As RedState reported last night, Sen. Mitch McConnell rejected a plea from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to raise the debt ceiling and fulfill all the left’s wildest hopes and dreams. But on the same day, another plea to burn down your grandkids’ future was made, this time by President Joe Biden to Sen. Joe Manchin in support of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation boondoggle.
Biden called Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to the principal’s office to try to bully them into going along with the party’s wants. Apparently, the thought here was that the latter would burn down their political careers to please Bernie Sanders? Here’s how that went per Axios.
NEW: Biden failed to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin to agree to spending $3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget reconciliation package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.https://t.co/K6xJdbQSZT
— Axios (@axios) September 17, 2021
Defying a president from his own party — face-to-face — is the strongest indication yet Manchin is serious about cutting specific programs and limiting the price tag of any potential bill to $1.5 trillion. His insistence could blow up the deal for progressives and others.
- Axios was told Biden explained to Manchin his opposition could imperil the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s already passed the Senate. Biden’s analysis did little to persuade Manchin to raise his top line.
It seems as if Biden’s play here was to say to Manchin: “That’s a nice infrastructure deal you have there, and it would be a shame if anything happened to it.” But the problem with levying such a threat, veiled or otherwise, is that you need to actually have the leverage to do so. Biden has no leverage, which is made apparent by the fact that he’s having to pressure Manchin in the first place.
What was even the thought here? That because Joe Biden once had cordial relationships in the Senate years ago that he could play closer as president? To the extent that Biden was ever truly gifted in rallying support, something that is mostly a myth, he certainly doesn’t have that ability anymore. Since taking office, Biden has shifted radically left, making him one of the worst banner carriers for moderation and compromise. In short, if Biden is your closer, you’ve got issues.
Besides, why would anyone listen to a president who is currently experiencing his lowest approval ratings to date? The political realities for both Biden and Manchin are really what this comes down to. Manchin has zero incentive to fold here. If he does, he seals his fate back in West Virginia. And for what? To make Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from Queens happy? It just doesn’t line up, and that’s ultimately why Biden’s attempt to bully Manchin failed here.
For their part, Republicans get to sit back and watch all this burn. Progressives are so delusional about their perceived level of power and mandate that they are unwilling to accept the reality we live in. They could get most of what they want by just working with Manchin and coming to a compromise that makes everyone look good. Instead, they are out there saying that $3.5 trillion is the floor and stomping their feet. It’s an incredibly dumb political move, but hey, I’m here for it.