Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Are you like me? Have you had just about enough of Joe Manchin?
Last Sunday he wrote an op-ed declaring his opposition to the For the People Act, which would regulate election standards across the country, and in the same breath he repeated his opposition to doing away with the filibuster. In effect, he has just announced that he’s joining the Republican filibuster. He persists in the pipe dream that ten Republican senators will emerge to help push through the FPA, along with an infrastructure bill. Everyone but Joe Manchin knows that these ten Republicans do not exist. This has been driven home time and again. He’s been there to witness it. He knows the truth.
And that means that he’s good with the outcomes we’ll be getting. For whatever reason—to placate his biggest donors, to lay the foundation for his reelection in a red state, to pump up his own ego as a power broker—he can live with the country we’re going to get. And that’s a country in which one party, the GOP, will eliminate the opposition party from contention in many if not most states. His refusal to end election-subverting practices, which we’ll be seeing in full bloom in 2024, is actually a brick in the wall of autocracy. He has to see that.
But he’s fine with it. And he’s also not worried about what future generations will think about him, apparently. Maybe because he believes, like former Attorney General Bill Barr, that history is written by the winners, and he’s pretty sure he’s going to land on the winning side of this thing.
As for the rest of us? Enjoy your cake.
By the way, the appeals of a number of civil rights leaders on Tuesday were not enough to persuade Joe to change his mind. The same way the appeals of Officer Sicknick’s mother had no effect on Republicans re: the January 6 commission. Make of it what you will.
• A federal judge has overturned California’s assault-rifle ban. He says the AR-15 is not unlike a Swiss Army knife. God help us.
• Trump threw a rally last weekend and spouted his usual lies. Many people seem to believe these lies, but most people believe that he had put his pants on backwards that night.
• It looks like Biden’s infrastructure plan is going to fizzle. In the search for bipartisanship, Biden’s negotiating team was willing to drop the price tag by $1 trillion; the GOP bumped their offer up by only $150 billion. In short, in today’s Washington there’s no such thing as bipartisanship because the GOP exists only to block any Democratic president’s agenda.
• And vis-a-vis Manchin, word has it that his biggest donor is the nationwide law firm, Greenberg Traurig, which has ties to Rudi Giuliani and might have been involved with the semi-defunct social media site, Parler. I put this out there to suggest that Manchin’s motives are almost certainly not philosophical (“I Heart Bipartisanship”) but rather financial. Money talks, democracy walks … away.