- Victor C. Bolles
Thanks for Nothing, Joe
Thanks for Nothing, Joe
I really mean it. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Joe Manchin for telling Bret Baier (and the world) that he would vote no on President Biden’s Build Back Better bill that had already been approved by the House. This Build Back Better bill was intended to make a generational change in the relationship between government and the American people, transforming the United States from a global leader into a European style social welfare state. The Democrats intended to impose this transformational change on American citizens on a purely partisan basis despite razor thin majorities in the Congress. After Joe Biden ran a centrist campaign that was successful with the support of many independents, the only mandate that the Democrats had was to get rid of Donald Trump and return the country to normalcy. The idea of transformational change was a concoction of some far-left progressives within the Democratic Party (the Squad, Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi to name a few) along with outright socialists such as Bernie Sanders (Sanders and Warren being presidential candidates rejected by voters in the Democratic primaries).
The last transformational change to be approved by the US Congress (at least to my way of thinking) was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But those acts had broad bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans. President Biden was hailed by the left as the most progressive president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but Roosevelt passed his New Deal legislation with his party having over 70 percent of the House and a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.
Those are the kind of mandates and bipartisan support you need to make transformational change. Stuffing transformational change into a budget reconciliation bill in order to avoid a Senate filibuster and then still requiring one hundred percent of the Democratic Party marching in lockstep to get a tie in the Senate and then still requiring the President of the Senate (Vice President Kamala Harris) to be a tie breaker is not the way to make transformational change.
It was also unreasonable to not expect some resistance to such a controversial and dishonest bill. Over a hundred Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act. Big tent parties like the Democrats and Republicans in the United States cannot expect one hundred percent party unity on every piece of legislation. But the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (and not a few staffers in the Biden administration) are calling Joe Manchin a liar and a traitor for not abandoning his heartfelt beliefs in the name of party unity.
Before his announcement of a “no” vote, Joe Manchin had to endure progressive protestors paddling outside his houseboat where he lives when he is in Washington, DC. haranguing him about his opposition to progressive orthodoxy. And fellow Democratic moderate Kyrsten Sinema was accosted inside the ladies’ room by progressive provocateurs trying to coerce her to vote their way. After Senator Manchin’s announcement progressive, legislators are going hyperbolic and talking heads on mainstream media are showing their true colors.
MSNBC contributor Mehdi Hasan tweeted, “Manchin is killing the Biden legislative agenda and perhaps the future of American democracy, too.” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin tweeted, “Democracy is hanging by a thread. Hard to think of anyone more destructive,” referring to Joe Manchin. Bernie Sanders accused senator Manchin of being in the pocket of big pharma. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez derided his state of West Virginia as being smaller than her district (it isn’t). This is typical. When you can’t argue against the facts, the left resorts to ad hominin attacks. The progressive left has converted Joe Manchin from a moderate Democrat representing a conservative state into evil personified.
But the Build Back Better bill is a terrible piece of legislation on which to base transformational change for an entire country and its citizens. As passed by the House, it is deceptive and dishonest. Joe Manchin said it was a shell game filled with budget gimmicks that hid the true cost of the legislation. He stated, “That is recipe for economic crisis. None of us should ever misrepresent to the American people what the real cost of legislation is.” And he is right. I just hope he has some security for his own protection (and Senator Sinema as well).
The mainstream news media was aghast at Senator Manchin’s announcement (made worse by emanating from Fox News). The Twitterverse exploded with outrage. Wajahat Ali of the Daily Beast said, “an entire nation of 330 million hijacked and screwed by corporate greed & lobbyists who own a man whose(sic) represents a state of 1.8 million people.” And MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell asserted, “A ‘healthy democracy’ would not have a Senate with 2 per state. (Or an Electoral College.)” It is not Joe Manchin that is a threat to democracy. Democracy is a messy business. A messy business that gets in the way of creating an efficient progressive society.
The progressive left wants to destroy anything that stands in the way of their agenda. The Senate, the filibuster, the Electoral College, the Supreme Court, the list goes on and on. But the American democracy, for all its acknowledged flaws, has endured for over 230 years, the most enduring and durable democratic republic the world has ever known. For all the hyperbole about Senator Manchin’s no vote on the Build Back Better bill being a threat to democracy, the American democracy functioned just as the Founders intended. The House is supposed to more closely reflect the will of the people while the Senate is supposed to take a longer and more contemplative view. The Supreme Court is supposed to be the most removed from popular opinion and to interpret law according to the Constitution and not popularity.
Those checks and balances incorporated into the Constitution by the Framers are meant to slow down the legislative process so that the democratic institutions of the country can endure and preserve democracy. Oh, how progressives must envy Xi Jinping, who can shut down an industry he considers abusive as he recently did to the private tutoring industry in China. Or make a tech titan come to heel as he recently did to Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Or insert representatives of his selection into the boards of directors of companies so that they will better serve the Chinese people at the direction of the Communist Party of China. All these actions approved by a subservient and pliant National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China.
But the progressives do not yet have such abilities in the United States. That is why the Democrats conjured up a deceptive and dishonest Build Back Better bill in order to seduce the American people into believing that they can get something for nothing. That a $5 trillion bill is only a $1.75 trillion bill. That the bill costs nothing because taxes will pay for everything, and that corporations will not find a way to pass the costs onto the public. That all those trillions of dollars of spending will reduce inflation instead of kicking it into higher gear as inflation is already reaching levels not seen in forty years.
That was the reason why Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were so anxious to get the bill passed into law as quickly as possible. Their sleight of hand is becoming unraveled. People are realizing the bill isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In the 2021 by-elections, the Democrats lost the governorship and legislature in blue Virginia and almost lost the governorship in very blue New Jersey and the Democratic president of the New Jersey state senate lost to a Republican neophyte. Republicans are expected to make major gains in the next election and take back the House and maybe the Senate, a result that will end the progressive hopes for transformational change (at least for a while).
So, thanks for nothing, Joe. Because that nothing is a lot better than the something that the progressive left and the Biden Administration had in mind for us.