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Joe Manchin Continues to Doom Democrats' Plans

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

It's been quite the week for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who once again looks to be crashing the hopes and dreams of his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate and the disastrous agenda that President Joe Biden has for the country.

On Wednesday, The Hill tweeted a clip of Manchin emphasizing "There's not a Build Back Better revival, there's not." 

The senator had previously been reportedly floating around another idea of a smaller Build Back Better Act, though the emphasis appears to be on it not just being smaller, but broken up into many different pieces.

That same day, Jordain Carney wrote for the outlet about how "Dems offer reality check on Manchin, Build Back Better," pointing out that "This time, however, Democrats are playing down the chances for an imminent deal."

On Friday, Alexander Bolton wrote an even more in-depth piece, noting that "Manchin’s moves leave Democrats doubting their agenda will pass."

An anonymous Democrat is cited as claiming that he says there's "less every day" when it comes to the chances Manchin will get on board with a reconciliation bill. That that senator has any hope at all left is shockingly noteworthy. 

As Bolton began his piece by noting:

Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) latest moves are fueling new doubts that he’ll agree to any sort of legislative package on President Biden’s agenda, deepening Democratic worries about what they’ll be able to deliver to voters by Election Day.

Several Democratic senators say they are growing dispirited about the prospect of Manchin ever giving the greenlight to moving a budget reconciliation package, which would prevent Republicans from blocking Biden’s legislative agenda with a Senate filibuster.

So it's really not looking good then. It's time everybody moved on. Somebody ought to tell Joe Biden that. 

It's likely not so much a matter as to if Democrats will lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the midterms, as has already been forecast, but if they can avoid a particularly catastrophic loss. It's not even looking like they'll be lucky enough to escape that.

Yet Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) seem to still hold onto some bit of false hope, even if, to her credit, she's not completely delusional about the likelihood her party will lose control of the House, and, also, potentially the Senate.

As I've covered in recent weeks, she's argued across various Sunday show appearances and in a guest essay for The New York Times, Warren acknowledged:

Democrats win elections when we show we understand the painful economic realities facing American families and convince voters we will deliver meaningful change. To put it bluntly: if we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms. 

Time is running short. We need to finalize a budget reconciliation deal, making giant corporations pay their share to fund vital investments in combating climate change and lowering costs for families, which can advance with only 50 Senate votes. Other priorities can be done with the president’s executive authority. It’s no secret that I believe we should abolish the filibuster. But if Republicans want to use it to block policies that Americans broadly support, we should also force them to take those votes in plain view.

Well, it doesn't look like she can depend on her colleague, Sen. Manchin.

Bolton's piece is still gaining page views over at The Hill. 

Sen. Manchin is even campaigning for Republicans, in this case for Rep. David McKinley, also of West Virginia, who, due to redistricting, must challenge Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) in a primary when it comes to the state's 2nd Congressional District. The primary is May 10th. 

As Caroline Vakil reported for The Hill, "Manchin appears in campaign ad for GOP lawmaker up against Trump-backed challenger."

Joe Concha, in his opinion column for the outlet, said "don’t dismiss Manchin as a viable candidate and as the savior of the Democratic Party in two years," when it comes to the 2024 presidential election, should Biden not run. 

As I highlighted earlier in the week, though, Sen. Manchin himself is doing just fine. The voters in West Virginia, the people he is truly accountable to and whose opinion of him matters most, like him just fine. He's the eighth most popular senator right now and the one with the highest increase in approval rating from quarter one for 2021 to quarter one for 2022, according to polling from Morning Consult. 

Manchin's support among Republicans is at 69 percent. 

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