‘Manchin Is a F**king Snake’: Progressives Urged to Keep Pushing for Both Bills

Yves here. As I said to Lambert some time back regarding Biden’s big spending bills, the longer it takes to push a deal over the finishing line, the more it acquires an aura of failure. Pelosi declared that she’d have a vote (by implication at least on the infrastructure bill) by October 31. Then the deadline was moved back a few days to when Biden was flying out to the COP26 and G20 meetings, last Thursday…which then led to official shuffling and mumbling about it being OK for Biden to show up empty-handed. Now what was clear is still as clear as it was before: there’s no bargaining overlap between the positions of Senator Manchin and the House progressives.

This post usefully recaps where things stand now and reminds readers that Manchin, who is howling as if he’s being treated badly, is the one who retraded the deal.

Things could become interesting if McAuliffe loses his bid for the Virginia gubernatorial seat tomorrow. Democrat centrists will go into freakout mode. Pundits will deem the Biden Administration to be over even if the margin of loss is razor thin. But it seems unlikely that any rending of garments will move the positions of the stalemated contingents.

By Jessica Corbett. Originally published at CommonDreams

Supporters of passing the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package urged congressional progressives to maintain their position that it must move forward simultaneously with bipartisan infrastructure legislation after Sen. Joe Manchin accused his colleagues of holding the latter bill “hostage” and demanded an immediate vote.

During a Monday press conference, Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that “the political games have to stop” and called for the Democrat-held U.S. House of Representatives to swiftly vote on the infrastructure bill—which several Senate Democrats advanced in August with the expectation that it would only reach President Joe Biden’s desk alongside the reconciliation package.

“Holding this bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support for the reconciliation bill,” Manchin declared, while signaling that he still does not back the compromise framework unveiled by the president last week, after intense negotiations with him and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the other party member who’s pushed to weaken the legislation.

Manchin fell back on his long-standing concerns about the national debt and inflation, and advocated for more time to analyze the impacts of the reconciliation package, saying that “I’m open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward, but I am equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country.”

In what The Hill described as a “veiled swipe” at Manchin, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday addressed “anybody in the Democratic caucus or elsewhere that’s worried about fiscal responsibility and the deficit.”

“The fact is… that according to the [Congressional Budget Office] the infrastructure bill runs up to a $250 billion deficit. It’s not paid for,” Sanders told reporters on Capitol Hill. “The legislation that I wanna see passed… is paid for in its entirety. It will not have an impact on inflation. So if we’re talking about fiscal responsibility I think what we’re trying to do with the reconciliation bill is the right thing.”

Other progressive critics accused the West Virginia Democrat of personally tanking the infrastructure measure—known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF)—and encouraged progressive Democrats in the House to keep fighting to pass both bills together.

Summarizing Monday’s developments, HuffPost senior politics reporter Kevin Robillard tweeted, “Just want to make sure I have the past 24 hours right: Progressives move towards doing what Joe Manchin wants, then he holds a press conference and says a bunch of stuff basically guaranteeing progressives won’t do what he wants.”

Indivisible’s Leah Greenberg responded that “Joe Manchin is doing his very best to personally tank the BIF.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), which makes up about a fifth of the House. In a pair of appearances on CNN and MSNBC, she seemed optimistic that Democrats could soon send both bills to Biden for final approval.

Noting the CPC’s stated support for the watered-down $1.75 trillion reconciliation legislation announced last week, Jayapal said on MSNBC that “we are now awaiting negotiations amongst senators on prescription drug pricing, and child care, and some details on immigration,” but as soon as those issues are addressed, “we will be excited to vote for both bills.”

“We are taking the president’s word at the fact that he believes he can get 50 votes in the Senate,” Jayapal said of the reconciliation package, adding that she believes Democrats are “very, very close” to passing the two long-negotiated pieces of legislation.

During the CNN segment—which came after Manchin’s brief press conference—Jayapal reportedly said she is “letting the president” deal with the West Virginia Democrat.

“The president says he can get 51 votes for the bill, we are going to trust him,” the CPC chair said—referring to the fact that passing the reconciliation bill in the Senate requires the support of the full Democratic caucus plus Vice President Kamala Harris. “I trust the president.”

“We will soon pass a transformational agenda that actually improves the lives of working families, creates millions of jobs, and takes bold action to save our planet,” Jayapal tweeted Monday afternoon. “People elected us to deliver, and we’re excited to do just that.”

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  1. doug

    possibly not fair to snakes, but….yes.
    It is almost like he wants the other side to win this battle.

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      You are of course being delightfully ironic in suggesting there is more than one ‘side’ here. This is all complete and utter kayfabe.

      Manchin could switch parties tomorrow without batting an eye. He’s WV gentry, a natural fit for the GOP. The old Byrd union machine still has some clout, but WV gets redder every year.

      …And if he somehow decided to stand up for the greater good, the GOP could go after him pretty hard in 2022.

      Waiting in the wings? WV 2nd District, including the bedroom suburbs closest to DC, is held by Rep. Alex Mooney, a cheerful GOP apparatchik who also happens to check the Latino box (Miami Cuban origins). Just waiting his chance to move up.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        He voted to convict Trump twice. Between that and abortion, Manchin doesn’t have a shot. As far as committee assignments, the Senators don’t have to do work and if Manchin keeps effing around, they can get the slots without pretending to like Manchin.

      2. msn

        If he changes sides then Rs have 51 and he is no longer the swing vote. Don’t see why he would do that.

  2. John Beech

    Yves, I happen to disagree with your characterization of Senator Manchin (and I am paraphrasing) as howling at the moor with faux outrage.

    Progressives who have insisted on linking infrastructure with benefits. Why? What’s wrong with bills that stand on their own? They could pass infrastructure spending and get people working really quickly. Good jobs, too.

    Child care. Sorry, not a Federal issue. Or no more so than school is, which I’m pretty sure in Alabama is exactly like it is for me in FL, a local issue funded with local property taxes, some state, and some Federal. And note, I have strong concerns about the Feds being involved. I pay taxes. Property and taxes on business earnings. A lot. And I am perfectly willing to raise the millage on my property in order to fund day care from 6-weeks forward all the way through 4-years of university if it includes a military stint of 4-6 years between high school and college.

    Look, I am a Republican voter (usually) but nobody has made the case for funding child care to relieve the parents of the burden, that unjustly falls on their shoulders. All, whilst at the same time pointing at a demographic issue and then opening the floodgates to immigrants as a source of cheap labor whilst at the same time complaining about minimum wage. Just make the case and I’ll open my wallet.

    Oh, and before you question my desire for a military commitment, it’s to give young people the chance to mature into men and women before wasting my tax dollars on folks who will prove to be better suited at other than PMC type jobs, e.g. one which don’t require a degree. Simple facts are everybody is not college material and I believe we do a disservice in pretending otherwise.

    Machin? He is representing his interests. Are they these same as those of folks earning <$30K/year? Maybe, maybe not but I'm not in his shoes so I can't fairly judge. That's for his voters, and not for those with an opinion in AL and FL.

    Bottom line? It's my opinion progressive have misstepped in tying these two goals together because they are not going to get either in the allotted time, and risk losing their opportunity altogether once silly season begins anew. We're now a year away from elections, so how much more time does the administration have? Zero would be my guess, especially if they lose VA tonight. And if they somehow also lose NJ? Good grief, the repercussions will be felt for a generation!

    Who is to blame? Senator Sanders, AOC, and the rest of the progressives who couldn't shoot straight. Sadly, whilst swinging for the fences, it looks like they've grounded out, instead (if I may mix my metaphors).

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, you airbrush out that Manchin AGREED to both bills being passed together. The point is the bad faith and him whinging when he is the one who is behaving badly.

  3. tegnost

    It all reminds me of a lawsuit where the insurance co. or other reprehensible behemoth keeps getting extensions at the last minute trying to wear down the victim so they’ll settle for less. The backing of manchin by the dem effete (I don’t know what’s elite about them) says all that needs to be said, and of course none of us know what poisonous pills are buried in the dog food, oops…,I mean the bills…

      1. Sue inSoCal

        Thanks for this citation, Elizabeth Burton. I’m always in agreement with throwing mad cash to…Elon Musk, especially when I’m a fan of bullet trains. Imho, this bill is going the way of most that start “big.” There will be a few crumbs left for the little people. I wish I could be more optimistic.

      2. Brooklin Bridge

        Pure apologia. The big items in the bill were perfectly visible and never had a ghost of a chance regardless of what Dayen calls, “too many Christmas Ornaments (by which he means small items he claims crowded out the larger ones). It’s the usual “find any excuse for a bought and paid for congress” doing their usual job of grooming the progressives in venality a la Epstein.

  4. The Rev Kev

    From what I have been reading about this double bill, it started off at about $6 trillion and has been dropping ever since. And what has been noticeable is that anything of real benefit to people has been stripped out or is about to be stripped out while anything pro-business has either been added or sections which would have been taxing those interests been taken out. So the point has been reached where Villain of the Week Joe Manchin has demanded that the infrastructure bill get passed so that the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package can be tabled for a future session. Say in 2046 – if it is appropriate.

    Well I say go full nuclear (but that is just my extremism). If all those business want those goodies in the infrastructure bill, then tell them it is a package deal or they get zip. Tell Manchin that he can then go to his business buddies to explain how he blew up the deal and they get nothing at all. Zip. Nada. Sure, Biden has been mostly MIA about pushing his own bill but does he really want a catastrophic failure of the Democrats in failing to pass his own bill? And seriously, the Democrats are going to be slaughtered in about a year from now so what difference will it make?

    Neither party has made repairing America’s infrastructure so blowing up this deal (or threatening to blow it up) may make both parties realize that this is an issue that cannot keep on being ignored and be held hostage to political fights. if both bills get passed, then at least the Democrats will have something to campaign on next November whereas at the moment they have nothing. I mean, what is old Joe gunna say this time next year. Vote for me and I will give you that $600 that I owe you?

    1. ObjectiveFunction

      Biden’s leverage to ‘go full LBJ’ on Manchin is really pretty limited. What’s he gonna do, relocate the Coast Guard HQ back to the coast lol?

      And if Manchin’s ‘business buddies’ really want to swan dive into the government trough (of course they do!), all they need to do is wait for the GOP sweep in 2022.

      Then they’ll get the mother of all corporate welfare giveaways, Contract With America 2: Infrastrux Boogaloo. And none of that commie stuff to make the proles all uppity. Tastes great / less filling!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Investigations into price fixing of insulin. When the President talks about something, it’s everywhere. The President tellling 9 million people, they have one make awful choices because of Manchin’s daughter is different than an article in a place like NC. Its no different than Anthony’s speech in Shakespeare. OSHA inspectors. The IRS. Pulling Manchin’s corporate charter. Manchin isn’t even trying to protect a boy scout camp from being turned into a major irrigation project as part of the New Deal. Yes, that movie was really dumb.

        Biden has plenty of leverage. Even isolating Manchin works. As far as Manchin leaving, the GOP has too many people in line. It’s why party switching is rare. Jeffords did it, but he was a heinous sack of sh@t in response to the Cheney-Shrub White House.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Investigations into price fixing of insulin would be something for the House to Investigate in Hearings before the mass removal of Democrats in 2022. Perhaps they can light a quick fire which will burn Daughter Manchin before the coming Repuglan Majority puts it out.

          At least it would show that the House Dems believe in gettting revenge. If they don’t even believe in getting revenge, then they don’t believe in anything at all. In which case, who could possibly vote for them?

    2. rjs

      i agree with The Rev here….the Manchin infrastructure bill, with all the concrete, asphalt, and steel it involves, would have the largest carbon footprint of any domestic policy initiative since Eisenhower built the Interstates…the remaining “climate” provisions in the reconciliation bill are all corporate welfare…progressives should just walk away and not come back unless they get something substantial…

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Which they won’t. Agree, walk as far away as possible. Signing that thing is just pushing a turd down the road only after putting your name on it.

  5. Eric377

    My view is a bit different. I guess there is very little in the first infrastructure bill that he just has to have and he dislikes the second almost entirely. But he likely will go along with something. Still, if is going to go along, he’ll give others the chance to kill it all if the want to take it.

      1. Eric377

        Manchin. I guess getting the Clean Air stuff out of the second bill was his top priority. If the “regular” infrastructure bill also goes down, he maybe figures a lot of it will circle back to life in some manner. Could be wrong of course, but almost feels like a dare to House progressives. Note how it at least feels like the buck is getting set up to get passed….’we trust the President has those Senate votes’.

  6. JanJ

    This fiasco should clearly illustrate, for those who didn’t know before, how little the Democratic party leadership cares about ordinary people. This is the leadership who managed to squash and smear Bernie Sanders and his supporters, but which coddles the rogue senators who are blackmailing the party. The so-called moderates own this mess.

    1. Basil Pesto

      that’s the thing that’s stood out to me, just looking at these developments pretty superficially from a distant remove. Compare and contrast how the party closed ranks comprehensively and effectively against Sanders with the ineffectual grizzling directed at Manchin and Sinema. I know presidential campaigns are different from day-to-day political horse trading but still, it seems instructive.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Obama pulled the trigger as leader of the party. Biden would have to do this, and his plea that Manchin was a good man is indicative of where Biden is. He knows the caucus thinks Manchin is a snake, but Biden is still the guy who was agog at going to a dinner at a wealthy DC socialite with Ted Kennedy and absent mindedly picking up a fabrige egg. For him, the Senate is about being friendly. He’s not the only one, hence the stories about Sanders being mean or abrasive. He’s not, but the culture in DC is so dumb fighting makes people uncomfortable.

        If he came down on Manchin, Manchin would be done. He can’t afford the President mad at him in a state that went two to one for Trump after voting to convict.

        It’s about Biden. I’m not sure the cpc isn’t messing up as much as knowing Biden can’t leave the conference and not take on Manchin. He’ll be completely defenestrated. Everyone ultimately waits on the President. It’s why we had to pretend I talk about the border in the summer of 2018 (?) despite the bulk of the electorate not caring as if it was the be all and end all.

        1. Elizabeth Burton

          The CPC is already fighting Biden as much as they dare. They all have targets on their backs where the party is concerned, and the final takeover of the DNC board by corporate executives and lobbyists tells us that’s not going to get better by the next election. The party had not one but two corporatists primary AOC last year, and spent millions when they finally settled on one.

          There’s a social media campaign designed to convince political neophytes the Squad’s inability to work miracles in a Congress where they’re outnumbered about 4-1 is proof they’ve either sold out or never were what they said they were to begin with. Much of it is undoubtedly from the right, but there’s an element driven by people who wouldn’t touch the Republibertarians with three layers of gloves on who are equally vocal on the subject.

          The goal being, of course, to dry up the grassroots funding stream the real progressives rely on for election and re-election. The latest one is telling people to stop donating to politicians and “help people instead”, as if the two are mutually exclusive. Point out they’re not, and the response is predictably substance-free ranting.

          Manchin is up for re-election. So are more than a few of the other real sellouts and corporate shills, not to mention Republibertarians who are driving the last few Republicans out of office—unless people think the number of GOP Reps suddenly opting to retire is just a coincidence. Of course, another message seen with increasing frequency is either that (a) elections are useless and/or (b) nobody should ever vote for another Democrat ever again.

          And bear in mind we’re looking at generations educated to react to questions by providing whatever response would score highest on the test who have no apparent capability for long-range planning and think throwing tantrums when one doesn’t get everything demanded is an effective political strategy.

          My one reason for not finding this all mortally depressing is that I work with other young people who are capable of long-range planning and do understand that what you don’t get today you can still fight for and likely get it tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year. It’s a joy watching them work.

          1. Brooklin Bridge

            Is that long range planning coming to fruition before or after our extinction? If before, then why call it, long range?

          2. lance ringquist

            all that is going on with these bills right now is to paper over the direct results of nafta billy clintons disastrous polices that has left america in the position of being a banana republic.
            none of the so-called progressives are even bringing up the damage, and that the polices must be reversed.
            throwing money into a bucket without a bottom does little in the end, it just ends up in communist china and wall streets pockets.
            just about everything we use, is all made, or mostly made in china. food manufacturers are complaning that food production is going to suffer because we do not even make our own packaging anymore.
            so we repair the infrastructure, its massive, this bill does little, and a lot of the money will go offshore to asia because we no longer make it.
            money for social causes, i am all for it, but again, where will the money end up in, why asia and wall street. instead of buying our own production setting off the multiplying effect.
            so the progressives have real power to stop all legislation till these policy disasters have been addressed.
            so what if they have targets on their backs. even if they go along with more nafta democrat policies, they are still targets.
            they went from 6 trillion, to 3.5 trillion, now they are singing the praises of 1.75 trillion dollars, and if they are “STUPID” enough to accept that, the nafta democrats will whittle it down even further.
            nafta joe bidens target is -0-.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            Since the too-late-to-matter deadline for dewarming the global is a short-term deadline, long-range planning is a precious affectation at this point.

            If the House DemProgs don’t take this one last chance to show they can at least burn down and destroy the mainstream DemParty, they will go down in history as pitiful wimps and miserable losers. If you can destroy your enemy on your way down, at least you are losing like a winner. If the House DemProgs won’t even do that, they will be mocked and reviled and despised ( not hated, but so what), and they may well lose all their elections unless their electorates are overwhelmingly peepul uv culur.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the House DemProgs vote for this mess, then they will be the ones who co-own it at the very least.
      Their Profiles in Betrayal for supporting the Vichy Dem Senate may earn them loss of votes in their next elections.

      They will still get all their ethno-tribal race-loyalist identy votes, to be sure. But will that be enough?

  7. JohnnyGL

    Nice round up of the state of play.

    One of the problems with the strategic thinking of the prog caucus leadership is they still are focused on getting a deal, no matter how compromised and shrunken down, so they can say they ‘delivered’ on their agenda.

    There’s little understanding of how delivering crumbs can cause a popular backlash from voters who see it as having been insulted and treated condescendingly by elites.

    They need to be prepared to challenge leadership and gain more control and shift blame to ‘do-nothing centrists’ when the bloodbath comes in 2022. They need to be prepared to grab control of the party at that point, when the dems get a 2010-style pasting.

    They really should draw the line on prescription drug pricing being negotiated by Medicare and repeat that talking point ad nauseum at every media appearance and be prepared to make THAT the specific reason for why the dems fail in the upcoming midterms.

    This whole mentality of being pragmatic and working to unify the party just isn’t happening when you deal with a bunch of flakey, corrupt, bad-faith actors. At some point, if you don’t confront those bad characters, you’re part of the problem and you own their failures, too!

  8. Steve D

    How is Schumer evading any responsibility here? If anyone needs to be ruthlessly criticized in media, over, and over, and over again, it is the Democrat leadership, who created the conditions for this embarassment.

    1. Big River Bandido

      “Rotating Villains” is an old game in Washington. All the Democrats know how it’s played, and they play their parts with gusto.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If all the members of the Manchin family can have their lives so thoroughly destroyed and ruined that they will wish ” Coaly Joe” had not decided to be the rotating villain of the moment, perhaps it will be harder for the DLC Hamilton Project Clintonite Sh*tobamacrat Party to recruit future DemParty officeholders to be rotating villains in the future.

    2. HH

      You are referring to Wall Street tool, Chuck Schumer, who declared in a televised interview that elected officials should fear the CIA. Schumer and Pelosi display the ugly reality of the Democratic party: it is a fully-owned subsidiary of the American plutocracy.

      1. Telee

        Even here at NC, many readers blame Manchin but give the democratic party a pass. Of course Manchin is vile but the corporate democrats are the enablers. He is playing the role of a battering ram to knock down all progressive demands, even reforms that are supported by vast majority of citizens. Every time Manchin demands cuts in the bill Biden and the corporate democrats agree without hesitation. Has Manchin compromised on anything? He doesn’t have to. As far as Biden fighting for the bill’s integrity he is MIA. The corruption is rampant in both parties while the needs of the people mean next to nothing. Obama just gave a campaign speech in New Jersey where he stated that the people shouldn’t expect much while admitting that his ACA wasn’t perfect but getting crumbs is better than nothing so get out to the polls and vote democratic. In other words democrats should be supported because they’ll shaft you slightly less than the republicans.

        1. lance ringquist

          once you radicalize your people its hard to get them back. nafta joe biden won by the skin of his teeth because trump got another 10 million plus radicalized voters in 2020.
          from now on it will get ever tougher election wise for the nafta democrats. let them collapse.
          most so-called left wing political parties in the west that went the nafta billy route, are all sitting in the basement, or close to it, as the public almost completely ignores them.
          others will fill the void.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Manchin delivered some kind of note to Manchin retrading the deal. Schumer signed it. Manchin says he regarded it as a contract. Schumer has not said what he thought his signature meant.

    1. Eric377

      Maybe just give parents money with no strings on it. Kids under 5 $7000; 5 years $3500. Tell the “industry” that you just forked over billions per year to their precise base of potential customers and to just get on with their business. The plan screams of unintended consequences. Not just for pricing but for labor. You can be pretty sure that in very little time much more credentialism will come into play. I mean, how can simply loving kids and being fun and careful with them get you a $60K job when you don’t have years of college at your back? You can feel it coming.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        That’s like the way nobody every mentions that any kind of means-testing is inevitably more costly than just making the money available. A cap might be justifiable if it’s reasonable, which they hardly ever are; and even if they are those who don’t qualify are usually in the Comfortable Class that then feels abused and turns against what they can’t benefit from.

        1. lance ringquist

          means testing benefits are set up to fail. benefits must be universal so that the majority of the people will fight to keep them.
          means testing like child care sets up friction between those that have kids, and those that do not have kids.
          nafta democrats understand this, its why they mean test everything. progressives are to duped to understand this.
          in the end, everyone loses.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If child care workers are to have a decent living wage, then child care seekers will have to pay a decent living wage price for child care. If they don’t want to pay it, then they don’t deserve to have child care.

      Child care workers may themselves join the Great Walkout. Why shouldn’t they? What do they have to gain by staying on the job?

  9. Big River Bandido

    6 trillion…then 3.5 trillion, then 1.75 trillion…and now they’re negotiating *that*. And about the only things left in the bill are, predictably, more giveaways to Big Bidness.

    The “left” (if it actually exists) will gain nothing from passing this monstrosity. Killing it and taking scalps, OTOH, would be a big power play — far more valuable than anything that remains in the actual bill.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      If the progressive caucus votes for this, they will look like fools. It’s time someone actually puts to an end the DNC’s habit of starting with a Center Right position and then ending up with a Republican idea. If Manchin can stonewall, so can the progressive wing.

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Ending up with a Republican wet dream, getting elected on a ticket of pure lies, that only the dems could pull off.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the DemProg Caucus votes for this, they will reveal themselves to be every bit the fools they will look like. Unless they are secret collaborators, in which case, let them be outed. And if they vote for it because they have been spiritually infected by the vile gangrene of evil pacifism which leads them to believe in “being nice, not nasty” , then let that spiritual pollution be revealed.

        And if they vote for it, let them all be defeated in their next elections. Fake progressives is worse than no progressives at all.

  10. timbers

    “Progressives urged to support both bills” – No. Progressives should support one and only one bill, and fight the other give a way to corporate interests. And that bill needs to be single payer healthcare.

  11. Eureka Springs

    Text of the House bill.

    Search the term “broadband”. Early in the year there was promise of 60 billion to at long last get fiber to those who still don’t have it. Now there is none of that. A little over 1 billion applied randomly to set up a few committees, subsidize extremely high prices – another gift to the grifters, provide used laptops, and “expand access” etc.

    I have contempt for anyone who actually votes for this bill.

  12. Brooklin Bridge

    I suspect Biden is as deep in this as Manchin. Worse, he’s hiding behind Manchin, counting on a nothing burger being the end result. The only question is, is he living in enough of a twilight zone to imagine there will be no blood bath from this, or does he simply not care? One term is enough for his fantasy land, and he has no doubt packed in plenty of future give-a-ways to Hunter, so he’s got his.

  13. Dave in Austin

    The Harvard wing of the Democratic party is going ballistic over Manchin and Sinema because the didn’t change their mind on the huge budget bill. So we get the usual Three Minute Hate from the outraged “progressives”, NYT mavens, pundits and everyone but the Democratic leadership- who were never lied to by the pair.

    To say “Not the Harvard wing” is an understatement.

    Sinema grew up in the standard issue redneck broken home (ever been to De Funiak Springs, FL?), graduated valadictorian of her high school class at 16 (a spot usually held by a cheerleader/doctor’s daughter), then graduated from Brigham Young at 18, where she married and quickly dumped her husband. She’s openly bi (and in my opinion rather hot) and in her spare time qualified for the Boston Marathon.

    Manchin grew up in east-nowheresville, WV in a family of half-Czeck, half-Italian immigrants with five kids. They ran a little furniture store. The 6’3″ Manchin got a football scholarship at WVU, lost it from a knee injury, married at 20, and when the family store burned down, took a year off to help rebuild it. He graduated at 22 and went to work in the family store and had three kids with the wife he’s still married to (his son, in keeping with local tradition, is a Jr.). In early middle age he branched out into a small-time coal brokerage business; the stock in this private company is now worth 1-5 million dollars (not exactly big business). In his spare time he hunts, fishes, water skies and rides his motorcycle. Coming from a state who’s largest industry is sending kids into the military, he opposes most of our middle east “Boots and the Ground” adventures.

    Drum them out of the party? I’m usually a Republican, but if they ran for President and Vice President I’d vote for them.

    1. Pat

      I notice you left Manchin’s daughter out of that heartwarming family picture. But ripping off sick people to walk away with millions and in the meanwhile being part of closing a plant in his home state to throw lots of those not Harvard types out of work and unemployed for the near future is something to admire among the not the Harvard Wing as much as inside the Wing.

      As for higher office They never will run. Sorry to tell you this but just like Joe’s daughter they both are grifters. But their brand is not the style that will get them the perks they seek. It won’t take the form of the Obama pay off, but both Sinema and Manchin will get increasingly richer without seeming to do much to make that happen. Well except sell out the majority of the people of their states because well even the Not the Harvard Wing has no interest in people who work hard but still struggle to take care of their kids. Their particular bull is different from the steaming pile of feces the Harvard Wing spreads, but it is just as much manure.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I don’t give a shit about Manchin’s “cultural cred”. I make $46,000/year now today. How much does Manchin make now today? And how does he make it? I give a shit about his evil hateful service to Big Fossil.

      Let the bills be defeated. Let Manchin be destroyed.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Oh, and, by the way , Dave in Austin, I never did go to Harvard. I went to Washtenaw Community College.
      So I can recognize a right wing cardboard-replica culture-war lying trope when I smell it.

      So once again, I don’t give a good god d*mn about Joe Manchin’s hard early life, or his performative ” man of the people” recreational LARPing display. I care about his dirty double-crossing two faced lying deceit in service to my Upper Class Enemies. And his support for carbon skyflooders everywhere.

      Here is another Beau of the Fifth Column video called: Lets talk about Manchin selling out coal miners. . .

  14. Sailor Bud

    It’s all bull. Drawing this thing on and on, just like they’re doing with covid.

    Just let one more day pass with nothing but talk, then another, then another, etc, and then a whole year passes! It’s like a season of a TV show. 2022 will have next year’s hemming and hawing over something else that won’t get done. What will it be?

    Four years of this game, and they can install their preferred Republican government in place again and start yelling about how much worse they are, and campaigning for the next “FDR.” Unless that person proposes anything like what FDR did. What a game, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    That’s why anyone looking to old history to explain the next revolution, or anything that happens next, or “here’s what happened to the Romans,” is probably just being wrong. The game is truly different now, because they succeeded beautifully in atomizing and psychologizing the whole public, in a way that was never available to any agrarian despot before.

  15. drumlin woodchuckles

    Since Coaly Joe Manchin has been given his very own post here on Naked Capitalism, perhaps it may be useful to re-offer Beau of the Fifth Column’s little video-take on the political games which Manchin is playing here.

    DemProg-minded people might spare a thought to creating a whole parallel project to destroy Joe Manchin. They could call it : Operation Destroy Joe Manchin.

    If there is anyone in West Virginia who resents Joe Manchin’s existence in public life and Manchin’s corrupt service to Manchin’s own wealth, perhaps someone can bring such anti-Manchiners some information and actual physical assistance in strangling back their electricity consumption as much as they can in order to attrit and degrade revenues going to Manchin’s coal company. The beautiful ideal goal would be to drive that company into no-cash-recoverable liquidation, so that the Manchin family loses every dollar and every cent it has tied up in Coaly Joe’s company.

    I am just a helpless bystander to all this. It is up to the DemProgs of the House now. I hope they would rather burn down and exterminate the Democratic Party than give the evil Joe Manchin so much as one trace of what he wants.

    In the meantime, let West Virginia eat broken glass until it retires Manchin from public life.

  16. Anthony Stegman

    I feel pretty confident that when all is said and done the CPC will cave, the BIF will pass separately, and the BBB will be so watered down it will be unrecognizable. Same as it ever was.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      And then watch Trump win by a Nixon-in-72 landslide in 2024. And then let it all come down.

      1. Hepativore

        This is for the Democrats, the “Squad” in particular…


        This bill needs to be voted down so it can be flushed down the toilet where it belongs. I do not know why the “Squad” is so weak. They should have figured out by now that they are going to be despised by the media as well as the rest of their party regardless of what they do or do not do, so they might as well do something for once.

        Also, Joe Biden could threaten to have Manchin and his family investigated for his illegal conflicts of interest as people mentioned earlier. Biden could also tell Sinema that he could make a few phone calls to impede her aspirations to secure a cushy job as a corporate lobbyist. The point is that Biden probably does not actually care about putting anything useful in the bill, otherwise he would have pulled a few strings to pass it by now. Biden is just there to play the good cop to Biden and Sinema’s bad cop routine while “nothing fundamentally changes”. His silence on the matter speaks volumes.

        1. Eureka Springs

          Biden has a very consistent forty eight year record which made all of this – to be expected. Never in our lifetimes has there been such certainty we would have a president like this.

          Progs have a consistent record of helping the aristocrats for 80 years.

  17. eg

    The biggest lie of all is that there are only two Democrats getting in the way of actually providing the American citizenry with any concrete material benefits. There are at least a dozen more lined up behind Manchin and Sinema to take on the lucrative role should they falter.

    The whole rotten party needs to be razed to the ground.

  18. drumlin woodchuckles

    A funny phrase just occurred to me. But if there isn’t any situation that the funny phrase exactly fits, then it isn’t good for anything.

    So just in case someone might find a truly appropriate use for it . . .

    . . . The Manchinian Candidate.

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