GOP West Virginia Gov Defies Joe Manchin, Calls For BIG HUGE Covid Relief
COVID-19 relief is extremely, extremely popular. Not only do Americans want this relief package, 79 percent of us do not think it will be enough and think we will need another, subsequent, relief package after this one. This includes 56 percent of people who identify as conservative Republicans. It is, perhaps, one of the least controversial issues in the history of America.
One of the people currently encouraging a "go big or go home" approach is Jim Justice, the Republican Governor of West Virginia — a state that, to the surprise of experts, ended up doing a really great job with vaccine distribution. This puts him at odds with the state's Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin, who has fiercely opposed the COVID-19 relief package in hopes it could be replaced with something less helpful to people. It sure is a topsy turvy world that we live in.
Justice — who was actually a Democrat from 2015 to 2017 and switched parties out of love for Donald Trump — has been making the rounds and making it known that he believes we need to go big and get people taken care of.
"We need to understand that trying to be, per se, fiscally responsible at this point in time, with what we've got going on in this country — if we actually throw away some money right now, so what?" Justice told CNN in an interview.
"We have really got to move and get people taken care of," he said.
Justice doubled down on his statement in a follow-up interview with MSNBC in which he urged Congress to "go big."
"I absolutely believe we need to go big," he said, chastising lawmakers in Washington over the months-long standoff before Congress passed a compromise $900 billion relief package in December.
"I believe forevermore that it was ridiculous beyond belief to have Democrats and Republicans fighting and couldn't pass a stimulus package for months," he said. "It was godawful. That's just all there is to it. You had people that were suffering that needed to pay their power bill, needed to pay their rent or their car payment.
"At this point in time in this nation, we need to go big. We need to quit counting the egg-sucking legs on the cows and count the cows and just move. And move forward and move right now," he added.
I do not know what egg-sucking legs are or how that would even work and am frankly a little confused about that whole sentence, but otherwise — agreed. It's just what makes sense.
Frankly, there are times when the "fiscally responsible" thing to do is to spend money. For instance, when you have to pay a bill or when something is only going to get worse and lead to you having to spend far more money than you would have if you just got it fixed early on. Letting the country fall into disrepair, letting our economy get entirely fucked will cost us all a hell of a lot more down the road.
It is unclear whether Manchin will go after Justice the way he went after Vice President Kamala Harris for promoting the relief bill "on his turf" without first asking him permission. It is also unclear who the hell it is Joe Manchin is trying to impress here.
I've spent enough time being chastised about how Manchin needs to vote like a Republican so he can keep getting elected in West Virginia and not be replaced by an actual Republican who might be worse. But he very clearly does not need to do that right now! The relief bill is popular! The people support it! The Republican governor supports it! Who is he going to get points from?
The fact is, freaking Republicans are starting to see the writing on the wall here, with regard to "fiscal conservatism," at least for the purposes of our current situation. It's not cool anymore. The S.S. Ayn Rand has sailed and Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are still hanging out on on the docks crying "Wait! No! Come back! We have so much more to not do!"
It's important to know when you have a natural edge. Otherwise you're like someone with awesome Brooke Shields eyebrows who is still overplucking them to death because someone made fun of them 20 years ago, while everyone else is loading up on the Boy Brow to try to get what you have naturally. And that is just foolish. Right now, like overplucked eyebrows and fake tans, the American taste for tax cuts for the rich and warnings about the national debt has dissipated. People just want to be able to live. They want to be able to put food on their families and go to the doctor and not have to be scared the floor is about to fall from underneath them. They want to get through this shit without losing everything. That's fair, no?
The Democrats have an opportunity now to show them that a better way is possible, that we can have nice things and feel less vulnerable — if Joe Manchin doesn't go and fuck it all up.
And it looks like he won't, if this is happening:
Schumer & Pelosi have filed a joint budget resolution kicking off reconcilliation process to pass $1.9T COVID aid w… https://t.co/90JMx2iswu— Igor Bobic (@Igor Bobic) 1612212090.0
That tends to mean they've got the votes, Manchin or no Manchin.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse