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Manchin Pronounces Build Back Better-- And Democratic Midterm Prospects-- Dead

The End Of Kyrsten Sinema's Ability To Command A News Cycle

Friends are already asking me how many seats in Congress I think the Democrats will lose next year. My response is usually along the lines of, "a lot can change between now and then so it's impossible say; BUT... if the election was held today, probably between 2 and 3 dozen House seats-- at best." Why? The Democrats failed to raise the minimum wage. The Democrats failed to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The Democrats failed to cancel student debt-- or even extend the repayment moratorium. The Democrats failed to protect voting rights. The Democrats failed to reform immigration policies. They couldn't pass Build Back Better... but they did confirm Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan.

This morning, Joe Manchin-- and he gets counted as a Democrat-- was on Fox. Here's what he said to Brett Baier after all these months of leading Schumer and Biden round by the nose: "I've always said this Brett, if I can't go home and explain to the people of West Virginia I can't vote for and I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there. This is a no."

It was a no on the day the progressives gave in to Biden and Pelosi and abandoned the "Hold the Line" strategy, allowing the shitty Manchin/Sinema infrastructure bill to pass with a vague promise that Build Back Better would follow. (Only six House Democrats held firm-- only six.) That was the day, it was all over-- and the day that the Democrats congressional majorities' fate was probably set in stone. But it was this morning that Manchin did something even worse to Democratic prospects for the midterms: he showed the voters that Biden is a weak, impotent and worthless president with no leadership abilities. That will count for far moire than any individual failed piece of his policy agenda.

UPDATE: Biden Calls Manchin A Lying Sack Of Shit

Axios reported this morning that White House press secretary Jen Psaki "Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework 'in good faith.'"

There is now renewed speculation that Manchin will flip over to the Republicans-- taking the Senate majority with him.

Even before Manchin's announcement this morning, conservatives were baying for Democratic blood. The Hill has two posts up, one from conservative Republican, pretend journalist Joe Concha, and one from one of the longtime leaders of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, Doug Schoen. Concha's message from the RNC this morning is that the Democrats are endangering our families because they are weak on crime. conflating criminal justice reform with blaming Democrats for Trump's murder rate increases.

Schoen and his partner, Carly Cooperman, wrote that "The Democratic Party has lost sight of how to build a broad-based coalition, and as a result, is finding itself in an increasingly unelectable and unsustainable position... If the Democratic Party continues down its current ill-fated path of embracing progressive policies while overlooking manifest political realities, we will almost certainly see a landslide G.O.P. victory in 2022. Voters have grown wary of a Democratic Party that they feel is both ineffective at governing and more attuned to their own priorities than to the concerns of the broader American electorate, our data collectively shows. This is a prevalent overarching sentiment among Independents, a decisive voting bloc, and surprisingly, among a sizeable number of Democrats."

Schoen's own biased polling shows, he says, that "Two-thirds of likely voters overall (66 percent)-- including strong majorities of Independents (63 percent) and Democrats (59 percent)-- agree that President Biden and national Democrats are not only 'out-of-touch with hardworking Americans,' but moreover, that they 'have been so focused on passing their own agenda that they’ve been ignoring Americans’ day-to-day concerns, such as the rising prices for goods and gasoline.' Voters also believe that Biden has not been paying enough attention to the country’s most important problems (53 percent), rather than having the right priorities (38 percent). This assessment is even more prevalent among Independents, 58 percent of whom say Biden has not paid enough attention to the most important problems, versus just 27 percent who say the opposite... Ultimately, our data paints a clear picture of a Democratic Party that no longer knows how to connect with voters absent Donald Trump or a Trump-like foe. As a result, we are seeing a demonstrable pro-Republican trend."

True to form, Schoen backed Bloomberg for president

In case you hadn't heard of Schoen, he worked with another corrupt right-wing "Democrat," Mark Penn, starting in the late 1980s, doing campaign work for conservative Democrats like Richard Shelby (who flipped to the GOP after winning a Senate seat as a Democrat) and Evan Bayh, the Joe Manchin of his day. They then worked for Bill Clinton, helping him to destroy everything left of the FDR coalition and remake the Democratic Party into a corporate/Wall Street-friendly GOP-lite organization dedicated to protecting the careers of the party establishment. Schoen also worked for Hillary Clinton and began backing Republicans and-- as a registered lobbyist-- foreign fascist politicians as well as conservative Democrats. He was expert at steering massive foreign bribes into domestic political campaigns-- including Hillary and Señor Trumpanzee. He eventually washed up first at Fox News-- the original Fox News Democrat-- and more recently at Newsmax.

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