As RedState reported, Joe Manchin has officially killed the “Build Back Better” bill that the administration and Democrat leaders in Congress have fought for months to pass. The move marks a huge blow to Joe Biden's presidency and also does mortal damage to the trust between the White House and the progressive wing.
Almost two weeks ago, I noted that it felt like Manchin was stalling, looking to run out the clock before putting the kibosh on the bill. That appears to be what happened.
Put all that together and it feels like Manchin is stalling. He keeps trying to please his party by appearing open to their demands but every time they bring him up to the edge, he finds a reason to back away. I think Manchin knows that if this gets into next year that the chance of passage goes down even further, and he's just fine with running out the clock. I've had my doubts about whether he'd hold the line, but I'm starting to believe he knows what he's doing here.
With the Senate now in recess and next year's election season just days away, Manchin was in a position to finally have to make a final decision. Now, that decision has been made, and it's got the left coping and seething at levels not seen since the night of the 2016 election.
Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bullshit. The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans.
This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure. https://t.co/dhzcSk0qUV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 19, 2021
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responds to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) coming out against President Biden's Build Back Better plan:
"Well, I think he's gonna have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia." pic.twitter.com/448VFowzPC
— The Recount (@therecount) December 19, 2021
That's pure delusion. The people of West Virginia voted for Donald Trump by something like 40 points. They did not care about more big spending that was going to further push up inflation. And really, that was likely the breaking point for Manchin. If we weren't currently dealing with a massive inflationary boom, he probably would have conceded and voted for the BBB bill. But things became untenable over the last several months and there's just no way that Manchin could show his face again in his state if he voted for these progressive priorities.
Of course, Manchin's decision provides some cover for what was going to happen anyway. Namely, a Democrat wipe-out in 2022.
If Manchin is no on both BBB and voting, Biden is done. Democracy is hanging by a thread. Hard to think of anyone more destructive
— Jennifer 'pro-voting' Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 19, 2021
I love this so much because Democrats are going to do exactly what I thought they would do: Blame their coming 2022 losses on not being progressive enough. Now that BBB is dead, Democrats, including their media cohorts, are going to scream from the roof-tops that they only lost because they weren't far-left enough. Then they'll double down on the crazy going into 2024. And you can guess where that will lead.
Lastly, let's address the accusation going around this morning that this is “minority rule.” Contrary to the gnashing of teeth from the left, 51 senators are not a minority, that's a majority. It is actually the Democrats in the Senate that want to pass BBB who are the minority. No amount of spin will change that reality. Senators are elected to represent their state's interests, not to please federal leadership in every instance. Manchin made the best decision for his constituents and for his political future. That's what this boils down to.
What Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and the rest think is irrelevant. And that drives Democrats absolutely insane. You love to see it.