Last week, rather than negotiating with the Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders or Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Joe Manchin wrote a public "Dear Diary" for everyone (behind a paywall) in The Wall Street Journal. The idiotic op-ed had Manchin asking to "hit the pause button" on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, without giving many specifics about what he really wants. So, the Sunday shows, as they always do, invited Manchin on to give him attention further elaborate on his op-ed. Clearly, Manchin was not expecting the anchors to actually push him to explain himself.

On CNN's "State of The Union," after confirming Manchin would be a "no" vote on the reconciliation bill, Dana Bash asked the next logical question...which apparently Manchin never was prepared to answer.

BASH: [A]re you saying it's the price tag, it's the timeline? Both?

MANCHIN: It's the urgency. Do we have the urgency to do what they're wanting to do in such a quick period of time?

BASH: But can you be specific? OK, let's just -- let's talk about the dollar sign. [...] Do you have a specific number in mind?

MANCHIN: Here's a number you should be getting to. First of all, I have agreed to get onto the reconciliation, because that's the time for us to make financial adjustments and changes. [...]

BASH: So, what's the number?

MANCHIN: And bottom line is, what's -- the number would be what's going to be competitive in our tax code.

Bash kept pushing Manchin to answer the elusive "what do you want" question, while Manchin kept saying meaningless folksy things like "I have always said if I can't explain it, I can't vote for it."

BASH: And I'm -- again, I want to get to that, but just because this is -- this is the thing that people consume. Do you have a ceiling?
MANCHIN: I -- my ceiling is this, the need of the American people, and for us to basically take in consideration inflation.

Manchin knows the price is too high but when asked what the number should be, it's just word salad.


Bash then brought up Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's correct criticisms of his objections, like these for instance:

In response, Manchin was condescending and quite frankly kinda sexist!

BASH: Is it true that you have weekly meetings with Exxon and other lobbyists for fossil fuels?

MANCHIN: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And you ask them if they have ever -- no, they don't -- weekly meetings, I don't...

BASH: It's just false?

MANCHIN: I keep my door open for everybody. It's totally false. And those types of superlatives, it's just awful. Continue to divide, divide, divide. I don't know that young lady that well. I really don't. I have met her one time, I think, between sets here. But that's it. So, we have not had any conversations. She just speculating and saying things because she wants to ...

First, "I keep my door open for everybody" is as much bullshit when Manchin says it as it is when Marco Rubio said it's fine for him to take money from the NRA if they want to " buy into [his] agenda." Second, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of Congress, not your daughter or your grandchild. Keep your patronizing "young lady" descriptor and give her the respect she's earned as an elected official.

On NBC's "Meet The Press," Manchin's bullshit was so weak he made Chuck Todd seem like a journalist (barely). When Manchin tried to criticize how the mostly paid-for reconciliation bill would be paid for, Todd actually called him out:

TODD: They want to pay for about $2 trillion, deficit spend with dynamic scoring. Look, the infrastructure bill that you helped facilitate has dynamic scoring, which some would argue is deficit spending until we see if the economic growth --

MANCHIN: We could've paid for that very easily without any of the --

TODD: But we didn't pay for it.

MANCHIN: -- dynamic scoring. But because you know what? They wouldn't go for it. They wouldn't basically let allow us to move in that direction because --

TODD: So why is it okay to do that, and you don't want to do this one?

MANCHIN:-- we're still going to do some dynamic scoring and all that. But let's be responsible and reasonable about it.

So dynamic scoring and inflation worries are not an issue when it comes to HIS pet projects. Cool.

On ABC's "This Week" -- yes really he was on ALL THE SHOWS -- George Stephanopoulos called out Manchin's moving of the goalposts on the price tag he's willing to support.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Back in January, you proposed spending $4 trillion on infrastructure. So what changed?

MANCHIN: Well, you're talking about -- it was about $4.5 trillion they had, talking about. Is that what you're talking about, with the president's...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, you were saying...

MANCHIN: ... Build Back Better plan?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You said about...

MANCHIN: Having...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah.

MANCHIN: Having both of those put together, and I said from day one, these are two completely different categories.

Fun fact: a key component of the reconciliation bill would lower drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies. This would give the government greater insight into how pharmaceutical executives set prices. Why are we bringing this up right now? Oh no reason.

Fuck Joe Manchin.

Have a week!

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Michael Mora

Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.

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