Wrong about Joe Manchin’s weak personality

For months, people have told me that Democrats in Congress are confused and their own worst enemies until they get tired of hearing it.

A friend told me they were disorganized, split, and dishonest. Joe Manchin is an unreliable snake. That’s why they couldn’t pass President Biden’s big climate, social spending, and tax bills, resulting in a defeat in the midterm elections and the loss of the White House in 2024.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., At the US Capitol on December 17, 2021.

Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., At the US Capitol on December 17, 2021.

Calm, calm, I responded repeatedly. The system is working as expected.

Parliament is, patiently speaking, a group of individuals with different positions and agendas. Even within the Democratic Party, they range from Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Bernie Sanders on one end to Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Manchin of West Virginia on the other end.

They are not supposed to agree at first. Their job is to form a consensus. Expressing those differences and working together to resolve them.

The White House is proposing a huge bill of billions of dollars full of social spending. Democrat Manchin, elected by relatively conservative voters, says it would be too expensive for him to support. The team wants more spending. Senate leader Charles E. Schumer and his adjutant try to mess up the Senate vote. Biden’s Kajol, flattery, twist arm.

Nicholas Goldberg

Nicholas Goldberg

There are many postures. Self-serving statements, threatened strikes, private meetings.

As I said, the bill will definitely shrink in the process of negotiations. Its total spending is much less and much less than it used to be at $ 6 trillion. Negotiators may miss their own deadline, but what if it takes another couple of months?

After all, I sneaked out, perhaps there will be a package that includes a universal prekindergarten, expanded healthcare access, expanded childcare tax credits and lots of dollars to combat climate change. Some lawmakers felt that wasn’t enough, while others felt it was too much, but they all stood on the podium and declared victory.

And really, it will be a victory.

That’s what I actually believed stupid and naive. I found myself completely embarrassingly wrong.

Because, despite his deep disagreement with the New Republican politics, Manchin, who I advocated, broke the rules of the game. He went away. Instead of doing the hard work of making a compromise, as promised to Biden, he declared himself “witty” and withdrew altogether. Instead of fighting, he paved the way for cowards. Perhaps he is seriously concerned about inflation and federal debt. The coal industry in his state.

Whatever it was, he took the ball home and hit the $ 17.5 trillion law, which was supposed to be the basis of Biden’s domestic policy, with a fatal blow.

Now Manchin can always come back like little kids. As the White House pointed out, he’s already flip-flops and there’s nothing to stop him from doing it again. But that doesn’t seem to be the case at this point.

That’s not a shame. It’s a deep betrayal of his promise to Biden, as well as his responsibilities as a US Senator. Faced with the country’s enormous social needs, you will not escape as the climate change catastrophe heads for us all.

You stick to get things done.

I deny that Manchin has the right to exercise disproportionate power over this legislation, even though he is a single senator from one of the country’s least populated states. I will not. I don’t like it, but that’s how our democracy works.

If the Senate, which is evenly divided between the Democrats and the Republicans, is divided, anyone sitting snugly in the center will have oversized bargaining power. Now, this self-proclaimed “Conservative Democrat” from West Virginia’s petite West Virginia is a critical vote, and Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi or Joe, for the disappointment of progressives everywhere.・ Even Biden.

But, as they say, great power comes with great responsibility. And he couldn’t keep that second part of the bargain.

Manchin went beyond disloyalty to the Democratic Party. He behaved badly against democracy itself.

Nicholas Goldberg is a deputy editor and editorial columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

This article was originally published in Bucks County Courier Times. Two perspectives: I was wrong about Joe Manchin’s weak personality