Two columns related to West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin (links to each embedded in headlines)….

How and why Manchin should disassociate from Democrats (Dec. 20): The national Democratic Party has contempt for West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, and its loudest activists flat-out hate him. Manchin should respond accordingly. It’s time for him not only to leave the Democratic Party but, even as an independent, to start officially caucusing with Republicans.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another nonradical Democrat, should do likewise.

Manchin said on Fox News Sunday that he is a firm “no” vote on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better boondoggle. It’s a bill that, once the accounting gimmicks are stripped away, would require an astronomical $5 trillion in new federal spending while giving numerous benefits to wealthy special interests.

Many leading Democrats erupted. Rather than speak in measured terms of the “more in sorrow than in anger” variety, rather than leaving an opening for their own party member to stay in the fold on other matters, leading Democrats scorched the earth….

Conservative ideologues should learn not to mistreat centrists (Dec. 21): Conservative hard-liners should learn something from the leftist Democrats’ spectacular failure in their attempt to browbeat center-leaning Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia into submission. Conservatives should not treat Republicans’ own centrists the same way.

For months, Manchin was transparent about what he could and couldn’t swallow with regard to President Joe Biden’s massive Build Back Better spending bill, and for months, polls showed that Manchin’s West Virginia constituents overwhelmingly opposed the bill crafted by Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Yet rather than use diplomatic public statements to try to entice Manchin as close to their position as possible, leading Democrats repeatedly castigated him in highly insulting terms (which they repeated with even more fury after he finally said “no”).

According to the Hill columnist Steve Clemons, who has good inside sourcing on both Biden and Manchin, what finally spurred Manchin to move from “still negotiating” to a firm “no” on BBB was “White House incivility” combined with the even fiercer treatment of Manchin and his family by Biden’s “progressive” allies. At some point, incivility and downright abuse will drive anyone away….

 

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