Swamp Rabbit said it best back in April:
Joe Manchin is a DINO — a Democrat in name only. He likes the filibuster rule and thinks raising taxes on the rich is radical.
At the time, Joe Biden seemed confidant that both houses of Congress would pass a future bill — the Build Back Better Act — that would enable expansion of healthcare and education benefits as well as measures to combat climate change. But it already was clear that the Democrats’ slim U.S. Senate majority would be worthless if even one Democratic senator wasn’t on board with BBB.
Democrats tried tying BBB to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF), a bill that Manchin and most other legislators supported. Progressives insisted the two bills be voted on concurrently to keep Manchin from double-crossing them by abandoning BBB after the infrastructure bill was passed. But most Dems eventually caved, allowing a vote on the infrastructure bill and whittling down the BBB budget to $1.5T to appease Maserati Joe and his fellow DINO, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. In the end, Manchin humiliated them by announcing on Fox News (of course!) that he “just can’t” support BBB, falsely claiming it would increase inflation and the national debt.
After the Fox News show, Swamp Rabbit blamed “that old fool Biden and them other Dems” for not realizing Manchin was never going to support a bill that would hurt coal companies and help poor people at the expense of the rich. He reminded me that Manchin became a multimillionaire thanks to investments in the coal industry and has done nothing as an office holder to raise standards of living in West Virginia, one of the country’s poorest states.
“Enough!” I said. “You’re saying the same things I said back in October. You’re preaching to the choir.”
I told him Manchin is what he is — a prehistoric lizard spawned in one of his home state’s waste coal pits. A poster boy for political corruption. The other Democratic senators know this; some of them are only marginally less corrupt than Manchin and all 50 of their Republican colleagues.
“If you want to blame somebody, blame the reporters and talking heads,” I said. “They should have questioned Manchin’s sincerity from Day One instead of devoting countless thousands of words to pretending he might take the people’s side against the polluting, tax-dodging rich. They should have been shining a light on his corruption instead of bolstering the status quo.”
Swamp Rabbit laughed. “Them mainstream reporters got more in common with them corrupt senators than with the people,” he said. “They are the status quo, you dummy.”
I didn’t reply. The argument was over. I hate it when Swamp Rabbit is right.
Footnote: It’s worth noting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive legislators weren’t fooled by Manchin’s months-long effort to slow-walk BBB to death.