Politics We’re All Just Living Under the Tyranny of Joe Manchin
Manchin's homegrown bipartisanship comes up against a changing world
When Joe Manchin was in the fight of his political life, vying for reelection in a state where being a Democrat had long been out of fashion, the senator's opening message to voters focused on the place he knew best: Farmington, West Virginia. © Maddie McGarvey for CNN Michael Angelucci, former state delegate, and Donna Costello, former mayor of Farmington.
“Everything’s a question mark, because we no longer live in a democracy. We live under the tyranny of,” says (D-NY) of the current state of Congress.
The congressman, who represents America’s most impoverished district, New York’s 15th, joins Molly Jong-Fast on the latest episode of The New Abnormal to explain why making President Biden’s child tax credit permanent could be his administration’s greatest legacy. But it all rests in the hands of a single——senator.
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The Democratic Senators Hiding Behind Joe Manchin
It was March 5, right before the Senate’s doomed vote to raise the minimum wage to $15, and, as usual, Sen. Joe Manchin was the center of attention. But there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism. That tally surprisedBut there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism.
It’s emblematic of a broken system, says Torres, 33, who made history when he took office in January.
“The structure of the Senate is keeping us frozen in the past,” he tells Molly. “You know, the notion that one U.S. senator who represents a state one-fourth the size of New York City has the power to derail the priorities of Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate and a Democratic president is absurd. It’s an indictment of just how profoundly broken our system has become.”
Also on the show, Andy Slavitt, Biden’s outgoing coronavirus adviser and author of the new book, says it would be “healthy for us to try to hold to account not just the president, but ourselves, each other” after 600,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. “There were a lot of people who were doing just fine during the pandemic, getting Amazon deliveries and so forth. But for that to happen, there has to be a lot of people delivering Amazon packages and working in the warehouses. They have very little protection. More than half the country was deemed an essential worker. So we know there’s a lot of things we need to look at.”
Manchin's staunch opposition to ending filibuster may imperil Biden's agenda, including infrastructure
Manchin dashed hopes on the left that recent events might compel him to reconsider his support for keeping the Senate's 60-vote rule to pass bills.The moderate Democrat, in a Sunday op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, not only revealed his opposition to the Democratic-backed For the People Act but reiterated he won't vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.
Slavitt also talks about why the Trump administration empowered former President Donald Trump’s coronavirus lackey, Scott Atlas, and why he had us “begging Deborah Birx.”
Former Missouri secretary of state and Majority 54 podcast host Jason Kander also goes in-depth with Molly—who asks how Democrats can possibly take back red states “if we can’t get people like you to run? No pressure.” Tune in for his response and what we can learn from Georgia.
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Why the Democrats need Joe Manchin .
Ultimately, we need both parties devoid of extremes. While there are some sensible Republicans like former GOP Chairman Michael Steele and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) attempting to save the Grand Old Party, in my view, the Republican Party is too far gone. Perhaps a third party is what American politics truly needs. However, in the meantime, the Democrats need to figure out a better way to work with the senior Senator from West Virginia, or we continue to lose as a country.