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Why Doesn't Emperor Manchin Use His Newfound Power Against Republicans?

Senator Joe Manchin won't accept any changes to filibuster because he loves bipartisanship? Where are your ten Republican colleagues to vote for infrastructure, Senator?

West Virginia Sen. Manchin knows he's the deciding vote for any legislation using reconciliation, so he's been browbeating the Democratic Party with his newfound power.

During recent interviews Manchin has said to be entertaining the notion of modifying the filibuster, which appeared to be him trying to make concessions.

But this week, Sen. Manchin wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post stating, "The filibuster is a critical tool to protecting that input and our democratic form of government. That is why I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt: There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster. The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation."

Here's the thing, you can't force bipartisanship in Congress. It should be the case that congressional leaders should negotiate on major pieces of legislation, especially after a presidential election because America has made a clear choice.

However, when one party, the Republicans refuse to come to the table at all except to destroy any attempts at passing meaningful legislation to help the American people during a pandemic and not reward the wealthy, it's impossible to have bipartisanship.

Eliminating the filibuster is a tool that aids the Democratic Party (of which he is a member) and President Biden's agenda because it puts pressure on Republicans to actually debate and engage more honestly.

Either be part of the problem or part of the solution.

So instead of playing into Republican hands who have not shown one iota of acting in the interest of U.S. voters, why doesn't the WV Senator go to his Republican colleagues (which are many) and demand that they start becoming honest members of Congress and either join in trying to help the American people or he will vote to end the filibuster.

It's not that complicated.

Manchin gets an F on Progressive Punch on his overall voting record and although he comes from a red state, his record doesn't have to be so poor.

Digby writes,

That is an unequivocal statement which just gave away all his power to the Republicans. No more guessing, no more worrying. They know that all they have to do is stage a little kabuki dance pretending that Biden and the Dems are rejecting their good faith efforts and that’s the end of that. Even if Biden were to whittle down his plans to be so small they could fit on a matchbook cover they will never get 10 Republicans to vote for it and not even one would vote to push it through reconciliation. Not even Mitt or Susan. It simply will not happen."

"The only way they will be able to get 10 Republicans to vote for Democratic legislation is to agree to repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, cut taxes on the wealthy and require every American to be armed at all times. In other words, there can only be “bipartisanship” if the Democrats agree to enact the Republican agenda. And even then, I don’t think they’ll be able to get 10 votes. Recall that Obama offered them cuts in Social Security and Medicare, their Holy Grail for 60 years, and they walked away. Of course, that was because the Democrats wanted some minor tax hikes in return and they simply won’t stand for that.

The deal is that Democrats get nothing.

Mitch McConnell must be laughing his ass off at Manchin's position. The former Senate Majority Leader got rid of the filibuster pertaining to Supreme Court nominees so they could pack the court with religious conservatives after every Republican in the Senate lied about the Merrick Garland nomination.

Now McConnell doesn't have to do anything to derail Biden's very popular agenda.

He's got Emperor Manchin to do it for him.

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