Insane. Even as demagoguery, this rant yesterday from DNC chair Jaime Harrison is lunacy, especially with his insistence that there’s no partisanship at all in Democrats’ HR1/S1 voting-overhaul bill. It’s a massive federalization of voting procedures, and it was written and pushed through exclusively by Democrats.
Demagoguery over the bill itself is secondary here, however. When MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle tries playing devil’s advocate in explaining why Joe Manchin might have reservations about it, especially given his West Virginia constituency, Harrison loses his mind and accuses Manchin of opposing America:
“Joe Manchin needs to do what Americans want our senators to do, which is to protect their right to vote. If we don’t protect that right, that is the right by which all other rights are built upon,” Harrison said on MSNBC. “It is the great equalizer…We’re not asking for any partisan thing. People say both sides…this is not a both sides thing. Either you are for all Americans voting or you are against it. Either you are for securing democracy or you’re against it.”
Put aside Harrison’s dishonest spin on the bill itself, and just marvel at his political ineptitude instead. Manchin is the only man standing between Mitch McConnell and control of the Senate floor. The massive shift in Manchin’s home state puts enormous pressure on him to flip parties anyway. And now the chair of Manchin’s own political party is calling Manchin a traitor not to the party but to America on national television for not supporting progressives’ performative bill — which has no chance of passing the Senate even with Manchin’s vote.
Harrison probably shouldn’t count on Manchin’s vote for the Green New Deal, either. Can’t wait for Harrison to call Manchin a traitor to the planet when that happens.
So will this push Manchin into flipping? It probably should, but Salena Zito says to quit wishing for a Manchin-led GOP majority. Manchin won’t get chased out of the Democratic Party, and he won’t get bullied into votes either. Manchin doesn’t want a plum committee chair assignment — he wants to make the Senate work again:
Since the moment the Democrats won the runoff elections in Georgia in January of this year, Manchin has been the center of attention in Washington for opposing changes in Senate rules that would advance legislation with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.
In turn, he has become a fixation for those who lobby, host dinner parties, or have made government a career in the nation’s capital — a place that is really a Democratic company town no matter who is in power. He has emerged as this thing they cannot comprehend, a man who really places country before party.
When I asked November of last year if he was committed to preserving the filibuster no matter what, he said unequivocally, “Under no circumstances would I support ending the filibuster.”
Yet since January of this year, thousands of stories have been written by hundreds of reporters asking, when Manchin says no to repealing filibuster, if that no is a hard no or soft no, or if no really meant never. No one seems to remember this is the same guy who had a pithy answer in 2017 about his own reelection chances when critics wanted him to commit to Democratic policy points.
“I don’t give a s***, you understand? I just don’t give a s***,” Manchin said, to the Charleston Gazette-Mail about being pressured into taking positions he disagrees with just to win an election. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that? If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s*** that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”
The unwillingness to accept no in Washington is one of the many differences between people who live and work there and the people here in West Virginia. When someone says he isn’t doing something, it means he won’t do it.
Harrison is exactly the kind of politician Manchin wants to sideline. He likely doesn’t “give a s***” what Harrison thinks of him. In this case, that’s the sane attitude to take.