Hello! I'm Joe Manchin And I'm Once Again Screwing Everyone For No Reason!

Hello! I'm Joe Manchin And I'm Once Again Screwing Everyone For No Reason!

Hi folks! Joe Manchin here. Just thought I’d stop by and explain to you why I’ve decided to fuck your grandchildren.

If you don’t mind, though, I’m trying to order dinner at this fancy restaurant, so I may get distracted here and there.

Yessir, these vegetarian spring rolls? Is there any way you could put bacon in ‘em? Just take ‘em on back in the kitchen and ask the chef, would ya?

S’ok, back to all your grandchildren. They’re nice kids, I’m sure. Friendly, bright, love to play in the yard and crawl into tiny spaces deep underground that full-grown adults can’t fit into in order to scrape at a rich coal seam. I got grandkids myself. Sometimes I have ‘em all over to the houseboat for a sleepover. What the heck, they might all need to live on that boat in a couple decades.

Say, there’s a sitcom idea. Gotta remember to call Feinstein, she must know some Hollywood people.

So yeah, I feel a bit bad about fucking your grandkids in exchange for campaign donations from my fellow coal barons. But think of how important it is now to help out when their parents need you to drive ‘em to their swimming lessons. That’s gonna be more useful than starting a college fund.

That’s a “no” on the bacon, huh? Well that’s fine. Bring me some potstickers and another bottle of this Opus One red blend. No, the 2008, not the 2007. The 2007 tastes like hog swill.

Now I know this has been a bit of a painful process for everyone. First I was on board with a big legacy-defining deal for President Biden. Then I wasn’t. Then I was on board with a smaller deal. Then I wasn’t. Then I was again. Then the Democrats tried to soothe my worries over costs by offering to sunset a whole bunch of programs after a couple of years, including extensions of the Affordable Care Act subsidies. Well, that seemed ridiculous. We need to pay for programs for 10 years, even those subsidies, so they'll be more or less permanent, as I told my Democratic friends awhile back. Which is why in my latest offer I told Schumer I’ll only vote to reauthorize those subsidies for two years. You follow me?

And it’s all gotta be paid for. But not by tax increases. Well, maybe by tax increases. But no.

It’s this dang inflation, you know? Can’t help Americans pay for stuff when it’s getting more expensive. We need to save money until prices come down, so we can then not help people pay for stuff on the basis of prices having come down.

Yessir, just let that breathe a minute. Lemme ask you a question about the flounder: Is it farm-raised? Is it good? Hm, tough decision. How about you prepare it and put it on the table where I can look at it for awhile and decide if I want to order it.

Where was I? Oh yeah, painful process. I get it. You should see the looks I get in caucus lunches. That old Liz Warren starts vibrating like a cheap blender when I walk into the room, and I’m pretty sure Dick Durbin spit in my crab salad the other day. The only person who will sit with me is Kyrsten Sinema, and they always put our table towards the back of the room and make us sit with Cory Booker. Who’s a nice kid, don’t get me wrong, but if I have to listen to him yammer about one more of those romance novels he’s always reading, I swear.

Speaking of Sinema, we’ve got this very funny bit we do. Ya see, because she changes her hair color every 10 minutes, I pretend like I never recognize her. I’ll walk over to the table, and she’ll have dyed her hair bright yellow, and I’ll say, “Why they got me sharing a table with a dang banana?” She’ll say, “Joe, it’s me, Kyrsten!” And I’ll say “And a talking banana, at that!”

Then we’ll both laugh and Booker will start giving us a plot-point-by-plot-point recap of, like, some book about a virgin who can’t decide if she wants to marry the earl, and I’ll sort of zone out for awhile.

Pew! Jesus! What is this? Hey, come over here. What the hell is this? Tastes like coal slurry. No, I said I wanted the 2007, not the 2008. Drinking the 2008 is like dunking your whole head into the retention pond at a coal-fired power plant. Go pour it down the sink and bring me the 2007.

No wait, better yet, serve it to Feinstein over there. I'm gonna need her to sell that sitcom and free wine always cheers her up.

Honestly, I don’t know what everyone’s bitching about. I told Schumer and Biden I’d give ‘em two more years of ACA subsidies and do something to lower prescription drug prices, and I intend to honor that vow right up to the moment I start getting calls from lobbyists for pharmaceutical companies.

Sure, Biden will yammer on about his legacy for a bit and Schumer will give me a disapproving look over his reading glasses like he’s a rabbi annoyed at some kid for not practicing his Torah portion. And maybe some kids will yell at me one time when I’m trying to walk to my Maserati, because they don’t get how the Senate works. I’ll have to tell ‘em, kids, we run on backslaps and handshakes, and if any of you little bastards tries to give me one of those I’ll have you arrested. Then I'll tell Biden and Schumer that even this minimal deal is off because everyone’s blaming me for calling off all the other deals just because that's exactly what I did, and it really hurts my feelings that people noticed.

No, I don’t want this flounder. I’ve been staring at it for five minutes and it’s cold now. You expect me to eat the cold flounder just because I ordered it and had it prepared and brought to my table? Take it away and bring me an expensive steak that I can then decide I don’t want.

Here’s the thing: I am not a very smart man. But I am really, really good at changing my mind. Which is a kind of smart, if you think about it. Or even if you don't. But you should. Maybe.

Goddammit, what is this sludge? I said bring me the 2008.

[Washington Post]

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