I used to take Joe Manchin at his “word” that he would never leave the Democratic Party, but Manchin has proven he is not a man of his word — see his actions on killing BBB.  Also, I had thought it would be political suicide for Manchin becoming an independent (hah!) or Republican.  And  I also see that some in the Media (some on MSNBC keep bringing this up) that if Democrats push to hard on Manchin he will leave the Democratic Party.  So let’s play the game and assume Manchin quits being a Democrat.  What are the consequences?

The obvious one is Mitch McConnell becomes Senate majority leader.  Any future Democratic agenda items die for the forseeable future.  Biden can no longer appoint any federal judges.  And the Republican Senate will then start investigations and “oversight” of Biden’s White House.

Those are all catastrophes, except for one little thing.  If this happened now, Biden and the Democrats could say that they really do need more and BETTER Democrats in the Senate.  With Mitch McConnell in charge, Biden and the Democrats would have a common enemy to run against.  And there would be someone to try and pin the blame on, namely all the Republicans in the  U.S. Senate.

And Manchin would join that list of enemies.

I agree that we need more and better Democrats in the U.S. Senate.  We needed this even before Manchin decided to kill BBB.  But there has always been a problem with this message.  This assumes that Democrats can get across to the voters that the 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate is a real obstacle to passing bills.  And the ability to get most of what we want passed depends upon every Democratic Senator wanting to do his/her part to pass that agenda.  Any one Senate Democrat can sink the Democratic Agenda.

How are we going to argue that we need more Democrats when we technically have the majority now?  We would have to admit that there are Democrats who do not support the Biden Agenda. Wouldn’t this undercut Biden and the rest of the Democrats?  Yes, it would!

Remember, Biden ran as a deal maker.  How can you be a deal maker when some in your own party torpedo you on Fox propoganda?  Manchin’s actions give all the other Republicans cover for the next election.  Republicans can hang back and let Manchin be “bipartisan” with regards to obstructionism.

You know how Democrats get thrilled when a handful of Republicans voted to impeach Trump?  It proved the second impeachment was not a partisan affair.  Well, it works both ways.  You can be have bipartisan obstructionism.  We saw that during Obama’s Presidency with the likes of Joe Lieberman.

Manchin is giving political aid and support to Republicans with his sabotage of the Biden Agenda.

So how do you expect Democrats and President Biden to run on a platform of “We need more votes in the U.S. Senate because some Democrats have joined with Republicans to block the Biden Agenda!”  Can anyone really see Biden making that kind of sales pitch, especially after he ran on being a deal maker in 2020?  

It might be easier to sell that message if Manchin was actually not a Democrat anymore.

However, I do not think Manchin has to switch parties to do damage to Biden and Democrats.  He has already accomplished that.  Biden and the other Democrats bent over backwards to appease Manchin, only to have him blow up the center piece of Biden’s Agenda.  And Republicans are quick to highlight that the latest polls in WV show Manchin is popular with the voters in his obstruction of Biden’s Agenda. Why switch to the Republican Party when you have a machine that dominates the Democratic primaries in WV? 

Manchin can be just as destructive to Biden remaing a Democrat.

And remaining in the Democratic tent allows Manchin to try his duplicity again.  I’m sure the next thing to die after several more months of effort will be voting rights.  And if Manchin doesn’t do us in on voting rights, it will probably be Kyrsten Sinema’s turn for the Media spotlight of betraying Democrats.

So what is all this leading up to?

Biden and the Democrats have not tried to lean on Manchin or make his pay any political price.  I would direct you to the CNN article which quotes that Manchin has been treated with kid gloves.  Biden and his White House staff would not leak that to CNN unless they felt burned by Manchin.  It’s an admission that the nice guy routine with Manchin has been a failure.

But it confirms for all of us what we have seen now for nearly 12 months.  Biden and the other Democrats have been trying to appease Manchin.  And it has not worked.  If there are things that Biden can do to Manchin, say executive orders or regulations that cost Manchin money with his coal investments, he needs to do it.  And if there are other methods of political retaliation against Manchin, Democrats need to do them.

Otherwise, we should just turn the keys of the government over to Manchin and the Republicans.

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