Let's just say the Democrat Civil War over Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill isn't going well.
The moderates and the progressives have been locked in battle over the bill. The moderates refuse to shell out for the huge price tag, and they want the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed first. The progressives want the huge price tag and more, and they're willing to hold the infrastructure bill hostage to do it.
The situation got even worse after leftist activists began harassing both Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), with activists even following Sinema into the ladies' room at Arizona State University, where she teaches, and filming while she was in there.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reportedly refused to sign aboard a letter condemning the harassment of Sinema — unless it also included some language in there criticizing her for her position on the bill. Talk about petty and small. How can you not support your fellow senator when she's harassed. Some care for women there, right?
But Sanders continued that pettiness today, birddogging Manchin in his home state of West Virginia with an op-ed in the West Virginia Gazette-Mail. This was basically an effort on Sanders' part to get West Virginians to pressure Manchin.
First, he went into his regular spiel about attacking the evil rich. Then, he pointed a finger at Manchin.
Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote “yes.” We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support the working families of West Virginia, Vermont and the entire country and create policy which works for all, not just the few.
Except that Sanders isn't from West Virginia and doesn't have the first idea about what they think. Also, it just could be that when you try to undermine a senator in his home state, that might just make him more disturbed and unlikely to do what you want.
Manchin's response just eviscerates Sanders.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 15, 2021
“This isn't the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state,” Manchin said. “Millions of jobs are open, supply chains are strained and unavoidable inflation taxes are draining workers' hard-earned wages as the price of gasoline and groceries continues to climb. Senator Sanders' answer is to throw more money on an already over-heated economy while 52 other senators have grave concerns about this approach. To be clear, again, Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that.”
Oh, my, that's something, especially that ending, pointedly calling him a socialist, and pointing out that Sanders isn't even a Democrat. But also reminding him that it's the 52 senators objecting who are the majority, not Sanders and his progressives. I'm thinking that Joe Manchin might just know a little more about what West Virginians might want than does Bernie Sanders. He knows he's in an energy state, something Sanders doesn't understand.
Manchin not only completely skewered Sanders with that statement, but he also may have just killed a big part of their climate agenda in the bill, as well, in saying he would not go along with the program they are proposing to incentivize folks away from fossil fuels. That's infuriating those on the left, but the Republicans and folks who care about not destroying our energy independence would likely embrace that position. So, good news if that holds.
But once again, the progressives just can't stop shooting themselves in the foot with their tactics, which only hardens the moderates all the more.