is undoubtedly GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, but we can’t all score a ticket inside.   We...

The absurdity of moderation

Moderate Senate Democrats Joe Manchin (right) of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema (left) of Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin)

The long-awaited American Rescue Plan, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief package, was signed into law last week. The $1.9 trillion legislation is one of the most progressive bills signed in decades. 

The significance of this bill in the fight against the pandemic and helping uplift those suffering in crushing poverty is impossible to deny. However, President Biden’s relief package is not as progressive as promised. 

Within the Senate, the bill was needlessly curtailed. The primary actors responsible for this play of stinginess were moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.  

Moderate senators acting as impediments to passing progressive legislation is not new. In Obama’s first term, a moderate block of Democratic senators undermined and watered down the Affordable Care Act. 

The defense for this kind of behavior is always that they are moderates seeking some kind of compromise. Many are doing it to seem independent or something akin to that. However, political theatrics are a poor reason to hurt others, making them unable to receive benefits by removing vital sections from an aid bill.  

Using your power in the Senate to sit and say no to policies that help people is short-sighted. More people would vote for you and your party if you did more to visibly improve their lives. Yet, these moderates are the people making it harder to do just that. 

If a faction of moderate senators hadn’t forced the Obama administration to remove the public option and other more progressive elements from the Affordable Care Act, more people would have clearly benefited from that legislation. That could have meant the legislation wouldn’t be seen as a toxic mess.  

These senatorial sagas of the past and present show the way moderates act is not actually in line with the labeling. When someone is labeled as moderate, most assume that is because they have a position that is more in line with the broader American public. 

However, that isn’t true. In Congress, a moderate is someone whose political positions fit the middle of the House or the Senate, not broader public opinion. More often than not, these moderates have opinions that are not popular with the American public.  

That was shown clearly over the last few weeks when many Senate Democrats didn’t support increasing the minimum wage, an almost crazy position to take, since increasing the minimum wage is popular among a majority of Democratic and Republican voters. 

Winning elections is hard, and it is understandable that sometimes decisions have to be made that are unorthodox or unpopular in that pursuit. However, when you are in power you should be using your leverage to help people, not blunting others’ efforts to do just that. 

Now more than ever, strident progressive action is necessary. That cannot happen if moderate senators’ response to these efforts is no. 

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