Okay, I’m tired of talking about Paw Paw Blacklung too, but good lord y’all, I’m catching up on the news, and it’s even worse than we thought. TPM speculates that Manchin blew up the BBB deal in a fit of pique because he’d been singled out as the lone Democratic holdout in a recent, unremarkable statement from Biden. Here’s the relevant section of Biden’s 12/16 statement:
I had a productive call with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer earlier today. I briefed them on the most recent discussions that my staff and I have held with Senator Manchin about Build Back Better. In these discussions, Senator Manchin has reiterated his support for Build Back Better funding at the level of the framework plan I announced in September. I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition.
My team and I are having ongoing discussions with Senator Manchin; that work will continue next week. It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote. We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead; Leader Schumer and I are determined to see the bill successfully on the floor as early as possible.
So, if the speculation is accurate, Manchin had a cow over that anodyne statement because of its underlying assumption that Manchin is the holdout. After many months of Manchin going on television and bragging about being the holdout. He blew up the negotiations. Over that.
As TPM notes, as unbelievably petty and dumb as this explanation is, it is almost certainly true (or at least being alleged by Manchin in a bid to relocate the goalposts yet again) because Hill contributor and Manchin crony Steve Clemons confirmed the statement was the source of the meltdown. In a column that absurdly compares Manchin to George Washington, Clemons also wrote this utterly ridiculous sentence:
Given the protests that Manchin’s family has experienced at his home, which is a boat in Washington Harbor — with folks harassing him, his wife and grandson by kayak around his boat [It’s a yacht! — Ed.] and the gate to the marina — I knew this presidential statement was personalizing the game. It put his family at risk, in my view.
Biden’s statement above, he means. Put Manchin’s family at risk, he says.
Can you imagine how these delicate hothouse flowers would react to a sternly worded letter, such as the statement Ms. Psaki issued this weekend? You don’t have to image it — here’s a visual aid:
This is all so stupid it would be funny if millions of children weren’t at risk of sinking back into poverty and galloping fascism wasn’t receiving such an able assist from this drama llama’s buffoonish antics. But here we are.
Is it worth pursuing further negotiations with this exquisitely sensitive asshole? I’m glad it’s not my decision, but my feeling is he was telling the truth when he said many weeks back that he’d be in favor of “zero” additional spending. That’s what Manchin’s tribe, the No Labels lobbying group, wants. If his ruffled feathers are patted back into place, he’ll find another excuse.
Biden is doing a speech today about the latest virus mutation. It’s not Biden’s style, but maybe this day or this week would be a good time to level with people about what’s happening. Talk about the good things the bill would do and note that 100% of Republicans oppose it and one Democrat thinks his personal feelings about a press release no one read are more important.
I don’t know. At some point, coddling people like Manchin harms the party more than including his number in our narrow governing coalition helps. I think we may be past that point.
Charlie Brown never gave up on
manchinLucy. Not sure Biden will either. But in this case thete is a lot more to lose. If there is a tiny silver lining to us losing the Senate it will be Manchin becomes completely irrelevant.
Another fine descriptive phrase for someone who deserves nothing less.
He takes the description asshole to whole new lows. He tarnishes the concept of being called an asshole for everyone else who might deserve it but zeus at least knows he does deserve it.
Cole sent out a tweet saying even the UMWA (United Mine Workers of America) are ripping him. Methinks he overplayed his hand…or maybe I’m just optimistic that the blowback will continue to be intense. So far it has been…
Does anyone know what time Joe’s speech is?
Eta> Yeah I didn’t even know about that press release til today.
If we lose the Senate, all Senate Democrats become irrelevant.
This is a stupid political mess. The Democrats still need Manchin. I hope that the fight to change Manchin’s mind continues in the background, if Biden thinks it to be worthwhile.
And the fight for BBB should continue.
This mess is a setback, but not necessarily a loss.
Manchin has been a petulant crybaby for months, if the stories are accurate. Does he need some kind of political pacifier? If so, Biden should find it and make Manchin happy if it will bring him back on board in support of BBB.
David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch
If Uncle Joe drops Manchin down a mine shaft, making Count Dracula the majority leader, won’t that stop judicial appointments over the next 12 months.
And then when Roe becomes a coat hanger people scream how could this have happened.
@Brachiator: I was just reading an article on this mess by J. Chait in NY Mag, and he agrees:
This makes sense if a deal is ultimately possible. But is it? Maybe Manchin will just move the goalposts again no matter what, even if Biden publishes the Manchin counteroffer and agrees to accept every comma.
He really has been all over the place during this process. He’s not negotiating in good faith, and it’s hurting the party.
I don’t understand what Manchin is doing, but maybe Biden might see that there is no point in cutting more out of BBB and instead look for something else to give to Manchin in exchange for his support.
I predict that tax refunds will be significantly higher for many middle and lower income taxpayers this year. And I don’t believe that this extra money will spur inflation. People will be happy and feel more secure. Biden should emphasize that his goal to help people is still in place and that Manchin needs to get back on board or get left behind.
J R in WV
I’ll tell you what I’m thinking about in these wee hours… my elderly and tiny kitten Spike. She has some kind of nasty infection, nasal or sinus. She has improved a little, is eating better. They determined that she had thyroid issues, but she has been better off with the y/d diet. She just got a good 4am snack. She is under 6 lbs which is really small even for a tiny kitty.
She is pushing 16 years old, and learned to purr on my right shoulder about 15 years ago.
I’m more concerned about her health problems than I am about Coal 4 Xmas Manchin’s mental problems right now. Funny how a tiny furry girl can steal your love in the middle of the night…
I suspect someone — not a Democrat — told Manchin to buck the BBB bill, lest something nasty be found in his paperwork, just a WAG, tho.
Love you all, take care, be safe, scritch a kitty as soon as possible!
@eclare: According to the published schedule, Biden is scheduled to speak at 2:30 EST.
@J R in WV: Oh that is tiny for a kitty! I hope Spike gets better, especially with colder temps approaching.
@J R in WV: Best of luck to Spike!
Aww. 16 is fairly old for a kitty, so she’s done well whatever happens, but hopefully she can get past this infection.
(A set of my kitties will turn 13 next April… the other one, last added, is of unknown age but at a guess about a year older than the others.)
@J R in WV: Hang in there, little Spike.
WRT Manchin: these Senators are not geniuses. This one may have badly, badly miscalculated. I would guess Biden is going to work hard behind the scenes to get him on board, in some fashion.
Sucks that Manchin and Sinema get to be deal-breakers. But do not let the perfect, or even the very very good, be the enemy of getting good things done. Democrats can build on their work, but they have to retain a majority to do anything.
The senate is worse than middle school. After months of acting like a whiny four year old, the shrinking violet feels like someone may have hinted he is acting like a whiny four year old, and he has a meltdown. JFC, grow up!
Something I am interested in: a lot of this malfeasance is due to Senate rules. Don’t we, the people they allegedly “represent”, have any say in beating back the worst of the rules?
No way Ted Cruz, or any one person, should be able to hold up important nominations, even without it being publicly known.
We don’t allow corporations to behave in this manner. I mean, sure they do, but there are consequences if they get caught (even if it’s just bad PR and consumers/advertisers fleeing).
We are fighting against a “liberal” press and a Senate that is a nightmare and compleat obstacle to dealing with crucial issues. (Climate change. Predatory capitalism. Long list.)
Why is the Senate allowed to do this? Precedent is an inadequate answer. We don’t have slavery any more. We can make change.
@Freemark: A silver lining to us losing the Senate? What about the silver lining to us winning the Senate?
We have seats in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Nevada to defend. Republican will defend open seats in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and incumbents in Wisconsin and Florida that can be beaten.
While Republicans have resisted every step of the way, Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress have laid the foundation of the best economy in decades. Next year Democratic Senate candidates will run in a favorable environment.
Sure, Republicans will put up roadblocks of voter suppression and election subversion. They understand that now this is the only way they can win. But I don’t see Stacey Abrams, Val Demings, or Tim Ryan throwing in the towel. Why should we?
@Elizabelle: Because voters keep electing bad senators? Do you think Cruz is going to pay any price for going to Cancun during a winter storm? McConnell paid no price for what he did to Garland.
Whoa — Rep. Jayapal isn’t mincing words about Manchin. From TPM reporting:
Manchin also supposedly was against the child tax credit because some parents might spend the money on drugs. Better that 95 children go hungry than 5 parents spend some money not exactly the way Joe Manchin thinks they should spend money. That’s some interesting moralizing. I guess he is going to propose that companies can only write off the amount for company cars for the most basic, strippo econobox automobile? Anything more than that for a luxury crew cab pickup with heated leather seats or a luxury sedan with 37 speaker surround sound has to be eaten by the company? I think I pulled something laughing.
I am really tired of the BS moralizing and feeling it’s totally ok to try to control the lives of the poor, it’s better than the let them starve attitude of the right, but it still stinks.
@Betty Cracker: Jayapal did the right thing. I think she and the rest of the Democratic Caucus that voted for the Infrastructure bill knew that Manchin could renege. But that bill was good legislation, and Democrats needed to put that win on the board. That’s why Speaker Pelosi decoupled the two bills.
Now you can see Senate candidates like Val Demings and Tim Ryan running on this accomplishment. House Progressive Caucus members like Porter, Neguse, Raskin, and Escobar had no problem talking about the Infrastructure bill’s benefits to their districts and to the nation, and it could make the difference in Porter’s and Neguse’s reelections.
@J R in WV:
For all that I’m a pie fancier to you, I hope your kitty is okay. She sounds adorable. and yeah, I think some of these horrible people are also being pressured, might not be 100% on where the ultimate pressure’s coming from but I don’t think the toxicity is only coming from greedy people seeking carrots. There are sticks in the mix as well, somewhere.
@Rusty: I wanted to say ‘yeah, epi-pens. Those greedy bastard poors, spending all their money on drugs. Wherever did they get that idea’
I agree with her. I think the “leverage” was largely imaginary, and we’d be left with nothing.
Hoping the mine workers can get Manchin to walk back with his tail between his legs.
@Geminid: Seems pretty obvious that the dithering over BBB has hurt Biden and the party, so the question is, was the standoff over that bill worth it? There will be much second-guessing, but from Jayapal’s account, it sounds like the CPC’s tandem bill strategy moved one of the two otherwise immovable objects, i.e., Sinema, so they thought it was a reasonable gamble for a big prize.
@Geminid: Now I read in a Politico article out this morning that Katie Porter’s Southern California district will become a little more Democrat-friendly next year. It was a purple district when she flipped it in 2018; Romney won it in 2012, and Clinton won it 2016, I believe.
The article was about the new Caifornia Congressional map. The authors predicted that Republicans will lose two seats, maybe more.
The latest I have read the saboteur is that he received super special pressure from his coal buddies that pushed him to this, specifically the subsidies for clean energy. Despite all his words, it was always about the climate piece.
@Betty Cracker: It was a good strategy up to a point. But I think President Biden and Speaker Pelosi did the right thing when they finally opted for a stand alone vote on the Infrastructure bill, and Chairman Jayapal was right to go along and bring 87 Progressive Caucus members with her.
@David ? ☘The Establishment☘? Koch: Thanks for this. I’m so happy to see Biden is doing this. Judges are why it’s so important to keep the majority in the Senate. What good are the provisions in the BBB if TFG’s mostly horrible judges rule them unconstitutional? Too many Democrats only look at the short game and cry that Biden has done “nothing”. Forty progressive judges in one year isn’t “nothing”.
Is it kind of like back in 1982 or whenever Obamacare was finally passed, when Senator Kennedy was battling brain cancer and there was a strong chance he would actually die before the vote and so the Democrats finally scraped together whatever they had and got it done? I’m sorry it’s only 6:30 in the morning and I’m not remembering things correctly. Or did the good senator pass away and then we got it done. Someone please fill me in/make this story right.
@Betsy: I forget about the exact sequence myself, but the ACA was passed in 2009. It was an imperfect, incomplete reform, but it has saved a lot of lives.
The expansion of Medicaid was especially important. It took until 2018 for Virginia Democrats to overcome Republican resistance and expand Medicaid. But when the pandemic hit in 2020, the state had added 400,000 people to it’s Medicaid rolls.
@J R in WV: I have been where you are many times and my best thoughts are going to you and wee Spike. Is she congested? My old gray girl Bella had sinus problems and I would hold her over a steaming pot with a towel over our heads. It helped both of us!
@J R in WV: Aw man, really hope little Spike gets better soon and you have her purring in your ear for many years to come!
@Geminid: if we win the Senate by 52 or more why would we need a silver lining at all?
As usual, the MSM is hiding the original in their own sites, but Schumer released a Dear Colleagues letter that talks about the path forward in January.
Legislation is messy and slow. It won’t be all we want or need, but it will be incremental progress and that’s what we need to move forward. And it will be a great victory.
Democratic senators have worked with this guy for years. They are not surprised, they’re not panicking, they aren’t burning bridges. We shouldn’t either. We still need 50 votes. It may not be called the BBBA, but it will get done.
Manchin & Sinema must be treated with kid gloves because, sadly, with only 50 votes in the Senate, we need them to keep the committee chairs and to affirm judicial and executive position appointments. If, and I still hope it is only if, Senator McConnell becomes majority leader again of the Senate, and Republicans become the chairs of all those committees, no judicial, and probably damn few executive positions will be filled for the remainder of Biden’s term. And then there is what will happen after the 2024 election, even if Biden wins the sufficient states for a electoral college victory, Republicans will claim “fraud” and not certify enough electoral votes for Biden to win, throwing the election to House where each state gets 1 vote, a vote agreed upon by the majority of the delegation. And the majority of states will be dominated by Trumpist Republicans.
So even if Joe Manchin and Kyrstin Sinema and all the corporate Democrats in the House & Senate don’t appreciate the stakes involve, the survival of American democracy & republic, those are the stakes which means being nice to them, at least until Democrats can get 52 Senators elected.
@sherparick: By the way, once I become the Galactic Overlord, I will abolish the United States Senate and replace it something like the British House of Lords to serve as an advisory body that can perhaps place a hold on legislation for 1 year, conduct investigations, and hold hearings, but that’s it. But the House, which should be double in numbers to 871, would be body that would pass laws and approve treaties, by majority vote. Other than that, or a new Constitution, we are stuck with the Senate.
@Betty Cracker: Good God, he says he won’t vote for BBB because of Biden’s statement? Does he not know how he looks to the country? It ain’t principled or heroic.
I’m pissed at Manchin but I’m really pissed at the citizens of Maine who voted that lying sack of shit Collins back in as Senator last year, even though the Democrat running against her was a moderate like beloved Angus King. If we had more good Democratic Senators we could tell Joe Manchin to go fuck himself.
He may be a senator from WV but his constituency is actually coal, not the people of the state. And I say it’s coal because that is what makes him and his friends wealthier in a state that is beautiful but has little else in it to make big money with. And it is an industry that is rapidly losing it’s grip on being an industry at all. A new way to make steel with out coal being turned into coke is here now, and in most places coal is no longer used as a fuel for electrical generation. And in WV the glory days of coal mining are long gone, as is most of the coal.
Joe Manchin, the coal senator, is geezer, but only just a little bit and he’s seeing the end of an era in WV. And in his income, even if everything is legally out of his hands. He may be living on his senate salary, but his holdings are worth much more. He’s losing his golden/black horse to ride into the sunset on and there is absolutely nothing he can do about it. A powerful man, who can direct the government, by being an obstacle, is rapidly losing that because of how he holds/uses that power. And he knows it. And he’s making himself less powerful by the second. He’s running scared and he and everyone else paying the slightest attention knows it.
If you’re viewing every little thing as a threat because you hold an extremely unpopular viewpoint, maybe your problem isn’t all of those little things that you perceive as a threat.