Senator Joe Manchin (?-WV) has threatened to leave the Democratic Party if his demands to gut the environmental protections, an expanded Child Tax Credit, and extensions to Medicare and Medicaid. He has said that his exit strategy is well-thought out, sending out letters to leadership to signal his intentions and wait for a response. After which he would become an “American Independent”, whatever that means.
Manchin claims to have a philosophical difference with the party, seeing government as a partner to the people and not its’ provider. In conversations with Biden he has stressed his belief that Biden did not win because of progressive policies but because of his vow to bring people together. And I…, well, even if that’s true (and I don’t think it is given how many of these policy proposals are popular across the board) the ones he cites as having particular grievance with don’t sound all that progressive. He also won’t support any measure unless it contains the Hyde Amendment which bans the use of Federal funds for abortions except for in the cases of incest or when the mother’s life is at risk. Which, I mean, c’mon Manchin, Roe v. Wade is on life support right now, how would this be helpful to anyone aside from you who is clearly covering his ass?
As has been discussed, it’s likely this is an idle threat. The fact that this came out when it did further illustrates it. He just wants things his way. Right now, he’s more influential than he could ever be as an Independent. If he can bully the Democratic party into getting his way, he remains powerful with committee positions and the perk of being a Swing Vote with every big bill suddenly having more of his say than anyone else’s.
Hot Take I know, but I think they should call his bluff. We aren’t going to get anything done anyway and all he’s doing is being a bad influence on Senator Sinema. If he leaves, he’s not important anymore and Republicans will have no use for him in the Senate, or in the state. He’ll alienate Democratic donors and vote operations. He could get primaried and/or West Virginia elects some crazy fascist Trump-ite, because of what use does West Virginia really have for a DINO if they have no real power, when they could have a dyed in the wool Republican?
Also, the Ex-President what lost the election started up a social media site. I’m sure it won’t alternately be boring, racist, and easy to hack like Parler, or Gab, or GETTR, or Frank. I’m sure it will turn out just fine and he will be able to broadcast his brain worms to a wide swath of society like he used to be able to do on those other social media sites where he’s banned.
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