Democrats blame Manchin when they should blame themselves
Congressional Democrats and the press are still trying to figure out what got into Sen. Joe Manchin that convinced him to back away from the Biden administration’s costly Build Back Better package.
Ramesh Ponnuru writes that the blame lies squarely at the feet of Manchin’s Democratic colleagues. And they aren’t taking it well:
Democrats still aren’t listening. Instead of telling him that they will accept any version of the bill he wants, they’re throwing a tantrum.
White House communications director Jen Psaki snarked that Manchin should “reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments.” Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington state, who also leads the Progressive Caucus, is accusing him of “betrayal” and insinuating, dubiously, that a lot of West Virginians will feel the same way.
Her Minnesota colleague Ilhan Omar says Manchin is acting out of “corruption and self-interest.” None of this is going to get progressives a 50th Senate vote for what they want — and that’s assuming they have 49 to start.
It’s not just Manchin the Democrats are refusing to hear. Biden tried to garner support for the bill by saying it “is what 81 million people voted for.” A large segment of those voters, though, just wanted Donald Trump out of office.
And those taking it the worst are the progressives in the hinterlands:
Progressive activists are reacting to the failure of the bill by complaining about the structure of American government. Never mind that Democrats have been able to build governing majorities in that structure in the not very distant past. Never mind, either, that the last two years have seen several large spending bills enacted with strong bipartisan support, especially in the Senate.
It’s far easier to pitch a fit than to assess how and why things went wrong. And again – for those of us who worried about the fiscal implications of the BBB’s built-in gimmicks, it’s half-baked policy ideas, and overall rotten statist tone…it’s a good thing Mr. Manchin balked. The churlish rage and invective coming from The Squad, and others? That’s just gravy.
And of course they are all plotting how to bring this legislative corpse back to life. This ain’t over yet folks.