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The Tag-Teaming Gets Brutal

[ Posted Monday, October 25th, 2021 – 15:22 UTC ]

If Joe Biden only had one recalcitrant senator to deal with on his Build Back Better agenda, this wouldn't all be ending in so much disappointment. If it was just one of them (or even two who were united in their objections), then the horse-trading would have been a lot easier. As it stands though, the tag team of Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are ripping so much out of Biden's overall plan that it is almost guaranteed to be disappointing to most of the Democratic voters who heard Biden campaigning for president. Some might be disappointed that tuition-free community college is not going to happen, while others will be disappointed that there will be no significant reduction in prescription drug prices. Still others will become disillusioned at all the cutbacks the Child Tax Credit seems to be undergoing. The number of issues where the reality of any deal is now going to fall far shorter than the promises means a whole bunch of single-issue (or even "major-issue") voters are going to feel let down. And that could be crucial for the Democratic Party's chances in the next few elections (including Biden's himself, if he chooses to run for re-election).

If it had just been Manchin Biden had had to deal with, then we'd probably see the corporate tax rate go up to 25 percent (a compromise Manchin insisted on when the initial plan was to undo all of the Trump tax cut). Manchin likely would have agreed to raising the tax rate on those making $400,000 or more, too. We'd probably also have seen a much more robust plan for Medicare to bargain for prescription drugs -- one that would have widespread effects for millions of seniors (who all vote). Manchin had his list of things he demanded, such as killing most of the plans for moving toward a greener energy future, adding means-testing and work requirements to a lot of Biden's plans, and keeping the price tag as low as possible. But a lot of other things he didn't care all that much about.

Those all would have been body blows, but a final deal would still have had a lot of impressive stuff in it. But then along came Sinema, with a completely different list of demands. About the only thing she agreed with Manchin on was keeping the price tag as low as possible, really.

If Biden had just had to deal with Sinema's demands, then other agenda items would have been scratched. There would be zero rollback from the Trump tax cuts for both billionaires and corporations (which is strange, since Sinema voted against that tax cut). There would be zero (or close to it) lowering of prescription drug prices. Those would have been the two worst. But the stuff Manchin is demanding would likely have been acceptable to Sinema -- meaning the green energy stuff would be back in and continuing the full Child Tax Credit program would have survived without any new hurdles.

As you can see, once again in this scenario Biden's grand agenda would have taken some serious body blows -- the entire rationale for how it would be paid for among them -- but it still would have survived in recognizable-enough fashion. It still would have been hailed as historic.

Because Biden has to deal with both, however, the tag-teaming is beating the Build Back Better plan to a miserable pulp. At this point, what I fear the most out of whatever final deal emerges is that the list of things that were scrapped is actually longer than the list of things that made it in. Politically, that wouldn't help (to put it as politely as possible).

Even if somehow neither Manchin nor Sinema had had a single objection and the entire bill had passed -- fully intact -- two months ago, Democratic voters are already going to be disappointed in how much the Democratic president, Senate, and House of Representatives will be able to accomplish. Even with the Build Back Better passing in the rearview window, failure seems almost certain on a whole lot of Biden's other campaign promises -- on immigration, on voting rights, on election reform, on police reform, on gun safety reforms, on abortion, and on doing something about the Supreme Court situation. Nothing is going to happen on any of those issues unless the Senate reforms their filibuster rules. And there are two senators who publicly oppose doing so. Want to guess their names?

As we enter into the final round of this brutal beatdown match, what's the most disappointing is seeing the final blows raining down on the Build Back Better plan. Sinema and Manchin are truly in the driver's seat, as from all reports it seems they have gotten everything they have asked for in full while having to give up absolutely nothing. So why wouldn't they suddenly decide to object about some other part of the plan? Perhaps this is unfair, but it is what it looks like to the public.

Perhaps they have made their objections known privately already. This is entirely possible with Sinema, although Manchin has actually been willing to talk about what he wants and what he objects to in the press so far, and the new things falling by the wayside weren't things he has previously mentioned. Perhaps this is just what leaks out from the negotiations, in other words, but either way the timing of the leaks is just getting more and more disappointing over time.

Joe Biden has lived through this before, and it's hard not to draw parallels to when he was vice president and Congress passed a stimulus plan to combat the Great Recession. What passed was -- at the insistence of "moderate centrist" Democrats -- roughly half the size of what was truly needed. It was a huge disappointment, and directly contributed to the recovery period being a lot longer than it needed to. I hate to say it, but the Build Back Better plan -- the one that emerges bruised and bloody from that tag-team ring -- is going to look a lot like Barack Obama's Great Recession recovery plan.

If only Biden had had a solo match with just one recalcitrant senator. If only the two who objected actually shared the same objections. Things could have been a lot better and the whole process would not have taken anywhere near this long. At this point, we're all just waiting for the final bell to ring so we can all see all the wounds inflicted on Joe Biden's agenda by the terrible tag team of Manchin and Sinema.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


9 Comments on “The Tag-Teaming Gets Brutal”

  1. [1] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Don Qui

    When you sayTAKE THE VACCINE!!!!!!! Are you talking about that highly ineffective one that does not work in 34 states (again a plurality...not "a few"), does nothing to stop the big money flowing from PACs into the system, does not address voter dilution resulting in minority rule, and was created by a guy who lied about being a non-profit ( we both know you were caught trying to bullshit) that also does not have a clue about election law?

    No thanks.... I would rather commit voter fraud...

  2. [2] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Manchin and his ways I get... he is an OG DINO. He has never been a firebrand of progressiveness.

    Sinema on the other hand has now shown her true color given that the only reason she is doing her dance is to continue enjoying the relatively easy big donor cash...

    There should be a special place for Sinema, unfortunately it's filled with congresscriters...

  3. [3] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Still peddling that political horse paste?

    The problem with the "everyone is against you" conspiracy delusion is it does not leave any room for maneuver. If the entire political world is in on the same conspiracy, why would you think the vote is still sacrosanct?

  4. [4] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    The problem with your theory that describing the problem with the "everyone is against you" delusion is I am not making that argument.

    Really? Then who in government is not heavily influenced by big money according to you?

    No one buys your "rational argument" deflection. We have all tried and you have failed the rational part with remarkable consistency. I think most of us are bored by it all and are just sick of post after post of the same circle jerk day after day. No one cares about your movement because you don't care about your movement. And by care, I mean get off your ass and do something other than harass political writers. Everyone and their mother has an idea. It's those that execute that succeed. You want people to value your idea? Make it in to something that is valued.

  5. [5] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Don Qui
    Touch a nerve did I? A 5 comment word salad... What? Couldn't do it in one?

    Just because 34 states have rules that may not result in some write-in votes not being counted in the total to elect candidates does not mean those votes in most of those states can not be counted for the purpose they are cast.

    I seem to recall when we last rode this merry-go-round it was thoroughly discussed and debunked. How again are you going to count ballots that do not get counted? Who is going to do all of the work and pay all of the money to get those ballots counted for the purpose for which they were cast? How are you going to separate those who wrote people in for reasons other than one dumbman from those that had other reasons?

    I guess I need to remind you that YOU were the one who moved their goal post from it can be done in these 34 states to " we will start it in the states that allow write in ballots." which is currently 9 states(definitely a few and not a plurality).

    It does have an effect on the money flowing from PACS into the system as well as an effect on money flowing into the PACS. When the big money candidates are no longer getting enough votes to win elections then the big money interests will stop putting money into the PACS.

    Says the guy who has no clue about how PACs work and just how ingrained they are into the system... What fantasy planet are you living on?

    Newsflash... as long as elections and thus office holders are determined by only valid counted ballots then there will be PACs unless meaningful legislation is enacted that curtails what they can do and what they can spend.

    Voter dilution resulting in minority rule?

    What is that- the Nader cost Gore the election nonsense?

    If you had managed to continue your education beyond when it stopped during high school you would greatly comprehend the validity of the arguments behind semi-popular third party candidates leaching support from "establishment" candidates when they have very similar platforms. Not that I agree with it...but it is a valid theory for discussion.

    Since I have to explain the basics of how an election works AGAIN... lets take the place you have at best a casual understanding of election law, New Jersey. Anyone can write in themselves and have the ballot counted. Lets assume in a house race there are 1 million ballots cast and no one dumbman purity test blood oath certified nut jobs...Er I mean candidates. The one dumbman blood oath dictates that you ignore the candidate who you might agree with 90 percent of the way all because they fail YOUR purity test and the oath demands they write their name in to send a message. Lets just say that 550,000 people write themselves in for this cycle.

    Under current election law the the 550k write in votes would be just that, write in votes, there is a balance of 450k votes cast for the remaining candidates the person who gets the most votes wins, for sake of argument lets just say 250k votes were cast for the winner.

    The last time I checked this is a prime example of voter dilution... and as long as elections are won by who can get a plurality of the cast ballots you can cry till the cows come home "multi-election strategy" it does not alter the simple fact you are requiring people to throw away their ballot until a message is sent and you get your purity tested candidates on the ballot... In the meantime everyone will just have to limp along with unpopular rule until that happens.

    Explain to all of us again how you overcome that little problem.... It seems like there is an awful lot of work that has to happen there who is going to do it? You just want the glory but have yet to show that you can do the hard work (as evidenced by the cobweb you call a website).

    I made a mistake and admitted it and did not repeat it. Not lying.

    I have to call BS. Anyone who has worked with legitimate NP's or even looked into setting one up is well aware that it is not even close to the same process as some bozon getting on Go Daddy and registering a .org website.

    It's the difference in the process that makes it virtually impossible that you made a "mistake" by thinking you were a "registered" NP.

    Perhaps I have set the bar to high by expecting you to know WTF your are prattling on about.

    Stop trolling or go away.

    I wasn't aware that beating BS with a reality stick was trolling....

  6. [6] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Don Qui

    Not that fictional statistic of counted vs cast... You failed last time I asked, I am sure you will again. Of the 34 states ( not a bullshit lie, but truth borne out by law) name which ones keep track of this fictional stat and publish it.

    As to the FOIA crap, you, again, failed last time I asked. Who exactly are you going to FOIA? How will you be protecting voter information received as a result of the FOIA? What information exactly will you be FOIAing?

    As to getting information from the one dumbman website, Again I will ask how you plan on protecting personal information and what you plan to do with that information. Just because everyone else asks for it is not good enough, especially when one considers you have none of the disclaimers, warnings, or use statements everyone else uses. We won't even get into the whole your not registered as a 501 election advocacy group.

    I am pretty sure that I have a firm grip on how democracy works. Unfortunately not all of us have access to the volumes of electoral wisdom you quite clearly think you have....List your laws, rules, regulations, hell even academic papers that support your electoral fantasy count assertion. I doubt you will be able to do even that since you never have before. Why bring facts to the table, when polluting pixels is easier.

    What is bullshit about the website claims again? Fact: I never said YOU went to Go Daddy, that would imply you had a basic level of website management knowledge.

    What is clear from your website prattling is that in addition to election law, FOIA process as it pertains to elections, and registered non-profit requirements, we get to add website management to the list of things you know nothing about.

    You went through either T-35 hosting or Smartsites to set up one dumbman... which in turn went to one to register the domain or to the other for the website design.

    In either case my original point still remains that ANYONE can register a .org domain without having to prove they are a valid non profit/charitable organization.

    When trying to refute ones example it helps to bring more to the table than if x amount were participating in one dumbman there would be one dumbman approved candidates on the ballot. Next time try reading all of the criteria before you speak, it is not that hard, it is kind of like two trains math

    I get the whole supposed multi election bullshit you are laying down... but you have yet to adequately explain how many cycles it will take for this to work, but it is certain it will take more than one.

    In the meantime your "strategy" results in votes being thrown away, and for those paying attention, that could mean that if the wrong party wins you won't have to worry about your "multi-election strategy" any longer.

    If the term purity test has been debunked I must have missed it. Last time I checked one dumbman demands one dumbman candidates take no contributions over 200 bucks. That is a number you have picked and set the level at. It is in fact the quintessential definition of a purity test. Candidates either tow your ridiculous line and are deemed suitable one dumbman candidates(pure) or they burn in the fires of big money hell.

    When it comes to the website claims what is bullshit? It is not my fault that you obviously have no clue about website management. If you did you would realize that ANYONE can set up a .org domain without having to prove they are a valid organization.

    In a way you having gone through Smartsites or T35 Hosting to get your website in a box just goes to show that you are incapable of doing the hard work required to make one dumbman something bigger than one dumb man.

  7. [7] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    All you are doing is repeating the same bullshit.

    Have you ever read a few of your posts? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    It is time to require commenters post under their real name or tell the trolls to cut the crap.

    Does that include your crap? goode trickle has a pretty well reasoned argument. You might try it sometime...

    On a side note: I think it's foolish to participate on the net with your real name.

  8. [8] 
    goode trickle wrote:

    Poor little Don Qui.

    Doesn't like it when he has to answer serious questions...

    I can understand why... It is super easy to just make shit up and be unencumbered by reality.

    Fortunately, Don Qui you are not the arbiter of who gets to post here and you might be cautious of what you wish for...

    In the meantime I will continue to hand your ass to you until you can answer the hard questions about your "movement".... such as it is...

  9. [9] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    All you are doing is repeating the same bullshit.

    Don't knock it until you've tried it. Oh, wait!

    You have added nothing new worthy of a response as it has already been covered.

    What is: "Why CW Ignores Don Harris"... Redundant Trolls for $1000, Alex.

    Get lost.

    You are not worthy of commenting here.

    He's more than worthy. You, on the other hand: If you had a scintilla of intelligence with which to grasp the level of infinite ignorance your repetitive bullshit and stalking of the author sounds to everyone else day in and day out, replete with your asinine juvenile nescient prattling, you'd be able to recognize your obvious projection quoted herein... but you don't... so you can't, One Dumb Man.

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