Joe Manchin has made the point that passing the upgrade to the Voting Rights Act – the so-called John Lewis Voting Rights Act – is a better path to securing voting rights than the For the People Act. Voting Rights types generally don’t agree. You need both, they say. But the whole question is sort of moot because, as TPM alum Sahil Kapur notes, there aren’t any Republican votes for the Voting Rights Act either. Or rather, there is one GOP supporter, Lisa Murkowski.
Obviously saying that Manchin’s arguments are illogical or self-contradictory quickly reaches a point of diminishing returns. It’s a waste of time.
But I do think it captures some of the difficulty of the current situation for many Democrats. It would be more comprehensible if Manchin were simply really conservative. But that’s not quite it. Manchin has demanded a really big infrastructure bill and he wants a corporate tax hike to pay for it. But he also demands that his fellow Democrats secure the support of people who don’t support either. These things don’t mix.
And yet here we are.
There are a lot of people who are super mad at Joe Manchin. They say he’s a closet Republican. That’s not where I am. It’s more confusion because his points are contradictory. So it’s hard to know how to predict his actions or how to negotiate toward agreed upon strategies. Sinema is the one everyone should be mad at. Her actions are only explained by being on a power trip and a troll.