Manchin Fatigue

Image by Michael F

I woke up this morning with a less than earth shattering revelation: I’m sick of writing about Joe Manchin. I’m sick of seeing him on TV. I’m sick of reading about him. I dream of a Manchin-free news cycle. It’s an impossible dream. We’re stuck with him as long as there’s a Fifty-Fifty senate.

Yesterday, the Man of La Manchin dominated the news. Senate Republicans refused to allow debate on Manchin’s voting rights bill. So much for his assurances that at least ten GOPers would vote for cloture to allow the measure to be debated. I’m sick of Joe Manchin’s empty promises.

David Corn of Mother Jones published a piece about Manchin’s supposed two-stage plan to leave the Democratic party if he doesn’t get his way on damn near everything. Manchin denounced the article as BULLSHIT.

I’m sick of Joe Manchin’s bullshit. I also don’t believe he plans to become an American Independent. He says he favors tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans. No GOPer in Congress today has *ever* voted to raise income taxes

Manchin says he supports a $1.5 trillion human infrastructure plan. The GOP’s topline is zero, zed, zip, zilch. Plus, Manchin sponsored the voting rights bill they shot down yesterday. The GOP favors voter suppression, not electoral reform.

This was also the week that the coal state senator came out in opposition to the climate provisions of the reconciliation bill that I call the RIF. Coal made Joe Manchin a wealthy man, so we shouldn’t be surprised. But he also voted for a budget resolution that included a $3.5 trillion RIF jampacked with climate provisions. That’s right, he was for it before he was against it.

Manchin seems stuck in the triangulating Nineties. He wants a work requirement for the child tax credit. This, too, is bullshit. He represents one of the poorest states in the nation. The child tax credit benefits the vast majority of his constituents except for the coal barons he loves so much. Speaking of the descendants of robber barons, former Democratic Governor/Senator Jay Rockefeller’s adult children came out in favor of the RIF arguing that West By God Virginia needs it, By God.

The Man of La Manchin styles himself as a man of action. He claims to seek bipartisan solutions to the nation’s problems. That, too, is bullshit. Every time he gets involved in major legislation, it fails, flops, fizzles. Remember the post-Newtown massacre attempt to pass gun control legislation? Manchin got a lot of favorable coverage that time too. The legislation failed but Manchin still took a bow for his efforts.

As you can see from the featured image, Michael F was the first at First Draft to call the senior senator from West By God Virginia, the Man of La Manchin.  It’s not only a brilliant pun, it captures the essence of the man as a legislator. He poses as a legislator who wants to get shit done. That’s, in his own words, bullshit.

Let’s examine the roots of the nickname. The Man of La Mancha is a musical adaptation of Miquel de Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote. Don Quixote was a gallant but utterly ineffectual character. Cervantes gave the world lexicon two expressions “tilting at windmills” and “Quixotic.”

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Quixotic as:

1foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals especially marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action

The second definition applies to the Man of La Manchin. He’s all over the place. He poses as a practical man of action when, in fact, he’s forever tilting at windmills and posturing for the MSM. The Sinematic Senator is not only good casting as Veda Pierce, she’s perfect as Sancho Panza, the Don’s comedic sidekick.

The solution to a problem like Joe Manchin is to elect more Democrats to the senate. The Fifty-Fifty split allows two senators out of fifty to hold the caucus hostage. It’s good thing that someone with Chuck Schumer’s patience and persistence is the Democratic leader. Only a nice guy could put up with the antics of the Man of La Manchin and the Sinematic Senator. Many would like Chuck to bring down the hammer on them, but that would be Quixotic, alas. I can count, the only way to get shit done is to get fifty votes plus the Veep.

Ironically, there seems to be positive momentum on the RIF now that Manchin has finally admitted that his support for the budget resolution was bullshit. It’s time to pass something and move on. A reminder that Manchin’s topline figure of $1.5 trillion would be the largest social spending measure in American history.

It’s time to move or the RIF process could be like Orson Welles’ endless and failed attempt to make a movie of Don Quixote. That would make the Biden presidency a cautionary tale much like Orson’s film career. Nobody should want that except for Republicans. I’m sick of Joe Manchin pretending that the GOP is a normal political party.

I may be sick of writing about Joe Manchin, but I just wrote a nearly 900-word post about him. I guess that makes me as capricious and unpredictable as the Man of La Manchin himself. Oy, just oy.

The last word goes to Iggy and the Stooges: