Did Joe Biden just cry uncle on his “Build Back Better” boondoggle? It sure looks like it, if his latest statement is any indication.
Per Kaitlan Collins, CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent, Biden is now admitting that he does not believe he has Joe Manchin’s vote in light of today’s terrible inflation report. As RedState reported, that inflation number came in at 6.8 percent, a 39-year high. Price hikes for gas, meat, and hotels led the way, further straining American families that have already suffered greatly the last two years.
President Biden tells me he doesn’t know if he can get Sen. Manchin’s vote for Build Back Better with inflation numbers this high but he will be speaking to him early next week.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 10, 2021
Manchin has already been signaling for days that he’s a no-go on the nearly two-trillion dollar bill (and that price tag is itself highly misleading). Earlier in the week, he once again insinuated he could take the extraordinary step of leaving the Democrat Party if his supposed allies keep pressing him. He also pointedly cited inflationary woes as the factor that has him currently withholding his support.
Here’s the cold-hard reality for Biden and the rest of his far-left, progressive cohorts. If they haven’t convinced Manchin by now, they certainly aren’t going to do so after today’s inflation number. Manchin, for all his faults, appears to want a political future. If he stabs his West Virginian constituents in the back by going along to get along in Washington, he’s done for and he knows it. I’d also give Manchin a little credit in that I believe he truly understands how foolhardy Biden’s agenda is, especially in these trying economic times. He’s a Democrat, but he’s not stupid.
As to Biden himself meeting with Manchin next week, there is no indication that the president has the capability to sway anyone at this point. He’s a doddering, senile old man who has no grasp on the facts at hand. All Biden cares about is pretending to be transformational, and Manchin has no incentive to play along.
The thing about leverage is that in order to use it, you have to have it. Biden has no leverage at all. What’s he going to offer a senator from a state Trump won by like 40 points? More bullying tactics, which Biden attempted to previously employ, certainly won’t work.
In the end, if Biden is lucky, maybe Manchin offers him a face-saving compromise. That would almost certainly involve stripping out some of the more objectionable parts of the bill, but as “Build Back Better” is currently written, it’s not going to pass. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and the White House have overplayed their hand yet again. The only question left is at which point they stop gaslighting about it.
This is the problem with trying to govern as an FDR progressive when you don’t have an FDR majority. The Democrats have been operating under the delusion that they have a mandate to transform the country. The numbers just aren’t there, though. In fact, Republicans did rather well down-ballot in the 2020 election. Those gains have continued into 2021, only further cementing the precarious position Manchin is in. Does he make CNN happy? Or does he make his voters happy? Politicians usually chose the latter.