Progressives have really lost their minds over Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) failing to bow to every whim of a liberal agenda, mostly over Build Back Better and the filibuster. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has become particularly vocal as of late in going after them.
As Matt covered on Tuesday, Manchin has doubled down on his opposition to Build Back Better, which prompted a suggestion from AOC that people in her community "wait out the cold" on "Manchin's yacht."
Seniors, kids, & people with disabilities in my community have been sleeping with bubble jackets on in 18 degree nights, despite paying rent, bc the NYCHA funding to fix their heating and capital needs is in BBB.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 1, 2022
Where should I direct them to wait out the cold? Manchin’s yacht? https://t.co/vXwbVX30ca
The tweet meant that AOC was breaking her hiatus on Twitter, which she had claimed was due to how "there's a lot of negativity on there." Her Monday night comments came in response to an Instagram user pointing out that she had not being using the platform so much. Yet AOC was already tweeting again on Tuesday to go after Manchin.
The "negativity" didn't stop there, though. AOC then on Wednesday tweeted that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer should make life "as difficult as possible" for "obstructionists," with Sinema included as a target.
Actually he should continue to make their lives as difficult as possible and treat them the way they treat, say, public housing residents. Or parents who rely on CTC. When they improve, maybe process can improve too.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 2, 2022
Why should we make the lives of obstructionists easier? https://t.co/KBbX8DbYdo
Of course, AOC isn't the only one who has gone after Manchin and Sinema. Even the White House had lashed out at Manchin refusing to support Biden's key agenda item. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and is a Democratic-Socialist, has indicated he'll support primary challengers to Sens. Manchin and Sinema.
Sen. Sinema also lost support from pro-abortion groups such as EMILY's List and NARAL Pro-Choice over her opposition to changing the filibuster to pass voting legislation that will amount to a federal takeover of elections. It's worth noting that Sinema and Manchin both voted for such voting legislation, though it did not receive any Republican votes. Ironically, Sinema supports the filibuster so that pro-life legislators won't have too easy a time regulating or restricting abortion in the future. Sinema was also censured by the Arizona Democratic Party for such a vote.
Sanders is notably the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. When it comes to passing Build Back Better, he has called for the bill to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote, even if it will fail, so senators can be put on record for their votes.
Democratic strategist James Carville addressed the treatment of both senators in an interview with Sean Illing for Vox. "Joe Manchin sank Biden’s agenda. Democrats are lucky to have him," read Illing's headline.
Illing did not hide how "totally exasperated" he is about Manchin, and Carville was just as blunt in his answers from the interview:
Understand that Joe Manchin is a Roman Catholic Democrat in a state in which not a single county has voted Democrat [for president] since 2008. I repeat: not a single county has voted Democrat since 2008.
Politics is about choices, and he’s up for reelection in 2024. If Manchin runs for reelection, I’ll do everything I can to help him because it’s either going to be Joe Manchin or Marsha Blackburn. It ain’t Joe Manchin or Ed Markey. You got to understand that. It’s really that damn simple.
...But I’ll just keep saying it: If we don’t have Sen. Manchin, we’re going to have somebody really, really, really extreme in his seat.
Look, I’m a liberal Democrat. Always have been. But some of these people bitching about Manchin can’t see political reality straight. Six percent of adults in this country identify as “progressive.” Only 11 or 12 percent of Democrats identify as progressive. So let’s just meet in the middle and say something like 7 or 8 percent of the country agrees with the progressive left. This ain’t a goddamn debate anymore. Someone like Manchin is closer to the mainstream than a lot of these people think, and pretending like he isn’t won’t help the cause.
Carville indicated he'll support Manchin for re-election, but that he'll support a primary challenge from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), should he mount a primary challenge against Sinema.
Manchin appears to have more support than from just Carville, too. Reports indicate that Manchin took in $4.8 million in 2021, the most in a non-election year.