Photo: Elias Levy, Creative Commons License 2.0

Following Senator Joe Manchin's decision that he just can't support Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda because his feelings are hurt, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is making very sincere noises aimed at encouraging Manchin to become a Republican, because if there's anywhere that being out of step with the rest of the party is A-OK, it's the GOP. Oh, yes, and if Manchin did that, the GOP would then have the Senate Majority again, McConnell would become majority leader, and he could block anything else Biden might want to accomplish as well.

New York Times Washington correspondent Carl Hulse writes, apparently with a straight face, that since the Senate is "an institution where the most important vote is the next one," Mr. McConnell was downright "perplexed as to what drove Democrats to impugn Mr. Manchin’s integrity by accusing him of reneging on commitments to the president." To be sure, McConnell may have a point: Consistency and commitments mean nothing when you want to wield power, so why would anyone curse Manchin's sudden but inevitable betrayal?

“Why in the world would they want to call him a liar and try to hotbox him and embarrass him?” Mr. McConnell, who is just one Senate seat away from regaining the majority leader title, asked in an interview. “I think the message is, ‘We don’t want you around.’ Obviously that is up to Joe Manchin, but he is clearly not welcome on that side of the aisle.”

"Ha ha ha," McConnell then observed. "Mine is an evil laugh!"


McConnell also noted that it's no secret he's tried for years to get Manchin to play "Red Rover" and come to the dark side, but that Manchin has so far resisted the siren call of the turtle.

And as Hulse points out, Manchin may like guns and dislike abortion, but even if he doesn't want poor kids to be lifted out of poverty because their parents would just waste the Child Tax Credit on drugs, Manchin isn't as far to the right as the most left-leaning Republican, either. Also, there's Manchin's vote against the 2017 tax cuts, and his two votes to convict Donald Trump in his impeachment trials, which wouldn't exactly make him a likely recipient of a warm welcome from the Great Man.

Mostly, for all McConnell's suggestions that Manchin might be "more comfortable" among the folks who brought us the Big Lie and the January 6 insurrection, it's clear McConnell is mostly just trolling when he says, "Obviously we would love to have him on our team," which quite transparently should be read as "I would love to have a majority and really fuck things up."

The story includes many other examples of Mitch McConnell patting himself on the shell for his excellent work in thwarting legislative progress for President Joe Biden, but it's all the usual self-serving bullshit you'd expect. We aren't going to give you a list of the times the GOP screamed bloody murder at its few "mavericks" because it is Christmas week and we don't want to. And if anybody thinks we're going to stop screaming at that fuckhead because he might hit us worse if we make him mad, we're sorry. We're sorry he has a personality disorder that apparently makes him break the actual world for a half million dollars a year, and that he thinks people without jobs have kids who shouldn't eat. Of course, nobody's actually removed the D next to his name for him — he can caucus with Democrats as long as he would like — that's reserved for "people who vote to impeach a man who sent armed lunatics to kill them."

[NYT / Photo: Elias Levy, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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