The thing about this story that is particularly galling is that it’s presented as the dirty hippies—the House CPC—fighting President Joe Biden’s moderate agenda, the agenda that got him elected, instead of trying to keep it intact. Everything in the Build Back Better bill that the CPC has attempted to keep alive has been negotiated down from what Biden had proposed. Never mind that reality, here’s how it’s presented in this Post news story.
Another former Democratic governor, Jim Hodges of South Carolina, attributed the left’s vitriol toward Manchin to the “wide gulf between the sort of MSNBC wing of the party and the average Democratic voter who got Joe Biden elected.”
“If we want to embrace strategies where we can actually get moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats and independents, we’ve got a chance of building a strong majority,” Hodges added, “but the language of the left has not been very inclusive of those points of view.”
Let us really remember who got Joe Biden elected: People of color. Let us also remember that those are the people disproportionately harmed by the previous administration, by the pandemic, by income inequality, by just about every damned thing. Pager and the Blue Dog Democrats he quotes all carefully avoid the race question, but in a case of both-sidesism actually working, he also quotes. Rep. Cory Bush, Democrat of Missouri, who tells that truth.
“When we talk about transformative change, we are talking about a bill that will benefit Black, brown and Indigenous communities,” she said. “Those same communities are overwhelmingly excluded from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We cannot leave anyone behind.”
Again, that transformative change was Joe Biden’s vision to begin with and the vision of pretty much every Democrat in Congress (at least publicly) with the sole exception of Joe Manchin. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, also a Democratic problem child, hasn’t even complained about underserving poor people using the nice things they’re given to buy drugs or play hooky from work (actual Manchin arguments). She just doesn’t want her new friends among the corporate super-rich to have to pay more in taxes to pay for the nice things for everyone else.
In reality, it’s Joe Manchin, the political traditional media, and a bunch of has-been Democrats against pretty much everybody else, including Joe Biden. But this is presented by this Post story in the news pages as a fight for the soul of the party with Manchin as the hero standing against the hippies—a story that political media has been rehashing since the Clinton era.