ChrisWeigant.com

The Pressure Increases On Sinema And Manchin

[ Posted Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 – 17:12 UTC ]

President Joe Biden just cranked up the increase in pressure on Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to get on board the effort to at least partially reform the Senate filibuster. Which is entirely fitting, since if the filibuster rule remains unchanged, the only things Biden will be able to accomplish will be through the budgetary process -- which does cover a lot, but leaves out some rather big initiatives (like voting rights and increasing the minimum wage, to name just two). Everything else will die on the Senate floor, because there just aren't 10 Republican senators willing to work with Biden on anything.

So far, as has already been pointed out today, Biden has been offering the two recalcitrant Democrats carrots. Yesterday, he unveiled the stick. He said the following, in the middle of a speech in Tulsa (on the centennial of the race massacre which took place there):


I hear all the folks on TV saying: "Why didn't Biden get this done?" Well, because Biden only has a majority of, effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.

Now, this was somewhat inartful, which is a polite way of saying "incorrect." Manchin and Sinema don't actually vote with the Republicans very often, but they are indeed refusing to join with the rest of their Democratic colleagues to reform the filibuster. Most of the crucial votes haven't even taken place yet, so what Biden said was not technically accurate at this point, although the sentiment and frustration were pretty obvious.

We are indeed approaching a pivotal point, and Manchin and Sinema are not on board. Carrots have not worked. They are still digging in their heels. Both are apparently living in some fantasyland, where the filibuster hasn't been historically used to deny Black Americans their rights as citizens, and where 10 honest and sincere Republican senators still do exist.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is reportedly about to increase the pressure even further. There has actually been only a single filibuster this year, because Schumer has been reluctant to put bills to votes that he knows will be blocked by the filibuster rules. But he started doing so with the January 6th insurrection commission bill, which only would have (if they had all been present) gotten seven Republican votes, which would have been three short of the 60 needed. This reportedly shocked Joe Manchin, even though every other Democrat had been telling him his view of bipartisan-minded Republican senators was simply unrealistic. Schumer is now going to line up a number of other important bills and put them forward, to prove even further to Manchin and Sinema that they are just not being realistic at all in their insistence that bipartisanship can somehow still happen. All of these votes will put Republicans on the record opposing very popular measures, and each and every vote will drive the point home to Sinema and Manchin how wildly optimistic their fantastical expectations truly are.

Kyrsten Sinema is even the main sponsor of one of the most important of these, the For The People Act, which would make increasingly-necessary reforms to the way states are allowed to conduct elections in America. She's a big fan of seeing this pass. Manchin, to date, is not -- he says it is "too broad" (without ever specifying which particular facets of the bill he finds so objectionable).

Sinema and Manchin face a clear choice. This choice is going to get starker and starker over the next few weeks. They can either stick to their guns on objecting to filibuster reforms -- and by doing so ensure that Joe Biden's presidency will be hamstrung and could indeed fail to achieve much at all -- or they can join the rest of the Democrats in making historic leaps forward on all sorts of pressing issues.

To put this another way: the two senators could either give the Democratic Party the record they really want to run on next year ("Just look at how many good things we've gotten done!"), or they can guarantee that the Republican charges of "Democrats can't govern" will be accurate enough for the GOP to retake both the House and perhaps the Senate in the 2022 midterms. They may be digging their own political graves, in other words, because if the two of them successfully block Biden's bold agenda (or at least the lion's share of it) then they are going to find themselves in the minority party in the Senate. The ultimate irony would be if Mitch McConnell then decides to jettison the filibuster anyway, which would completely undermine the moral high road Sinema and Manchin seem to believe they are taking.

With the For The People Act, this isn't even just a question of which party will be in control of Congress for the last two years of Biden's term. It is a question of whether free and fair elections -- the foundation of our democratic system -- can even survive in America. These are historic times, and historic choices must be made. With the Republicans in statehouses across America doing everything they can to create "Jim Crow 2.0," Democratic inaction is going to have severe and dire consequences for at least the next decade (one part of the For The People Act would rein in most gerrymandering during the looming House reapportionment, which will set district lines for the next ten years).

This is why there is so much pressure on Sinema and Manchin to give President Biden a solid chance at being a very successful president -- and even, perhaps, of beating the midterm historical tide and holding onto both houses of Congress. This pressure is entirely deserved, to put it another way. And it's only going to increase, as the next few weeks go by.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

13 Comments on “The Pressure Increases On Sinema And Manchin”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    yet again CW you show your devotion to the cake and pastry show, whilst completely ignoring the reform that might have a chance to make elections tastier. have you no sugar? have you no flour? have you no fruit filling? don't fall for the lie, try some pie.

    ice cream pie. rice dream pie.

    cherry pie. berry pie.

    peach pie. quiche pie.

    meat pie. sheet pie.

    low-carb pie. rhubarb pie.

    prawn pie. pecan pie.

    pork pie. torte pie.

    succotash pie, baby smash pie,

    chocolate mousse pie. grapefruit juice pie.

    key lime meringue pie, orange tang pie,

    chicken pot pie.

    got pie?

    get edible.

    JL

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "I hear all the folks on TV saying: "Why didn't Biden get this done?" Well, because Biden only has a majority of, effectively, four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends" ... than any of the other Democratic senators. Which is what Biden obviously meant.

    Would that be incorrect?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Say, Joshua, that's a pretty close to an exhaustive list you've got there! :)

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I suppose that will cost Biden another dishonourable mention for the MDDOTW award, at least.

  5. [5] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Manchin keeps saying that he won’t touch the filibuster because he does not want to DESTROY this country!

    It needs to be made crystal clear that the biggest threat to our country is a repeat of Republican states that voted for the Democrat deciding to invalidate the will of the people in all future elections! We saw how in Republican legislatures in the states of Georgia and Arizona both were willing to invalidate their citizens’ votes in order to retain power. They would have been successful in overturning the 2020 elections had the Secretary of State in both states not stood up to them and refused to comply with their wishes!

    Sadly, if this happens again in 2022 or 2024, neither Secretary of State will be able to stop them as both states’ legislatures have stripped their Secretary of State of the power that had allowed them to stop it from happening! If Congress does not pass federal voting legislation to prevent states from canceling the results of our elections before our next elections, there will be nothing to prevent the steal from occurring! If Republicans are able to take back the House in 2022, you can guarantee that they will start holding impeachment hearings immediately. And if they take back the Senate as well in 2022 and Biden is re-elected in 2024, they will be able to invalidate the states’ EC votes — which means that the House would choose the President and it would be completely legal for them to do it!

    THAT IS WHAT DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY WOULD LIKE LIKE, SENATOR MANCHIN! And YOU will be who History will say allowed it to happen!

  6. [6] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What we need to really get rid of is the FULLA-buster and put pressure on those promoting it as they are the true enemies of democracy.

    Fullabuster- A person that spews moosepoop pretending that they are trying to protect democracy when they are in reality supporting democracy's enemies. Also known as a Dunga Dim.

    What the Deathocrats are doing now is the same old show that they are trying while setting up the excuses for they couldn't get the things they promised done so they can continue to run on the same promises and issues in 2022.

    You are pretending that this show, repeated over and over again over the last few decades is not intentional.

    This is exactly the kind of moosepoop that a fullabuster uses.

    The Fool the People Act is also the same moosepoop. It does nothing but further entrench the enemies of democracy as it in some cases makes it harder for third parties and independents to compete with the Deathocrats and Republikillers.

    No matter which half of the big money party is in control it will be controlled by the big money interests.

    Deathocrats not accomplishing anything for ordinary citizens or to protect democracy is what they are running on as they have been doing for decades.

    They pretend to try as their part in the show but the meesage is clear to those the Deathocrats are running their strategy of not accomplishing what they promised for- the big money interests that will once again be providing the financing for their campaigns.

    "Now is not the time for half-measures. Now is not the time for timidity."
    -Dunga Dim

    You remind of a cartoon I drew after the Supreme Court decision in the 2000 election when they ruled the counting had to stop until the Court decided if it should be done and they would give their decision after the weekend was over when there would not be enough time to complete the recount.

    It was a picture of a septic pumping truck that said "U-Stall Septic Pumping" on it and it's operator with the tube in a septic tank.

    The caption read:
    This what we like to call a Republican septic. It keeps pumping out but it always stays full.

    That is you, CW, in a nutshell.

    It's time for you to stop being an nut-less nut spewing moosepoop and being a Dunga Dim Fullabuster.

    Grow a pair and do the job you are pretending to do when you spew your moosepoop.

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet-
    You seem obsessed with pies.

    Did this begin after or before you saw Jason Biggs in "American Pie" and have you sought therapy?

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    A song parody for Nypoet sung to California Girls.

    Well the east coast pies are tasty
    They're all warm and wet inside
    And the west coast pies they are filled with things
    that the east coast pies won't try
    You can cover them with whipped cream
    and then watch those cherries pop
    I could spend my life in a bakery
    and the fun would never stop
    I wish they all could be Jason Biggs type pies....

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @don,

    you're absolutely right! There is one issue that affects all other issues- the issue of Big Dough in our political process. So solving this problem is the first step to solving any other problem. This is also an issue that 99% of citizens agree on -they want the Big Dough out of politics. Whether or not they agree on other issues all these citizens can work together to achieve this common goal of replacing Big Dough with pie filling. Our perfect solution is that candidates support their constituents by baking pies for them. We can all work together to create and demonstrate desire for pie and make PIE a unifying force in america. And once we begin to reduce the influence of Big Dough we may even find we agree, at least in part, on some other issues once the Big Dough interests are no longer framing the parameters of the pan.

    Pie unity instead of party unity.

    so good to see you're finally coming on-board.

    mince and cheese pie. viennese pie.

    alevropita. galatopita.

    chiffon pie. parmesan pie.

    grasshopper pie. apple cobbler pie.

    ice cream pie. rice dream pie.

    cherry pie. berry pie.

    peach pie. quiche pie.

    meat pie. sheet pie.

    low-carb pie. rhubarb pie.

    prawn pie. pecan pie.

    pork pie. torte pie.

    succotash pie, baby smash pie,

    chocolate mousse pie. grapefruit juice pie.

    key lime meringue pie, orange tang pie,

    chicken pot pie.

    got pie?

    get edible.

    JL

  10. [10] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    It's hilarious that you think insulting our host with deranged ramblings column after column would actually work in getting a political commentator to write about you.

    Though if you were to try it on a psychology or sociology blog it might work...

  11. [11] 
    dsws wrote:

    I blame the voters, first and foremost. If we had an electorate that was at least sort-of sane, it would not be possible for a party to do what the Republicans have done.

    The filibuster certainly should be fixed, somehow, so that it's something other than a simple 60-vote requirement where a vote of one vs 39 considers one to be the winner. But that's not the main problem. As long as we have pluralities of voters in enough states who consider themselves to be adequately represented by their controlling subgroup who literally wave Nazi and Confederate flags, because hey, at least they all hate liberals together -- as long as that's the state of the electorate, no institutional reform can suffice.

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @dan,

    might as well blame water for being wet

    JL

  13. [13] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Bashi

    Though if you were to try it on a psychology or sociology blog it might work...

    Of course it would work because they would be speaking professionally about why it is clear that RonDon is delusional!

    CW is a political pundit. There is nothing that prevents him from writing why crazy groups like OneDemand are scams that have no basis in reality and could never do what the uneducated grifters pushing it claim it would do for our country. But CW knows that it would only make him appear to be cruel and attacking someone with mental issues to write about a “group” that consists of just one sad man. RonDon has to know that any article CW would write would have to point out that RonDon’s website alone makes it clear how unserious RonDon’s OneDemand truly is! If OneDemand actually was doing something...anything... if there were people on board with the mission, then CW would have something to actually report on. RonDon just won’t do any of the work required to start a political movement.

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