Joe Manchin has become the most powerful man in Congress. He is the difference between bills and rule changes passing or failing and what the progressives are up in arms about is that he is making them fail. There is very little they can do but they plan on finding someone to primary him. But, the truth is West Virginia is deeply red now and Manchin is the only Democrat who can win. If he loses the primary Republicans get the seat.
But, he can torch them. If they continue to disparage him, he could decide to switch parties and that would make Mitch McConnell the Senate majority leader and he decides what bills get voted on. He would simply let the bills lie on his desk until they die during the next congress in 2023. That won’t hurt his election prospects at all and in fact, would enhance his chances of winning. The progressives can’t win and Manchin cannot lose.
Manchin has already said that he will not vote to overturn the filibuster or H.R.1, the bill that makes cheating legal. Many of the bills the Democrats want to pass rely on getting 60 votes to avoid a filibuster. That means the most radical bills they want to pass will not. But, Manchin is smart. He knows that if you eliminate the filibuster, laws will change every time control of the Congress changes. Republicans can outlaw abortions or any number of other things that would drive the left made.
The Hill reported,:
“The thinking is that with enough pressure, voters will see the moderates’ attempts to work with Republicans as increasingly politically untenable. Progressives like Wu want to run ads meant to dampen Manchin’s and Sinema’s approval ratings on their home turfs.”
Even Democratic lawmakers are publicly piling on.
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Routing Manchin from the Senate in a primary challenge would certainly prove difficult.
Not only is Manchin not up for re-election until 2024 — meaning today’s problems will likely be an afterthought in 3.5 years — but Manchin is a moderate lawmaker in a deeply red state.