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'It Should Be Easier to Raise Minimum Wage Than to Drop Bombs on Syria': Progressives Fume at Biden

"We assassinate people by drone strike and have a literal prison colony in Guantanamo but where we draw the line is ignoring the Senate parliamentarian when [she] says no to a minimum wage hike."

The contrast between the procedural difficulty of pushing a modest pay increase for millions of workers through the Senate and the relative ease with which President Joe Biden—without congressional approval—launched a deadly bombing campaign in Syria late Thursday was the subject of much discussion and outrage as the president's lethal operation overseas coincided almost simultaneously with the Senate parliamentarian's advisory ruling against a popular $15 minimum wage measure.

The two events, according to progressive critics and political commentators, spotlighted how existing institutional constraints are heavily biased against the advancement of working-class interests but do little to prevent the commander-in-chief from unilaterally bombing foreign nations on the basis of highly dubious-to-nonexistent legal authority.

"Personally I think it should be easier to raise the minimum wage than to drop bombs on Syria," tweeted The New Republic's Kate Aronoff.

Pointing to the Senate's legislative filibuster as a key obstacle in the way of even minor policy changes, Matt Yglesias of the Slow Boring newsletter wrote sardonically on Thursday that "the genius of America is you need a 60-vote supermajority to raise the minimum wage, but the president can bomb some militia in Iran based on ... I dunno ... an AUMF from two decades ago that was about something else entirely or something."

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