How the Left does business and Joe Manchin

86Hawkeye

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With seven words Sunday—“This is a no on this legislation”—Sen. Joe Manchin sent Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stumbling amid the ruins of Build Back Better. But it’s possible to argue that the Manchin refusal may be even bigger than that: What if Mr. Manchin’s “no” threatens the entire temple of progressivism?

In a next-day interview with a West Virginia radio station, Mr. Manchin pointed American politics and indeed its culture toward the long-term lesson of his stand:

“ They just never realized it, because they figured, ‘Surely, dear God, we can move one person—surely we can badger and beat one person up, surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough [that] they’ll just say: “I’ll go for anything. Just quit.” ’ ”

Why did it occur to a senator from West Virginia to describe his experience in that way—the belief by his opposition that if they threw enough flak at him, he’d break and give them what they wanted?

The short answer is: Joe Manchin has been there, seen that. Like uncountable other Americans whose politics don’t run to the far left, he has seen for at least a decade that what the American left tried on him has become the their modus operandi for everything.

Their tactics—whether used against politicians or average people—include relentless moral condescension, the messianism of mass protests, physical intimidation, social ostracism and demands that you simply shut up and give in.

People wondered what the White House thought it gained by putting out a statement Sunday afternoon that Mr. Manchin’s words were “at odds” with what he told President Biden days earlier, essentially calling the senator a liar. Impolitic as it might strike anyone in normal politics (a space Mr. Biden once inhabited), this ad hominem hammer is the way the left does politics. It’s the only thing they know how to do.

Commenting on Sen. Manchin’s call to her after the decision, House Progressive Caucus Chairman Pramila Jayapal said his “lack of integrity was stunning.”

The left never sleeps. Recall how several months ago liberal Justice Stephen Breyer became the target of a campaign to abandon his seat, until he pointedly told an interviewer he wasn’t stepping down. They’re back. CNN reported this week that “multiple Senate Democrats” say Justice Breyer “seems to have let his ego overtake him.”

Recall, for that matter, the Senate confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. We may assume Sen. Manchin (the only Democrat who voted to confirm Justice Kavanaugh) absorbed how low that strategy stooped. It included his Senate colleague and Kavanaugh supporter Ted Cruz and his wife being driven from a restaurant by a group called Smash Racism DC, which said: “You are not safe. We will find you.” The Build Back Better factions found Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in a Phoenix bathroom stall.

That sounds like the lunatic fringe, until you realize the extent to which participating in the progressives’ cancel culture became just another day at the office for many mainstream U.S. institutions. In October, the Justice Department announced investigative “measures” after complaints about parents objecting to unilateral impositions of progressive school curriculums.

The current strategy of obliterating opponents began of course on the campuses, a smart place for a test run because so many university leaders blow with the wind or are themselves on board.

Thus in 2017 Charles Murray was run off a stage at Middlebury College. Banning speech worked, so they’ve never stopped. In September, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology disinvited University of Chicago scientist Dorian Abbott, citing his article, “The Diversity Problem on Campus.”

One of the most used words in the progressive lexicon is “dialogue,” which they say it’s always “important to have.” That’s a cover story. After endless “dialogue” with the Biden White House and the congressional left, Joe Manchin nailed this one: Their goal is to get you to “just quit.”

After George Floyd’s killing in May 2020, the activist group Black Lives Matter rose to seize the commanding heights of American politics and culture. What some thought was supposed to be a “dialogue” with their supporters about police practices was in fact a strategy to defund or disarm the police.

It worked. Cops quit or stepped away from making arrests. The nearly instant urban chaos this abrupt change created now has even San Francisco Mayor London Breed sounding like the second coming of a law-and-order hard hat, denouncing the “bull— that has destroyed our city.”

Earlier this week, the inevitable coda to the Manchin decision surfaced on Twitter. Bette Midler, the singer, tweeted that Joe Manchin wants “us all” to be like West Virginia—“poor, illiterate and strung out.”

It was inevitable that eventually a counterrevolution would start somewhere against progressivism’s brand of politics—its cancellations, silencings and unearned condescension of anyone who isn’t them or won’t join them. Whether or not he intended it, that counterrevolution may have begun when Joe Manchin of West Virginia simply said no.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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D's still need Joe's vote...probably not the smartest to go into full on attack mode on him.

Framing it as "1 senator holding up BBB" was disingenuous as well.... it was actually 51 or 52 if you count Sinema....
 
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Huey Grey

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Joe Manchin called for BBB to be cleaved in half. It was. He demanded it be largely paid for. It was. Then while complaining about $170B a year being too much for BBB, he signed off on $800B a year for the military.

Like it or not, OP, but Manchin is a bad faith negotiator and a fiscal hypocrite. He was given his demands. He refused to accept them when fulfilled. He complained about deficit spending. Then voted for it at record levels. He's not taking a stand he is playing games.
 
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joelbc1

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you can’t always get what you want!
D's still need Joe's vote...probably not the smartest to go into full on attack mode on him.

Framing it as "1 senator holding up BBB" was disingenuous as well.... it was actually 51 or 52 if you count Sinema....
Hey, don’t forget...there are about 50 Republican Senators who’s States and citizens would benefit greatly from this legislation, too.
It is important to remember that Manchin has been pretty damned consistent about what he would tolerate and what was not acceptable to him from Day 1. And I agree with the poster who said this is not over yet. Manchin and Biden are both old school Senators at heart. I would t be surprised if something gets done....and it will be better funded.
 
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binsfeldcyhawk2

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Hey, don’t forget...there are about 50 Republican Senators who’s States and citizens would benefit greatly from this legislation, too.
It is important to remember that Manchin has been pretty damned consistent about what he would tolerate and what was not acceptable to him from Day 1. And I agree with the poster who said this is not over yet. Manchin and Biden are both old school Senators at heart. I would t be surprised if something gets done....and it will be better funded.
Wish the D’s had broken BBB into smaller stand alone bills.

By lumping it into a monster bill it gives cover to vote against. Smaller bill on the child tax credit or child care doesn’t provide that cover.
 

joelbc1

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you can’t always get what you want!
Wish the D’s had broken BBB into smaller stand alone bills.

By lumping it into a monster bill it gives cover to vote against. Smaller bill on the child tax credit or child care doesn’t provide that cover.
Hindsight is 20/20...you’re probably right. I think a whole lot is being made if this....and the criticism is way out of proportion. The reality is overall, this Congress has gotten quite a bit done...and Biden was dealt a very weak hand to accomplish any thing substantive. Having “50 Democratic Senators” and a VP to break ties is not nearly as certain as having “50 Republican Senators” and a VP in your corner. Dems are too diverse in philosophy to ever be as “ dependable” as Republicans. Historically, it has always been that way....kind of a badge of honor for us life long Democrats. Democrats stand for a little bit of everything.
 

Huey Grey

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Can't, Senate rules.
Not to mention that each separate bill gets debate time on the floor which would essentially suck up all the legislating time for Congress. It could take years to work through all the components this way.
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Can't, Senate rules.
BS....just means you have to be patient and get the legislation through.....have something to run on in 22 and move on with the agenda one piece at a time. Much slower.....but that's how things are when it's 50/50

They tried to shove it all through with a 50/50 Senate....
 

binsfeldcyhawk2

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Not to mention that each separate bill gets debate time on the floor which would essentially suck up all the legislating time for Congress. It could take years to work through all the components this way.
That's how the system was designed to work unless you got a mandate and a 60/40 Senate....

One piece at a time...get the R's to vote against a clean child tax credit bill. D's could use that against them.

As is the R's and Manchin can vote against BBB because it's a bloated all encompassing Bill and they'll suffer no ramifications for voting against it.