Joe Manchin Won't Give Up On Republicans On First Try, Or 100th Try, Or 48 Millionth Try, Or ...
Why is Joe Manchin? We have to ask that question so frequently.
The Democratic senator from West Virginia, prior to his dual Sunday show appearances on CBS's "Face The Nation" and "Fox News Sunday," published an asinine op-ed on why he's not going to do anything to save democracy. Through its many logical twists and turns, it was clear Manchin deems his personal "hero's journey" more important than actually protecting democracy.
Since his appearances were similar, we'll focus on "Face The Nation." Host John Dickerson began by trying to lay out reality:
DICKERSON: A lot of Democrats say that you are standing in the way of their priorities and one of them appears to be the president. He said earlier this week in Tulsa, talking about the frustration of getting things passed, he said "two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends." Depending on how you see it, he was either being honest about the limitations on what he can get done or he's saying you're standing in the way of his agenda.
MANCHIN: Well, I think that was taken out of context, John. The president knows how the Senate works better than probably any senator sitting today, or as well as any senator sitting today.
Note that despite Dickerson quoting President Biden correctly and there being plenty of footage of those remarks, Manchin says it was "taken out of context," because the reality shatters his myth about him being a "bipartisan" hero.
Dickerson rightfully pointed out that Democrats, because of Manchin (and Kyrsten Sinema), need at least 10 Republicans to pass anything meaningful. Manchin kept harping on about bipartisanship and "seven brave Republicans" in the Senate who voted to impeach Donald Trump, while ignoring how seven is fewer than 10 and those same "brave" Republicans would gladly join a one-party vote for their agenda. Dickerson noted that the Senate long ago moved away from where it used was when President Biden was there. He read Manchin's owns words about how the 1/6 Commission's failed vote by Republicans was a "a betrayal of the oath we each take," while pointing out Mitch McConnell's stated goal of blocking 100 percent of President Biden's agenda. He asked a logical question:
DICKERSON: So the argument would be, if that's their position, what gives you any hope that they're ever going to come over to anything that President Biden wants?
Manchin's answer was infuriating:
MANCHIN: Well, I think that my Republican friends and colleagues see the deadlock also. This is not something they desire or wish. Why they haven't been able to break from- from Leader McConnell, the minority leader, today, it's- they're going to have to- to dig deep into their soul and the oath that we take and why we're there. […] You can say well that failed, so we give up. I don't think you give up on the first try.
What about the 48 millionth try, Joe? Is that enough tries? You've been in the Senate for over 10 years. Yes, your Republican friends/colleagues "see the deadlock," but you are mistaken on this not being their "desire or wish." This is precisely their desire or wish during a Democratic administration. Remember how they caused the same deadlock during Barack Obama's administration, then magically changed their ways when Trump came in? The reason Republican senators "haven't been able to break from Leader McConnell" is because they are winning by this strategy. They still got their tax cuts, still packed the courts in ways that will have ramifications for decades, and still have enough state houses to change voting rules to stay in power ad infinitum. They've dug "deep into their souls," considered "the oath" they've taken and they know "why they are there." (Power and money.) How many "first tries" do you give Republicans?
Dickerson brought up the For The People Act, and Manchin countered with his preferred watered down bill, which would also have to include Republican support he for some reason imagines is forthcoming. He asked another question:
DICKERSON: If I could just interrupt, you know politics and how it works. Why would Republicans, when they're making all these gains in the statehouses and achieving their goals in the states, why would they vote for a bill someday in the Senate that's going to take away all the things they're achieving right now in those statehouses?
Manchin's reply was ... words. He ignored how the GOP's loss of all three branches of government in 2020 exposed that their normal voter suppression tricks weren't enough anymore, hence the escalation.
Joe Manchin is no hero. He's likely to go down in history, but not the way he thinks he will. Let's stop being shocked or believing his veiled promises of progress.
Here's Dr. King talking about the filibuster before his March on Washington:
MLK answered that the upcoming March on Washington, where King would deliver his famous “I have a Dream” speech, is… https://t.co/ExoJe803Ay— Resist Programming 🛰 (@Resist Programming 🛰) 1622993449.0
Have a week.
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.