When all is said and done, there’s nothing left to say or do. That’s how I’m feeling abut the descriptive powers of the English language as it pertains to the ongoing one-man hostage crisis known as Joe “Freaking” Manchin. There are so many ways to say it. THE MAN WANT TO DESTROY BUILD BACK ACT, Period. He will continue moving the goal posts until (and his coal-soot masters) get what they want.
How many times have this snake shed its skins over the years? First it was the money, but then the money came down, so it became about his fear of creating an “entitlement nation.” That was a good one, coming from a senator whose West Virginia home takes in more federal aid for its citizensMore than any other state, except New Mexico.
Manchin did active, palpable harm to thousands of his own people when he slashed his way through the Medicare, prescription drug pricing, child care and tax reforms that one sat at the heart of President Joe Biden’s social agenda. He stomped out the most effective climate mitigation measures in the legislation, putting life on Earth in danger. The bill looked promising after a few concessions from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Manchin moved the goalposts again, right on cue.
First, he let everyone hang out over the weekend. barbed hookHe chose to give an alternative answer when asked whether he would support the proposed legislative structure. Progress, progress, we’re making progress, murmured the Democratic crowd. But all looked nervously over their shoulders like well-chummed swimmers, looking for the fin and teeth and the eyes. roll over whiteBefore you start chewing.
Manchin spoke Monday morning CNN, “I think tHere needs to be clarity on where everybody stands.” By the end of the day, everyone knew where heWhile the bill was once again left thrashing on top of the deck, it was standing, which was not anywhere, again.
“I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact it will have on our national debt, our economy and the American people,” Manchin toldMonday afternoon’s assembled media. “Every elected representative needs to know what they are voting for and the impact it has, not only on their constituents, but the entire country. I’m open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward. But I’m equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country.”
Fine, noble talk… and complete bullshit. Manchin knows exactly what this legislation is. Manchin was happy to destroy any parts of the bill meant to pay for it, despite his constant harping about the bill’s price tag. This is all purely pragmatic. the profit ideology of his donors. If you want something to be killed, you should go for its heart and lungs. That is what Manchin and his pharmaceutical cohort Kyrsten Sinema have been doing all along, and that’s what Manchin did again on Monday.
The most crass part of Manchin’s little Monday homily came when he attacked the CPC for holding the bill “hostage” because they want it passed simultaneously with the infrastructure bill. All Congress wants the infrastructure bill. It is toothlessly bipartisan and has passed the Senate by a large margin. But the CPC knows that if the Build Back better Act is not passed, it will almost certainly defeat the Act. This is what Manchin has wanted since the beginning.
“Just want to make sure I have the past 24 hours right,” tweeted HuffPost senior politics reporter Kevin Robillard. “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.”
Greg Sargent of The Washington PostIt was even more evident. “Ugh,” he tweeted. “Just nonstop bad faith from @Sen_JoeManchin, cloaked in phony pieties casting him as the only responsible party in town.”
CPC for its part continues to talk about progress and having hope. “We are taking the president’s word at the fact that he believes he can get 50 votes in the Senate,” CPC chair Pramila Jayapal said just after Manchin’s Monday presser. Jayapal made it clear that none of Manchin’s actions, now or going forward, will affect the CPC’s demand that both bills be passed together. Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker continues to maintain that a vote will be held on one or both of these bills this week, even though she repeated the same thing last Wednesday and the week before.
Everyone involved will have to have a come-to-Jesus moment. Manchin wants everything. This means that he doesn’t want anything, such as the Build Back Better Act, which contains $550 billion in climate-rescue funds. Manchin will only support a bill without words, as a friend of mine pointed out. Hilarious, right? Also God’s own truth.