Wee Hours Open Thread

Okay, I’m tired of talking about Paw Paw Blacklung too, but good lord y’all, I’m catching up on the news, and it’s even worse than we thought. TPM speculates that Manchin blew up the BBB deal in a fit of pique because he’d been singled out as the lone Democratic holdout in a recent, unremarkable statement from Biden. Here’s the relevant section of Biden’s 12/16 statement:

I had a productive call with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer earlier today. I briefed them on the most recent discussions that my staff and I have held with Senator Manchin about Build Back Better. In these discussions, Senator Manchin has reiterated his support for Build Back Better funding at the level of the framework plan I announced in September. I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition.

My team and I are having ongoing discussions with Senator Manchin; that work will continue next week. It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote. We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead; Leader Schumer and I are determined to see the bill successfully on the floor as early as possible.

So, if the speculation is accurate, Manchin had a cow over that anodyne statement because of its underlying assumption that Manchin is the holdout. After many months of Manchin going on television and bragging about being the holdout. He blew up the negotiations. Over that.

As TPM notes, as unbelievably petty and dumb as this explanation is, it is almost certainly true (or at least being alleged by Manchin in a bid to relocate the goalposts yet again) because Hill contributor and Manchin crony Steve Clemons confirmed the statement was the source of the meltdown. In a column that absurdly compares Manchin to George Washington, Clemons also wrote this utterly ridiculous sentence:

Given the protests that Manchin’s family has experienced at his home, which is a boat in Washington Harbor — with folks harassing him, his wife and grandson by kayak around his boat [It’s a yacht! — Ed.] and the gate to the marina — I knew this presidential statement was personalizing the game. It put his family at risk, in my view.

Biden’s statement above, he means. Put Manchin’s family at risk, he says.

Can you imagine how these delicate hothouse flowers would react to a sternly worded letter, such as the statement Ms. Psaki issued this weekend? You don’t have to image it — here’s a visual aid:

Monday Afternoon Open Thread

This is all so stupid it would be funny if millions of children weren’t at risk of sinking back into poverty and galloping fascism wasn’t receiving such an able assist from this drama llama’s buffoonish antics. But here we are.

Is it worth pursuing further negotiations with this exquisitely sensitive asshole? I’m glad it’s not my decision, but my feeling is he was telling the truth when he said many weeks back that he’d be in favor of “zero” additional spending. That’s what Manchin’s tribe, the No Labels lobbying group, wants. If his ruffled feathers are patted back into place, he’ll find another excuse.

Biden is doing a speech today about the latest virus mutation. It’s not Biden’s style, but maybe this day or this week would be a good time to level with people about what’s happening. Talk about the good things the bill would do and note that 100% of Republicans oppose it and one Democrat thinks his personal feelings about a press release no one read are more important.

I don’t know. At some point, coddling people like Manchin harms the party more than including his number in our narrow governing coalition helps. I think we may be past that point.

Open thread.


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