Hard-left U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, who penned a nasty Washington Post column this week, should learn some things from West Virginia’s U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin and from the late, legendary Sens. Bob Dole and John McCain.

This also means she should listen to what she herself said just a week ago.

Jayapal, who leads the misnamed Congressional Progressive Caucus, spent most of the year pushing hard-line tactics in favor of the radical Build Back Better boondoggle that would spend the federal government into oblivion while giving major benefits to special interests. Now, enraged that Manchin has refused to kowtow to fellow Democrats’ BBB demands, Jayapal accuses the West Virginian of reneging on “commitments,” and it proposes an end-run around his opposition. Jayapal says President Joe Biden should simply dictate numerous provisions of BBB via “executive actions.”

Granted, the congresswoman also says her left-wing caucus “will continue to work toward legislation for Build Back Better, focused on keeping it as close to the agreed-upon framework as possible.” Yet her overall message was one of impatience and of desire for “progressive” rule by whatever method, including edict if necessary. Tellingly, she lamented that “low-hanging bipartisan provisions were prioritized over the transformational.”

If Jayapal doesn’t like having “bipartisan provisions” be “prioritized over the transformational,” she should work in the government of another country with a different constitution. Our Constitution was deliberately and wisely designed to prioritize consensus rather than transformation, change that’s incremental rather than revolutionary, delivered via deliberation rather than diktat.

And that’s the message Biden himself ran on: bipartisan cooperation, a return to “normal,” a rejection of radical change. He won the Democratic nomination as the only top-tier candidate talking that way, and he won swing voters against Donald Trump by promising as much.

Biden, Jayapal, and their fellow partisans tried all year to jam BBB down the nation’s collective throat. Despite having a president who barely won, with a tiny House majority and a 50-50 Senate split, they acted as if they had a mandate for “transformational change.” They held no hearings on BBB. They tried the almost-unprecedented tactic of passing it as the second bill of the year using an expedited parliamentary procedure known as “reconciliation” that is ordinarily used only once per annum. They barely tried to secure Republican votes. Rather than negotiate between parties, they “negotiated” (or “fought”) only amongst themselves — the Left against the far Left.

This is not the way the U.S. republic is designed to work. This is not how it has ever worked well. What works, quite well over time, is evolutionary change achieved through “regular order.”

That’s what Manchin is rightly demanding: regular order. Break the behemoth of a bill into manageable chunks. Hold hearings on those chunks. Accept well-meaning amendments, based on what is learned from the hearings, to make the chunks better. Look to willing Republicans, such as Utah’s U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, who is trying to achieve some of the Democrats’ ends by melding several of their ideas with some offered by conservative think tanks. (I am not endorsing Romney’s approach; this is just a “for instance.”)

This ideal of regular order is what onetime Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman is calling for. It’s what former Republican presidential nominee Dole asked for in his final column. And former Republican presidential nominee McCain begged for the same in his great, final Senate floor speech, calling for “incremental progress, compromises that each side criticize but also accept.”

Abandon the air of crisis and apocalypse. Show some humility. Take the long view. Win partial victories now, and then come back for more. And respect the possibility that your solutions might actually be wrong, and that wisdom advises a degree of caution.

Oddly enough, Jayapal let her guard down a week ago and showed she understands this is how things are supposed to work. In an interview with Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent, she suggested that Senate Democrats should take each major individual part of BBB and “hold votes on each item, to get Manchin to commit one way or the other. That could lead to an endgame in which a stripped-down BBB is negotiated.” She said she may even be willing to have Manchin take pieces out of the larger bill and “then vote on a bill that has the rest of it.”

Gee, what took her so long? This is exactly what Manchin, echoing Lieberman, Dole, and McCain, always has said is the best way forward.

But that was just an unusual moment of clarity from Jayapal. Now, a week later, she is back with ultimata and proposals for Biden to legislate by edict. In doing so, she mimics hard-line House conservatives who have often killed good legislation because it wasn’t (in their minds) quite perfect.

Jayapal and all hard-liners on both sides are not acting in “the American way.” In acting as they do, they undermine this great American representative experiment.