Letters to the Editor: Why did the Democrats almost sabotage themselves on infrastructure?

A masked Nancy Pelosi answers questions from reporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returns to her office on Capitol Hill after passage of the infrastructure bill on Nov. 6.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: While I’m thrilled and relieved that the House finally passed the infrastructure bill, as a lifelong Democrat I can’t begin to express my frustration at my party’s inability to grasp even the most basic skills of politics and messaging.

The bill was overwhelmingly popular. Passing it immediately would have given President Biden and the Democrats a historic and powerful win months ago — a win that would have been amplified by the passage around the same time of the COVID-19 relief bill.

But instead of seizing on this rare opportunity, one wing of the Democratic party decided to yank that slam-dunk win away and hold it hostage as a bizarre form of ransom in order to push through their own separate agenda. This failed effort created the perception of chaos and incompetence.


Contrast this with the GOP, which can simply scream about critical race theory on Fox News and win elections. The Republican Party knows it does not need to produce anything other than fear to win.

Until the Democrats grow up and realize that messaging and perception are as important as legislation, any victories they eke out will be short-lived. They need to win elections, not ideological-purity contests, and you can’t win by alienating whole swaths of voters.

More importantly, you can’t legislate and improve people’s lives from the sidelines.

Matthew Singerman, Newbury Park


To the editor: While I am not sure of how all the funds will be divided in the recently signed infrastructure package, given the focus on funding roads and bridges, it seems like California politicians should take a hard look at the current 51.1 cents per gallon state gas tax, the highest in the nation.

How about 25 cents for the next few years as a way to lower the burden on the lowest-income earners? In this year of rising prices, every penny helps.


Tom Rzeszut, Pasadena