Getting Reconciled to It
June 15, 2021 1:29 PM   Subscribe

While a bipartisan group of Senators is trying to reach agreement on a budget package, progressive Democrats in Congress are signalling opposition to the likely outlines of such a deal, and White House officials have now told House Democrats to prepare to go it alone on infrastructure. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer also announced that Wednesday he will begin the process known as reconciliation, to allow Senate passage with simple majority votes.
posted by PhineasGage (53 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good for the progressives. I didn't spend all those hours hand-writing, addressing, stamping, and sending postcards to help win GA just so Manchin and the other cowards hiding behind him could piss it all away. No more donations of time or money to milquetoast hand-wringers.
posted by FallibleHuman at 2:32 PM on June 15 [43 favorites]


I do think the poor people's movement in west Virginia was protesting Manchin, I'm concerned that not enough Americans are doing to join their fellow West Virginians in moving senators to pass legislation to protect our right to vote
posted by eustatic at 3:10 PM on June 15


The problem is that even with reconciliation, they still need Manchin, if not some Republican who will break ranks. Maybe they can find the right pork to satisfy him, but he’s already whined about the need to placate the Bipartisanship Unicorn. So just how likely is he to sign on to a reconciliation bill if all of the Republicans are opposed?
posted by darkstar at 3:12 PM on June 15 [8 favorites]


The problem is that even with reconciliation, they still need Manchin, if not some Republican who will break ranks.

The actual problem is that Manchin isn't the whole problem - and neither is Manchin plus Krysten Sinema. There is pretty obviously a caucus of don't-make-waves centrist Democrats within the Senate who just want everything to be business as normal - Manchin and Sinema, obviously, but definitely Feinstein as well, probably Tim Kaine and Maggie Hassan plus a few others. If Manchin and Sinema were true outliers there'd be more pressure on them from within the caucus, and the fact that there isn't points to the fact that they're just the current public face of the useless asshole branch of the Democratic Party.
posted by mightygodking at 4:36 PM on June 15 [34 favorites]


So just how likely is he to sign on to a reconciliation bill if all of the Republicans are opposed?

Unlikely
posted by jragon at 5:12 PM on June 15


So, how do we sell this to the people I was pleading with to get off their butts and vote last time? How do we maintain the massive work that was undertaken by thousands and thousands of people who were mobilized last year? How do we convince people that it is worth it next time when, as far as they’ll be able to see, the momentum of all that work has been utterly blunted by members of the party they were knocking doors to support?

I mean, yes, obviously, there’s the whole thing about how it’s never just one election, but is there a message that sounds less like a tired parent lecturing a child? One that might actually keep people involved? Because as far as I can see,all of the weight placed on the importance of winning Georgia, of how important that was, how it would mean a dem majority that would get things done, that’s pretty much all been undone by Democratic members of the senate. For all the Manchin and Sinema smoke, there are undoubtably others than feel the same, but are relieved to have the cover of those two useful idiots.

I get the whole idea that booting one or both of them from the party means McConnell is majority leader again. But with things as utterly broken as they are, how do we convince enough people to get out and vote for this, which seems to be our best case scenario going forward?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:26 PM on June 15 [26 favorites]


So just how likely is he to sign on to a reconciliation bill if all of the Republicans are opposed?

He’s already done it once this year. Voting for an infrastructure bill is easy peasy.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:35 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


I just keep thinking over and over and over and over and over, "Evil will always triumph because good is dumb." That's the Democrats in a nutshell. They don't hate you, despise you, wish you dead like the Republicans do, but they're too busy being nicey-nice and "going high" and "let's compromise" and now even ones on "our side" clearly are not. The fuck. I can't even any more. ONLY FIGHTING DIRTY WINS AND THEY WON'T EFFING DO IT, as far as I can tell.

But again, no other options, and "no other options other than a party with a death wish" is the argument we got. And this is as good as it gets, right here.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:45 PM on June 15 [15 favorites]


If Manchin and Sinema were true outliers there'd be more pressure on them from within the caucus, and the fact that there isn't points to the fact that they're just the current public face of the useless asshole branch of the Democratic Party.

It's worth remembering that Manchin's election was a very close 49%-46%, in a state that carried Trump 68%-29%. It seems probable any policy concessions by Manchin will be taken back by his successor in 2024. You could try pressuring him, but it seems pretty clear then that the Democratic "majority" needs Manchin far more than he needs the party. Assuming Machin doesn't change parties by 2024, any R that takes his place would likely be even more catastrophic for the progressive agenda.
posted by pwnguin at 5:48 PM on June 15 [8 favorites]


There's a reason a legislative body is said to be reconciled after this chicanery; it's because the dissenters were given too much freedom in the first place--according to the back-room cigar-grubbing or dab-rigging elites--and they must be placed back into a metaphorical silo to learn again to be a monolithic voting bloc who otherwise shuts tf up and gets tf out of the elite's path.

The reason for the reason: the heads of legislative bodies do not give a fuck what the body has to say or how it reacts. That's how legislators make real progress AND burn bridges. That's how human bodies summit Everest and overdose on carfentanil. And yet those heads claim all the time to know what's best in terms of pulse oxygenation, pulse, reaction to procedures, etc.
posted by infinitewindow at 6:23 PM on June 15


It's worth remembering that Manchin's election was a very close 49%-46%, in a state that carried Trump 68%-29%. It seems probable any policy concessions by Manchin will be taken back by his successor in 2024. You could try pressuring him, but it seems pretty clear then that the Democratic "majority" needs Manchin far more than he needs the party. Assuming Machin doesn't change parties by 2024, any R that takes his place would likely be even more catastrophic for the progressive agenda.

You might be surprised how popular things like a $15 minimum wage and a wealth tax and infrastructure and voting rights and better health care are in West Virginia. Manchin is not representing the interests of a majority of his constituents.
posted by Gadarene at 6:42 PM on June 15 [7 favorites]


It's over, we are only arguing abut the details.
posted by Max Power at 6:57 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


You might be surprised how popular things like a $15 minimum wage and a wealth tax and infrastructure and voting rights and better health care are in West Virginia.

If this policy is as popular as you claim, why hasn't the West Virginia state legislature passed the policy themselves? There's no need to wait for federal law, and many places do -- where it makes slightly more sense and is less likely to dramatically break things. Maybe they know something I don't -- like, maybe the poll you hint at was not particularly representative? I don't know how one gets from 68 percent voted for Trump, who has literally written off millions in taxes, to 'actually the popular will of the state supports a wealth tax.'
posted by pwnguin at 7:01 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


As I recall, the Democrats offered Republicans all sorts of goodies to get them on-board with the ACA when it passed. Why don't they just forget Manchin and his ridiculous power games and try to buy some left-leaning Republican senators. Should be easy with infrastructure.
posted by jabah at 7:02 PM on June 15


The Joe Manchin Cycle
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:19 PM on June 15


jabah: As I recall, the Democrats offered Republicans all sorts of goodies to get them on-board with the ACA when it passed. Why don't they just forget Manchin and his ridiculous power games and try to buy some left-leaning Republican senators. Should be easy with infrastructure.

Do you also recall that even with all the giveaways to Republicans they put in the ACA exactly 0 Republicans senators voted for it?
posted by Arbac at 7:29 PM on June 15 [21 favorites]


Whaaat.. about our student loans.

Anyone want to take Manchin out with a non lethal blow dart? Too violent?
posted by firstdaffodils at 7:29 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


As I recall, the Democrats offered Republicans all sorts of goodies to get them on-board with the ACA when it passed. Why don't they just forget Manchin and his ridiculous power games and try to buy some left-leaning Republican senators. Should be easy with infrastructure.

ACA compromises bought Democrats exactly 1 Republican vote in the House and zero in the Senate....
posted by bassooner at 7:29 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


If this policy is as popular as you claim, why hasn't the West Virginia state legislature passed the policy themselves? There's no need to wait for federal law, and many places do -- where it makes slightly more sense and is less likely to dramatically break things. Maybe they know something I don't -- like, maybe the poll you hint at was not particularly representative? I don't know how one gets from 68 percent voted for Trump, who has literally written off millions in taxes, to 'actually the popular will of the state supports a wealth tax.'

The popular will supports a wealth tax in every poll. A plurality to majority of Republicans in every poll support a wealth tax. Every one.

As for why it hasn't been passed by the WV state legislature, or why a $15 minimum wage hasn't...the wealthy have lobbyists. Doesn't change the reality of what the majority of people are in favor of.
posted by Gadarene at 7:31 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


Doesn't change the reality of what the majority of people are in favor of.

If they don't vote for politicians who'll do something about it, it doesn't matter what they claim to be in favor of.

...so, in short, a plurality of WV Republican voters love racism and conspiracy fantasies more than they love wealth taxes or a higher minimum wage.
posted by aramaic at 7:44 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


If they don't vote for politicians who'll do something about it, it doesn't matter what they claim to be in favor of.

...so, in short, a plurality of WV Republican voters love racism and conspiracy fantasies more than they love wealth taxes or a higher minimum wage.


They'd have to have candidates who support a wealth tax before they have the opportunity to vote for candidates who support a wealth tax, I'd think.
posted by Gadarene at 7:52 PM on June 15 [4 favorites]


Also, a plurality of WV Republicans and an overwhelming majority of WV Democrats. Remind me who Manchin is supposed to be representing (it's all of them).
posted by Gadarene at 7:52 PM on June 15


So, how do we sell this to the people I was pleading with to get off their butts and vote last time?

If they don’t show up and vote, the Republican voters will. And the Republicans have made it crystal clear what they will do if they get power. They are loudly proclaiming that they will push for fascism. People stayed home in 2010 and handed the Republicans the House and handed them a ton of state legislatures that allowed them to gerrymander the ever living fuck out of the country, giving them a steel-fisted grip on power for a decade.

If people can’t see that for themselves, then there’s no way to sell them.
posted by azpenguin at 8:26 PM on June 15 [2 favorites]


If they don’t show up and vote, the Republican voters will. And the Republicans have made it crystal clear what they will do if they get power. They are loudly proclaiming that they will push for fascism. People stayed home in 2010 and handed the Republicans the House and handed them a ton of state legislatures that allowed them to gerrymander the ever living fuck out of the country, giving them a steel-fisted grip on power for a decade.

If people can’t see that for themselves, then there’s no way to sell them.


We'll get 'em in 2022!

And if that doesn't do it, we'll get 'em in 2024.

And then there's always 2026...

Regardless, keep those donations coming!
posted by Gadarene at 8:59 PM on June 15 [4 favorites]


FPP: 1 link about bipartisan negotiations in the Senate, 4 links about Democrats moving past bipartisanship to get things done.

Comments: See, the Democrats are too focused on bipartisanship and are fucking this all up again.
posted by biogeo at 9:45 PM on June 15 [13 favorites]


I do think the poor people's movement in west Virginia was protesting Manchin, I'm concerned that not enough Americans are doing to join their fellow West Virginians in moving senators to pass legislation to protect our right to vote

I'll have to read up on this.

As for Manchin, from what I understand they had to persuade him to run again in 2018, and he plans to retire in 2024, so reelection shouldn't really be a concern. From the polling I've seen, West Virginia voters support most if not all of the Democrat's agenda. As for why they vote accordingly at the state level and in Presidential elections, I'd say its as much about the options put before them and the organization of the Democrats/progressives in the state as anything else. Politics is more local and more driven by name recognition and interpersonal relationships than most policy focused people think. Manchin has a long career of connecting with West Virginia voters, and moneyed interests indifferent or hostile to progressive priorities are always present and mobilized at both the state and federal levels to influence policy.

All that being said, what do Democrats have to lose? The pattern, broken only after 9/11, is for the party controlling the White House to lose seats in the midterms. That tendency exists even prior to redoubled Republican effort to gerrymander and suppress Democratic voting constituencies. It seems like Democrats prospects for keeping the House and Senate in 2022 are bleak no matter what they do. The Democratic Party expended considerable effort between 2008 and 2010 to appear bipartisan and moderate ostensibly so as not to alienate moderates and mitigate their midterm election losses, but they were wiped out anyways. If your already screwed, why not go down swinging?
posted by eagles123 at 9:57 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


If they don’t show up and vote, the Republican voters will. And the Republicans have made it crystal clear what they will do if they get power. They are loudly proclaiming that they will push for fascism. People stayed home in 2010 and handed the Republicans the House and handed them a ton of state legislatures that allowed them to gerrymander the ever living fuck out of the country, giving them a steel-fisted grip on power for a decade.

If people can’t see that for themselves, then there’s no way to sell them.


You can only run on "but the other side is evil" for so long, even if the other side really is evil. At a certain point, you need to provide positive reinforcement to get people to vote. That lack of positive reinforcement has been driving steady voter decline for literally decades now, and the only thing that's made a dent in that decline is the other side being fascists, and even that won't last forever, and it probably won't last long enough for the useless asshole portion of the Democrats to leave power (via retirement, death or being voted out).

People are struggling across the country and desperately need help. A whole lot of them settled for Joe Biden, as the compromise candidate, and the Senate Democrats are obviously not even on board with Uncle Tepid's plan of action. How on earth do you run on that record?
posted by mightygodking at 10:00 PM on June 15 [11 favorites]


West Virginians had the opportunity to elect a strongly progressive Democrat, Paula Jean Swearingen, to the U.S. Senate twice within the last few years. While I don't know whether she'd support a wealth tax specifically, she's been strongly in favor of various tax reforms to increase taxes on the wealthy. In 2018, she lost her primary challenge to Joe Manchin 30%-70%. In 2020, she won the primary to run for West Virginia's other Senate seat, defeating the culturally-conservative, economically-populist Richard Ojeda and the centrist Richie Robb 38%-33%-29%, but losing the general election to "centrist" Republican Shelley Capito 27%-70%.

I would love for the people of West Virginia to throw Blue Dogs like Joe Manchin out on their asses and put a staunch progressive in. But the fact that they haven't isn't because they haven't been given the opportunity.
posted by biogeo at 10:04 PM on June 15 [16 favorites]


moving past bipartisanship to get things done.
I think that you're eliding something in the both articles & a lot of people's concerns/comments so far.

It's not getting Republicans onboard (except possibly as a hail-mary hope as an easier way than getting around Manchin/Sinema/Feinstein/etc), it's getting the Democrats onboard (including everybody who's fine with not having to go on-record because the aforementioned are out drawing attention, but would otherwise support their actions).

There's at least 3 factions going right now (setting aside anybody left of Biden, since right now there's a fair amount of alignment at least on critical things like voting-rights), and the one we need to have convinced is pre-committing to "nope, this isn't worth it, not doing it no matter what".

It's understandable that's concerning.
Ultimately, it doesn't matter how much "but the other side literally wants to shut down democracy" there is. If one side says it's dire but can't get things done when they have control of Congress & the White House, they aren't going to be rewarded for that. (and, again, it doesn't matter how good the reasons are, they only matter to the already-converted)
posted by CrystalDave at 10:35 PM on June 15


We'll get 'em in 2022!

And if that doesn't do it, we'll get 'em in 2024.

And then there's always 2026...


That’s exactly how the Republicans have gained power and turned the country onto its head. They didn’t get to this authoritarian crazy group overnight. They nibbled at this for the last three decades. And what did they give their voters aside from anti-abortion and racism (particularly with the border?) It will take time to get fresh blood in there. It doesn’t happen in one cycle. The authoritarian power grab is the natural end game of the path the GOP has chosen and some people are like “well geez the Dems didn’t give us everything we wanted.” People could have shown up in previous elections and we wouldn’t be at this point. But they didn’t. And now we’re now dealing with a 6-3 SC, state laws that allow legislatures to overturn elections, laws that make it legal to kill protestors, and lawmakers who are outright promoting violent overthrow of our institutions. They have made it clear that if they get power again, they will not allow it to be taken from them.
posted by azpenguin at 10:36 PM on June 15 [10 favorites]


It will take time to get fresh blood in there. It doesn’t happen in one cycle.

They have made it clear that if they get power again, they will not allow it to be taken from them

The contradiction inherent in these two facts highlights the danger though, doesn't it? If the Republicans can lock themselves into power for the next decade, leaving aside the fact that their dominance of the courts may allow them to extend that control for much longer, that's effectively a lifetime as far Democratic voters' are concerned, not to mention efforts to mitigate oncoming disasters like climate change. Not everyone failed to show up to vote for Democrats. Not everyone voted for this. At some point "business as usual" can't continue if we want to avoid even worse disasters and suffering going forward. Hence the fears and misgivings.
posted by eagles123 at 10:51 PM on June 15 [2 favorites]


It's depressing (if not actually surprising) seeing the pre-determined excuse for losing the 2022 and 2024 elections coming together already: of course Manchin and Co are a problem, but the real villains are once again those dastardly Bernard Brothers, out there suppressing the Democratic vote.

After all, why bother with stuff like introspection and loosening of the party leadership's control over races when you can relitigate the 2016 primaries ad nauseum?
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 5:03 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Politico: "The folly of bullying Joe Manchin."
Schumer needs Manchin to pass Biden’s agenda, and there’s a lot of eye-rolling from senior Democrats across Washington about the way the left has attacked the senator. We’re told he privately scoffs at the notion that progressive activists understand West Virginia politics better than he does.
...
The message from Manchin whisperers is more honey, less vinegar. We’ve heard a version of this line all month: “Calling Joe a racist is not going to work.”
posted by PhineasGage at 5:31 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Congressional stasis is precisely what the GOP wants.
posted by tommasz at 5:58 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Given the Covid relief bill, the child tax credit, what's in the infrastructure package, overt acknowledgements of how the 2008 stimulus failed and explicit calls to "go big" this time around, I do feel like Democrats as a whole are finally doing something and that they finally get it and that that we're on the cusp of a new, more progressive post-pandemic era if only we can just make it happen.

But it also angers me that none of this matters because nothing seems to matter anymore. 600,000 Americans are dead. The Capitol was stormed. Trump openly tried to subvert the outcome of an election, and Republicans are passing laws to make sure they can subvert future elections. And despite all this, the better angels of our nation only have the most tenuous of grips on government with no promises that they won't lose it completely in a year's time.

I'm still holding out hope that there's some plan unfolding behind the scenes to hold Trump and Republicans accountable and that any day now there will be investigations announced or arrests made that will herald the end of their political power, but the irony of this belief isn't lost on me.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:21 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Literally no one here has brought up the Democratic Party's left wing as being "the real villains". The real villains are the fascists, the fascist-enablers, and the 40% of the country who apparently prefer fascism to democracy. Any discussion of the state of US politics that ignores this last group, in particular, and continues after the last five years to pretend that this is a fringe movement that doesn't represent the beliefs and goals of a substantial fraction of the voting public, and that most Americans would gladly vote for progressive politicians if only those dastardly Democrats would get out of the way, is unmoored from reality. Democrats deserve and need criticism from the left, but claiming that when Democrats lose elections or fail to pass policy, it's always because they're too centrist rather than because they're pushing leftward against the right-wing and fascist headwind of American politics in 2021, this criticism is based in a false reading of Americans' political preferences as a whole, and consequently can't help actually drive us forward.
posted by biogeo at 7:22 AM on June 16 [10 favorites]


The republicans are nascent fascists who will usher in permanent one-party rule if they're ever allowed in power again, and also we shouldn't be so mean to Joe Manchin for aiding and abetting them. Joe Manchin can have a little fascist collaboration, as a treat.
posted by Pyry at 7:23 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Ahead of President Joe Biden’s meeting Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, congressional Democrats said they are no longer seeking records of former President Donald Trump’s private meetings with the Russian leader, despite previous concerns Trump tried to conceal details of their conversations.

"The Biden administration is looking forward, not back," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., whose panel once considered subpoenaing Trump’s interpreter to testify about his July 2018 meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland, where only an American interpreter was also present.

posted by diogenes at 7:31 AM on June 16 [4 favorites]


If Manchin is the leftmost figure who could scrape in in WV, and thus holds the balance of power, then America, under its current system, didn't vote for a Democratic government, but rather for four years of stasis to catch a breath in before the next round of harsh Republican rule.
posted by acb at 7:44 AM on June 16 [7 favorites]


I think that's an accurate assessment of the situation.
posted by biogeo at 9:16 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


I think the words "under its current system" are carrying a lot of weight here. More Americans voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. Since 1988, the Republican Presidential candidate won the popular vote exactly once, in 2004.

The majority of Americans live in mostly reliably blue states that regularly send Democrats to congress. The population of West Virginia is roughly 1.7 million people. The population of Brooklyn alone is 2.6 million people. If you add Brooklyn and Queens together, you get roughly 5 million people. The population of South Dakota is ~900,000 people, North Dakota ~800,000, Wyoming ~600,000, Idaho ~ 1.8 million, Mississippi ~ 3 million ect. That's five reliably red states that send 10 Senators to congress whose population is less than Brooklyn and Queens. AOC probably represents more people than Senators from West Virginia, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Idaho. Only Mississippi is bigger. Even Maine, home of arch "moderate" Susan Collins, holds only ~1.35 million people.

So yeah, this is a test of a test of whether our "system" can meaningfully be said to work or represent anyone.

As for Manchin, in a fundamentally broken and unrepresentative political system, perhaps its not surprising voters focus on personal qualities rather than policy specifics. Manchin is an old white guy. West Virginia is an old mostly white state. He just looks "moderate" regardless of what he exactly believes. Regarding the Democratic agenda, he appears out of step with West Virginia voters:

Polling on For the People Act in West Virginia

I haven't seen any West Virginia polls about Biden's infrastructure plan, but according to this article Republican politicians in the state, including the governor, support it:

West Virginia politicians eager for Biden infrastructure money despite concerns

Views regarding the stimulus were similar.

Why don't West Virginian's elect someone more in line with their views? Its a question I'm sure political scientists and historians will puzzle over. Personally, I would posit that rather than accepting the discrepancy as an excuse for Democrats to throw up their hands, instead the divergence should be viewed as an another indicator of deeper dysfunction that needs to be planned for. I certainly hope Democrats are, but so far signals appear mixed at best, at least to me.

People focus too much on Manchin though. Sinema styles herself a similar politician and takes similar stances despite her fellow Arizona Democrat Senator not feeling the necessity to do so. You can add Senators like Mark Warner, Chris Coons, and probably others to the list on various issues.

The overarching question is whether political change is even possible in our system without Republican assent. Imagine the Democrats had 51 or 52 seats instead of just 50 or whatever. Would things really be any different? 60 votes would still be required to break the filibuster. Even if the Democrats had 61 votes, would the conversation simply turn to convincing one or two swing Democrats to break the filibuster?

The situation just appears untenable. I don't see how conditions can continue as they currently are without blundering into some sort of disaster far worse than any that occurred since 2000. Of course, the wealthy will be able to insulate themselves, which perhaps is part of the problem.
posted by eagles123 at 10:01 AM on June 16 [9 favorites]


Having already said that John Mellencamp has a better chance of winning a Senate seat in Indiana than the Democratic candidate, I will say the same thing about West Virginia. I mean, Tommy Tuberville is a fucking senator.

Surely there's some charismatic asshole who's gone through some media training and is willing to listen to their staff... googles 'famous West Virginians'... wait a minute, Nick Saban is from West Virginia? It's too bad that coaching Alabama's football team is, in every single way, a better job than being a US senator.

Okay, so our plan B is... Mary Lou Retton? Jeff Hostetler? John Corbett? Jennifer Garner? Steve Harvey? Brad Paisley? At least two of those people could win a primary against Joe Manchin.
posted by box at 11:03 AM on June 16


Oh look! (Or listen.) Manchin and other Senators are actually negotiating. "Leaked Audio of Sen. Joe Manchin Call."
Among the gathering’s newsworthy revelations: Manchin described an openness to filibuster reform at odds with his most recent position that will buoy some Democrats’ hopes for enacting their agenda.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:05 PM on June 16


Manchin seems to be explaining to his big money donors his strategy for maintaining the status quo. He's explaining that he has to make some concessions in order to sap energy from the desire to eliminate the filibuster.
posted by diogenes at 12:58 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


While simultaneously plausibly-deniably encouraging them to bribe Roy Blunt.
posted by box at 1:10 PM on June 16


Yup, he basically said that the inability to form the Jan 6 commission was making his bipartisanship farce too transparent, so he needed help getting more Republican votes for it.
posted by diogenes at 1:13 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


The republicans are nascent fascists who will usher in permanent one-party rule if they're ever allowed in power again, and also we shouldn't be so mean to Joe Manchin for aiding and abetting them.

The republicans are nascent fascists who will usher in permanent one-party rule if they're ever allowed in power again, and also being mean to Joe Manchin doesn't accomplish anything.
posted by Gelatin at 2:11 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


box, Nick Saban is believed to be a conservative (he gushed about his visit to the Trump White House in 2018), but he's pretty cagey about his personal politics. I'm not sure that his endorsement of Manchin can lead us to conclude that he'd be anything but another Tuberville. But I agree with you 100%, he's the greatest college football coach of his generation, what would he stand to gain from entering politics that he doesn't already have?
posted by wintermind at 2:46 PM on June 16


Why don't West Virginian's elect someone more in line with their views? Its a question I'm sure political scientists and historians will puzzle over. Personally, I would posit that rather than accepting the discrepancy as an excuse for Democrats to throw up their hands, instead the divergence should be viewed as an another indicator of deeper dysfunction that needs to be planned for.

Meet the KYNect Effect.

Call it Obamacare? Kentuckians polled 2-to-1 against it. Call it KYnect, paint it as something different, and tap into the exact same healthcare model promoting exchange plans and Medicaid? Surprisingly popular among the same base.

But when the Dem Governor who'd executive-ordered KYnect left office, his successor got upset by a hardcore conservative wielding the usual whips -- culture war, religious freedom, THOSE POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON, Obama is an evil tyrant, and, yes, "repealing Obamacare." More WV voters bought into tribal voting than into voting for their own healthcare interests.
posted by delfin at 3:05 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


This is starting to edge closer to - gasp! - the Republicans who support voting limitations, at least when they claim it's because too many people don't knowledgeably vote their own interests. I bet Thomas Frank and Rand Paul are having a party and would be delighted to have our company.
posted by PhineasGage at 3:30 PM on June 16


eet the KYNect Effect.

Call it Obamacare? Kentuckians polled 2-to-1 against it. Call it KYnect, paint it as something different, and tap into the exact same healthcare model promoting exchange plans and Medicaid? Surprisingly popular among the same base.

But when the Dem Governor who'd executive-ordered KYnect left office, his successor got upset by a hardcore conservative wielding the usual whips -- culture war, religious freedom, THOSE POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON, Obama is an evil tyrant, and, yes, "repealing Obamacare." More WV voters bought into tribal voting than into voting for their own healthcare interests.


Pretty much. It's "us" versus "them". Obama's difficulties in Appalachia are pretty well documented dating back to his massive primary losses there against Hillary Clinton. That led in part to his selection of Biden as his running mate.

In my view it gets back to what I suggested: Machin looks like "one of them", even moreso than the young white woman linked upthread who lost to him in the primary and then lost again to the old white Republican woman. Voters focus more on personal qualities and messaging than policy specifics. In the case of Appalachia, it seems that older white voters prefer older white politicians. Biden was supposed to mitigate this, but his appeal is more to mid-Atlantic/former rust belt old white people than to Appalachian white people.

I'm not saying that's all of it, but I do believe such identifications play a major role in voter behavior. Of course, the Senate is ostensibly supposed to be a body of wise elders tasked with overruling such prejudices through reasoned debate ..... hahah I can't even continue.

Anyway, I'm watching Charle's Booker's efforts in Kentucky with interest. Apparently he's thinking of running against Rand Paul in 2022. He most probably doesn't have a chance, but he seems to want to try. Maybe personal connections, energy, and charisma can overcome prejudice? Maybe I'm just looking anywhere for hints of hope?
posted by eagles123 at 8:22 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Yup, he basically said that the inability to form the Jan 6 commission was making his bipartisanship farce too transparent, so he needed help getting more Republican votes for it.

Though it should be noted that there's no reason to believe that what he says to the donors is any more the capital-T TRUTH than what he says on TV. He's saying what he believes is in his interest to say at the time. Who the heck knows what's actually in his heart. And it doesn't matter anyway.

Personally I think he probably believes at least some of his own bullshit and just isn't self-aware enough to recognize it's bullshit.
posted by Justinian at 12:09 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Why is it that a $50,000 check from donors can buy a politician, but billions in potential infrastructure money for a politician's state is a hard pass? You'd think bringing in billions of dollars to your state would be as valuable as a few tens of thousands of dollars toward your re-election campaign. I guess not, though.
posted by jabah at 7:39 PM on June 17


« Older An Old Idea Making Cities More Affordable   |   Some of the First Visual Framers of African Surf... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments