Joe Manchin Joe Manchins Federal Reserve Nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin

Joe Manchin Joe Manchins Federal Reserve Nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin

Senate Majority Leader Emperor God King Joe Manchin informed actual President Joe Biden Monday that he wouldn’t support the president’s nominee to become vice chairman of supervision at the Federal Reserve. This ended any chance the Senate would confirm Sarah Bloom Raskin, who withdrew her nomination Tuesday.

Biden released a blistering statement: "Despite her readiness — and despite having been confirmed by the Senate with broad, bipartisan support twice in the past — Sarah was subject to baseless attacks from industry and conservative interest groups.”

Republicans, who are known liars, claimed Raskin, who’s married to Rep. Jamie Raskin, would use her position on the Fed to keep banks from lending to oil and gas companies, the rock upon which the American church of capitalism is built. Democrats and even many banking executives stressed that Raskin’s actual views aren’t that radical or out of the mainstream. She merely wants the Fed to consider the risks that climate change poses to banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. It is possible that murdering the planet is a bad investment.

Oh, but Lord Manchin of Black Lung disagrees! He declared Monday in his usual smug manner:

I have carefully reviewed Sarah Bloom Raskin’s qualifications and previous public statements. Her previous public statements have failed to satisfactorily address my concerns about the critical importance of financing an all-of-the-above energy policy to meet our nation’s critical energy needs. I have come to the conclusion that I am unable to support her nomination to serve as a member of the Federal Reserve Board.

This might shock some people, especially Manchin himself, but no one elected Joe Manchin president. We elected Joe Biden, who supports clean energy initiatives. It was a major part of his campaign platform. Manchin, a sentient lump of coal in service to the fossil fuel industry, doesn’t have to agree with Biden. He just needs to accept that Biden is the one driving the Democratic agenda.

PREVIOUSLY: Joe Manchin Unveils Exciting New Reason To Screw Over Electric Vehicles!

Manchin understood that he wasn’t president back when Donald Trump was squatting in the Oval Office. He voted to confirm 115 of Trump's nominees, including unqualified Twitter troll Ric Grenell as ambassador to Germany and living Confederate monument Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Manchin eagerly rubber stamped Trump’s Legion of Doom applicants while, as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez observed, expressing “unease” with several of Biden’s nominees.

Manchin did eventually support Deb Haaland’s nomination for secretary of the Interior. She apparently convinced him that she recognized "our country will remain dependent on fossil fuels for years to come, and a transition to a cleaner energy future must come through innovation, not elimination.” She probably had to ritually praise the coal gods to earn his vote.

Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown had planned to hold a vote anyway and force Manchin to vote against Raskin. He told reporters: “Why would we not move forward? Have a vote. Vote her down if they want. Vote her up. Either way, have a vote.” Brown’s a senator from a red state but he’s still true blue.

Brown didn’t hold back against Manchin, either: He said: "Republicans engaged in a disingenuous smear campaign, distorting Ms. Raskin’s views beyond recognition and made unsubstantiated attacks on her character. Committee Democrats were united, and we did our jobs.” (Manchin isn’t on the Banking Committee.)

And this is ultimately about Manchin, who we’re frequently told is only good for judges and other presidential appointments. We know Republicans bathe in oil money and will let the world fry before seriously addressing the climate crisis. This is unfortunately one area where Manchin is fundamentally no better than a Republican, but climate is hardly a progressive pet issue at this point. I think a great deal of the Republican opposition to Raskin is that she challenged rightwing dogma about climate and the economy.

When withdrawing from consideration, Raskin wrote in a letter to Biden: “It was — and is — my considered view that the perils of climate change must be added to the list of serious risks that the Federal Reserve considers as it works to ensure the stability and resiliency of our economy and financial system.”

She’s right. We all know she’s right. But Joe Manchin will never stop being wrong.

(Now, I’m going to spend the rest of the day mad at Sara Gideon and Cal Cunnigham.)

[Miami Herald / Roll Call]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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