Two to three hundred years from now, when a future Gideon writes the definitive thousand-page tome on The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, there will be a one-hundred-page section, perhaps one-half of the way through the book, in which the name Joe Manchin will appear in every three or four pages. It will not be kind.
The name “Manchin” will appear alongside names like Newt, McConnell, Rush, Trump, Graham, Fox News, and the like. Senator Sinema will largely escape blame because there are doubts as to whether a two-year senator would’ve done this alone. Joe Manchin will be seen as critical to locking-in minority/autocratic rule at the last point in time when the enlightened had a chance to turn back to democracy.
Yesterday, Joe Biden gave the speech he was born to give, one he spent a lifetime preparing to get behind. Biden, too, brought up history, probably sensing the same thing that many of us sense. He wanted to know where each Senator would fall, but he was challenging Manchin in Sinema. Did they want to fall on the side of Martin Luther King and John Lewis, or the side of the segregationists. Biden knows we are losing the “Great Last Shot,” not just at “democracy,” but minority rights, immigration, a move away from petroleum, a country that invests in its own future rather than that of the Great Princes, the billionaires that first influenced and eventually owned the federal government.
Joe Manchin had a chance to speak to all of that yesterday after Biden’s speech, knowing damned well all that rode upon his decision (If he has one, history will have to sort out just how much occurred behind our backs). Manchin was open to changing Senate rules to make the Senate work better, but changing the filibuster won’t make the Senate work better, which is a little like a mechanic telling you that you have a broken belt, and you telling the mechanic that changing the belt won’t make the engine better: (Continues below)
“We need some good rule changes and we can do that together. Getting rid of the filibuster does not make the Senate work better.”
MANCHIN to @MacFarlaneNews
“We need some good rule changes to make the place work better but getting rid of the filibuster doesn’t make it work better.” pic.twitter.com/s4y1HtS6WH
— Alan He (@alanhe) January 11, 2022
This is not a case in which one guy is convinced he is just that much smarter than the other 48 that he can see things the others cannot see. It is not even a case where he must make this stand in order to be reelected, he has solidified his hero status already by blocking that mushy “social infrastructure” bullsh*t that will hurl his citizens – in particular – to needless suffering as they age. No, he did this to please his sponsors in the extraction industries.
The story will flow nicely into the United States losing its last shot at moving away from a petroleum-based economy with Build Back Better and modernization and instead, running right back to the extraction industries, heating the globe, leading directly to the desertification of the breadbasket Midwest and the violence over water resources in the American southwest.
The future author will also note that it didn’t take genius insight to see all this coming. In fact, the exact scenario was set out by various journalists as it all happened before their eyes.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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