To say that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has in some respects officially surpassed former President Donald Trump as the Democrats' most hated enemy would be an understatement.
As we previously reported, Manchin effectively nuked President Biden's “Build Back Better” agenda over the weekend, dumping some cold, hard West Virginia coal in Biden's Christmas stocking by point-blank stating during a Fox News interview Sunday that “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there.”
Not long after, the meltdowns on the left commenced, with “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and failed 2016/2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Vt.) representative of the many who were clearly having trouble with coping with the fact that Joe Manchin understands he represents the people of West Virginia, not the “woke” so-called progressives who pushed for bloated spending proposals for their pet projects, which Manchin repeatedly indicated he could not and would not get behind.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who is also clearly having coping issues with Manchin's announcement, appeared earlier today on MSNBC's “Morning Joe” program. During her interview with co-host Joe Scarborough, AOC characterized Manchin's actions as an “egregious breach of the trust of the president,” but suggested there were options Democrat leaders had on the table to punish and/or get around Manchin and others who don't support the Biden's BBB plan.
“Well, I think what Sen. Manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of the trust of the president,” she stated. “It's an outcome that we had warned about well over a month ago about needing to plan a contingency plan for it. It's why we insisted on having the bipartisan infrastructure plan coupled and passed together with the Build Back Better Act.”
After noting that members of her party have “every right to be furious” with Manchin, AOC suggested the way to channel that anger was to put pressure on the Democratic leaders who “made the decision to get us to this juncture,” saying that they have a “large number of tools at their disposal, the President particularly.”
“It's really about time that we take the kid gloves off and we start using them to govern for working families in this country,” the self-admitted Democratic Socialist went on to say.
"I think what Sen. Manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of trust of the President," Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Sen. Manchin's remarks that he won't support the Build Back Better bill.
"It's an outcome we had warned about."
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 20, 2021
So it sounds like AOC's suggestion is to retaliate against Manchin is by demanding Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (who she hasn't ruled out trying to primary in 2022) punish him and by aggressively lobbying Biden to use his power in such a way as to do an end-run around the legislative process.
Neither of these suggestions is going to make Manchin very happy. In fact, they are likely to further enrage him after all the time he's spent going back and forth with Democrat leaders including Biden.
Either of these scenarios alone would be enough to get Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to crack one of his infamous evil grins, but both together – if agreed upon by all the players involved – would have him rubbing his hands together to come up with more creative ways to publicly put pressure on Manchin to switch parties, a scenario that would be the left's worst nightmare.
As I said last week, though Manchin is sitting right where he wants to be right now politically, when reelection time gets close (assuming he runs again), he'll have some thinking to do on the party flipping thing, because though his first election to the Senate in 2012 for a full term was a cakewalk, his 2018 race was much closer, with the Republican nominee Patrick Morrisey losing by just .3 percent (about 19,000 votes) in a race that saw Libertarian nominee Rusty Hollen get 24,000 votes.
Considering how much redder his state gets (and how Democrats are chomping at the bit to try and primary him), Manchin may decide a year ahead of election time that it might be more worth his while to switch parties.
If Manchin does end up doing so, McConnell throwing gas on the Democratic infighting will be a part of the reason why, as well as Manchin assessing what his best interests are from a re-election perspective. But rest assured that a huge chunk of it will be Manchin's desire to tell Schumer, AOC, Biden, Pelosi, and all the rest to stick it where the sun doesn't shine.
Rest assured that if he does, we will be here for it. Stay tuned!