Joe Manchin is at it again. By now, most of you have already read where Manchin says that Democrats need to “start from scratch” on BBB. And because Democrats want the government to actually do things, Manchin is playing on their desire to pass BBB. While I support BBB, it will not get passed. For a lot of disgusting reasons, Manchin is practicing political, economic, and environmental sabotage. And it appears that some Senate Democrats are coming to the conclusion that nothing will move Manchin to support BBB.
In other words, Manchin is splitting the Senate Democrats.
This was in The Hill ten days ago before Manchin’s latest stunt on killing voting rights and demanding BBB start from scratch:
The lack of negotiations with Manchin since Congress returned from the Christmas recess and Manchin’s definitive statements of opposition are raising serious doubts about whether he would be willing to support any version of the Build Back Better Act, which would provide new funding for health care, child care and a host of other initiatives.
Manchin says he has tried to be as clear as possible about where he is, but fellow Senate Democratic colleagues feel confused about whether the West Virginia senator can be counted on to support some version of Biden’s sweeping agenda.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he has “no idea” whether Manchin wants a deal and that he has no more clarity about whether Manchin can get to “yes” than when the negotiations began in August.
“Still in the dark,” he said when asked about Manchin’s endgame strategy.
Other Democrats are growing skeptical of Manchin’s motives and wonder if he’ll ever get pinned down to something specific.
Emphasis is mine.
This is the second time in a short period that Durbin has openly complained about Manchin. The other was about the voting rights bill and the senate filibuster. Durbin openly said he doesn’t know where Manchin’s “loyalty” starts and ends.
Durbin has always been a big Senate comity and working across the aisle kind of guy. In fact, it has what has driven me crazy about Durbin in the past. For Durbin to come out and complain about Manchin is a good indicator that Manchin has left a huge stink among Senate Democrats. And Durbin is in the Senate leadership.
Sadly, the other Senate Democrats would not go on the record to trash Manchin. They did it anonymously in The Hill article. But those “other” Democrats made it known that they do not expect Manchin to support BBB. One described it as “not normal negotiations.”
Most appear to want to let Bernie Sanders do the heavy lifting on calling out Manchin’s bullshit:
Progressives such as Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have said Schumer should bring Build Back Better to the floor immediately, even without Manchin’s support.
“That this has gone on and on and on for week after week, and month after month — that does not sit well me nor the American people,” Sanders said last year.
Sanders said as far back as October that “there’s a strong feeling within the caucus that we either fish or cut bait to get this thing done or we don’t get it done but that it does not continue to drag on forever.”
By the way, Manchin knows he is pissing off his colleagues, and he doesn’t care. Or he is really enjoying it.
He said he made his position clear when he announced on “Fox News Sunday” on Dec. 19 that he couldn’t support the bill because of concerns about rising inflation and the need to conserve federal resources to respond to other unforeseeable crises.
And Manchin told West Virginia radio host Hoppy Kercheval last month that he never signed off on the White House statement stating that he had “reiterated his support for Build Back Better funding at the level of the framework plan” and that the legislation was urgently needed.
“I said that was the president’s statement, that wasn’t my statement,” Manchin said, acknowledging that he knows his colleagues are losing patience.
“All of my colleagues are getting very frustrated,” he conceded.
Manchin said he has agreed to talk with the president and fellow Democrats about the shape and scope of the climate and social spending bill but insists he never promised to support something in the end.
This was all before his latest back stabbing of the Democratic agenda.
And this brings us up to today’s development, and another Democrat has gone on to publicly complain about Manchin:
Several Democratic senators also said they’re talking among themselves about what sort of child tax credit compromises they could present to Manchin. But Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) sounded pessimistic about winning his colleague over.
“I don’t know what it will take to get Joe Manchin,” Bennet told HuffPost.
Last time I checked, Bennet was no Bernie Sanders.
What is being discussed now is to simply quit negotiating with Manchin about BBB.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said there is a debate within the Democratic caucus over how many more weeks and months to spend on trying to resuscitate Build Back Better given the doubts about whether Manchin will agree to any package that isn’t a total disappointment to progressives.
Casey is part of the optimist club on Manchin. This would include Tim Kaine of VA, and Ben Cardin of MD. However, even Casey admitted this:
“Some people are getting frustrated that we focused on this legislation for so long and fell short and will continue to do that,” he said, acknowledging frustrations from fellow Democratic senators.
But he also conceded the talks with Manchin “can’t be interminable.”
I think we should stop now. I hate to say that because it is a major part of the Democratic Agenda. But we have reached a stage where Democrats are being played by Manchin (and Sinema). Manchin has stated to his colleagues that he would be satisfied if “nothing” is done. He has shown his true colors on multiple occasions, and he is now creating political rifts within the Democratic Party.
Some here on Daily Kos disagree with me on politically isolating Manchin and Sinema. But I have read the comments on my previous diaries, and I think it is safe to say that more than a few on Daily Kos would agree with not giving Manchin and Sinema any more attention and oxygen. This latest move by Manchin is his way of maintaing the spotlight on HIM and damaging the Democratic Party. Manchin is a lying sack of shit who wants to hurt President Biden and the Democratic Party. Continuing to “negotiate” with Manchin will lead to more disappointment and humiliation for Democrats because Manchin is not negotiating in good faith.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.