One Payoff in the Infrastructure Deal Is So Blatantly Corrupt That You Almost Have to Respect the Hustle

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

While Nancy Pelosi’s machinations may have put the infrastructure deal in jeopardy, the smart money still resides on its passing at some point. There are just too many Republicans who seem too gung-ho, and you’d only need a few crossovers in the House to overcome the socialist wing.

With that said, the contents of the bill are becoming public, revealing the absolute boondoggle that this hastily written bipartisan compromise is. Yet, there’s one corrupt payoff in it that really stands out among the rest.

Enter Sen. Joe Manchin, who has been one of the key players in formulating and moving forward the infrastructure deal. Given that, you knew he’d be getting his palms greased. Even still, I’m not sure I expected it to be this blatant.

Who is Gayle Manchin? Well, that would be Joe Manchin’s wife, who was appointed as co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission by Joe Biden. In this infrastructure bill is a $1 billion expenditure to that commission. A senator is literally funneling a billion dollars of taxpayer money to an organization headed by his wife after she was given an appointment due to his influence. Normally, politicians try to hide this kind of direct conflict of interest, but Manchin is so confident that I guess he didn’t even bother. You almost have to respect the hustle.

This is absolutely disgusting politics. The country is in the middle of an inflationary cycle that is crushing middle America. Instead of seeking to help those people, Republicans and Democrats alike have joined forces to put through another big spending bill that shovels hard-earned taxpayer money to corporate and special interests. Welcome to America, right?

What’s worse is that Joe Manchin will get away with this. He’ll go back to West Virginia and claim he brought home the bacon even though the bacon went right to his wife’s plate. Though, perhaps the electorate there will finally wake up and stop seeing this guy as anything other than the Washington, DC apparatchik that he is? Of course, by then, the damage will already be done. Manchin’s wife will have gotten her payoff and he’ll be set up with some board position. Republicans will probably be too weak-kneed to even remove her from her position. It’s good to be a Democrat politician.

I’ll end by noting that I’m seeing a distinct lack of criticism from the “principles” crowd on the right over all this. Where are those conservatives who claimed to oppose Trump because he spent too much and said they were just going to call balls and strikes? Where are the scathing rebukes of Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell in their newsletters and on their left-wing funded websites? It’s almost like principles never had anything to do with it?