Claim Chowder Served Piping Hot, Manchin-Style

Joe Manchin Will Not Be Ignored

In a 50-50 Senate, Joe Manchin is relevant., and as we said previously, he’s now in the Traitor Joe Lieberman role of being able to call shots. And it looks like he is doing it, as Tiger Beat on the Potomac (Thanks Charlie!)  morning email thingie tells us:

This week, congressional Democrats are planning to take their first step toward passing the president’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill without Republican help. But now they’ve got a problem: an unhappy Manchin — who, like it or not, has the power to grind this entire thing to a halt.

REWIND — here’s what happened: For days the moderate West Virginia Democrat has been imploring the White House to cut a deal with Republicans on coronavirus assistance. Stimulus checks shouldn’t be going to people making $300,000, he’s made clear, and the overall price tag should come down after Congress has already spent upward of $4 trillion. Democratic leaders, however, have balked at the notion of slowing down to negotiate and will put a budget on the floor this week to prepare reconciliation.

But here’s the thing: They need Manchin’s support to do it.

Enter Harris and what one of my Democratic sources called a “ham-handed” interview on local West Virginia television Thursday. It was clearly meant to up the pressure on Manchin to support Biden’s package, but it only antagonized him. “I couldn’t believe it,” Manchin said in a video that went viral Saturday. “No one called me [about it]. … We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward … but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together, what was done.”

I’m told Manchin also conveyed his displeasure privately to senior White House officials late last week. Another head-scratcher in all this: Harris isn’t exactly popular in West Virginia. And in the interview, she referred to “abandoned land mines” instead of “abandoned mine lands” in West Virginia, a slip-up sure to cause eye rolls in the state.

Even before Harris’ interview, senior Democrats on the Hill were privately a little worried about Manchin, noting that he has the power to stop Democratic leaders from jamming through the Covid package without Republicans. Two options at Manchin’s disposal: refuse to back the budget this week until there are more talks with Republicans, or insist that Biden and Democrats lower the price tag before doing so.

It’s a situation Biden and Democratic leaders will have to deal with all year. As NBC’s Sahil Kapur noted on Twitter on Saturday night, in a 50-50 Senate, Biden and Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER need Manchin more than he needs them. In West Virginia, Manchin won’t pay politically for voting against Democrats; if anything, it’s a net plus.

“Manchin controls everything,” one senior Democratic aide told me last week before this brouhaha.

Biden’s White House would be wise to remember that.

Axios’ morning email thingie weighs in:

Joe Biden ran as a unifying centrist destined to be in conflict with activist liberals. Turns out, Biden is governing as an activist liberal constrained by centrists.

  • Why it matters: Biden has outlined the most liberal agenda in a generation. But centrist Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), are potential deal-killers on climate change, spending and immigration reform.

It’s the Manchins of the world who could slow, if not stop, efforts to end the filibuster — the single biggest obstacle to enacting a truly liberal agenda…

What to watch: Centrist Democratic senators — including Manchin; Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, both of Arizona; and Michael Bennet of Colorado — hold high cards.

Here’s the thing: yes, Manchin is terrible but no, the solution is NOT for him to switch parties or for us to organize to get rid of him. West Virginia will replace him with an actual Republican, and the gavel will return to amply be-chinned #MoscowMitch.

The Solution: We need to flip more Republican Senate seats in 2022 so that Manchin is no longer a king-maker.

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6 Responses to Claim Chowder Served Piping Hot, Manchin-Style

  1. Infidel753 says:

    If nothing substantial gets done in the next two years, good luck motivating marginal democratic voters in 2022. In that scenario we could easily lose the House.

    They need to figure out how to either effectively pressure or buy off Manchin — or to get one or two of the less crazy Republicans to either switch parties or vote with the Democrats on a case-by-case basis.

    In this case, though, frankly Manchin has a legitimate point. Much as I’d like to have it, sending $2,000 to somebody like me who still has a job isn’t a good use of the money. If they targeted the unemployed who really need it, they could spend less money and send a bigger check to each person.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. In this case, though, frankly Manchin has a legitimate point. Much as I’d like to have it, sending $2,000 to somebody like me who still has a job isn’t a good use of the money. If they targeted the unemployed who really need it, they could spend less money and send a bigger check to each person.

    It’s also a way to monkeywrench the whole process where half the money gets spent trying to determine just who deserves and doesn’t deserve the money. Also, very much, “still employed” does NOT mean “Doesn’t need the money”. Targettign == time == less money to those who need it when they need it.

    The previous limits ($75K for individuals, $120 for households) were reasonable, for some places. And even those were studded with stupid limits over immigrants and tax status etc. There are very likely still people who have not received their first stimulus checks.

    In an ideal world, we could target just the people who needed it. But we live in the world where half the Senate thinks that what we’ve already done was too much, and a substantial faction that believes anything we did was too much. So any sort of caveats or prerequisites work to their advantage.

    Don’t forget, Half the Senate DOES NOT WANT THIS TO PASS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. It makes Biden and the Dems look good, doing something popular. You would at least think that Manchin understands if Dems becoem more popular, so does he.

    What I’d really like to do is take the likes of Joe Manchin, strap him in a chair A Clockwork Orange style and force modern monetary system theory economics into his head, so he understands that “the federal budget, spending and debt” is nothing remotely like ‘a family sitting around the kitchen table discussing their budget’.

    The right wing and the freshwater economists they love aren’t stupid; they know Keynsian and MMT economics work. The problem is that it doesn’t benefit their 0.01% patrons and punish the 99.9% when it does, and the top 0.01% are so obscenely wealthy, that punishing has become a vastly more important goal than benefitting for the economic policies they favor.

    They not only want more of the pie, they’re implacably opposed to making a bigger one. (note: in your own roundup today was a post talking about how the billionaires have gained 3.4 trillion dollars over the last year when the rest of us have lost 3.6 trillion. This is what I’m talking about. The people at the top have convinced themseleves that economically anything given to their lessers means less for themselves. )

    One would think that the likes of Jeff Bezos would understand that making everyone more wealthy means they’d spend more at Amazon.

    For all his faults as a vicious antisemitic fascist, Henry Ford at least comprehended the fact that if he priced his product so that his own workers could afford it, everyone benefitted.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. revzafod says:

    The list is here. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 20 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022. That’s a real rogue’s gallery with the red dots.
    https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2022

    Liked by 1 person

  4. saveusfrompotus says:

    FIRST OFF, stop reading fkn AxIos. AXIOS is like Tiger Beat on the Potomac for kids in elementary school. How much of what they say actually happens? When they told us everything Biden would do — were they right? Just saying. These guys know what we want them to know.

    Like

  5. MDavis says:

    If Manchin has that big of a problem with this stimulus check, maybe it’s time to start horse-trading with him. Like “I’ll trade you an income limit on stimulus (one time, FFS – what’s up with that?!?!!) payments if you’ll give me unemployment increases and minimum wage boosts” Even a step on the path to $15 is something, I don’t care how much a purity pony squeals that (finally moving the needle off $7.25 isn’t enough. They won’t get everything they want in one round, and if they won’t grow up and accept that they should be relegated to the sidelines with the other fanatic cheerleaders.
    Throw in a repeal of minimum wage grants for waitresses and make unemployment a non-taxable income, like it was meant to be in the first place (the rationale for making it a percentage of a person’s prior wage was because they won’t be taxed on it, and then Reagan happened)
    Is that enough for this round?
    Just my 2 Lincoln-heads.

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