Does Senator Joe Manchin get some sort of sick thrill out of being hated? That’s the only possible conclusion I can draw after his little tantrum this week, like a preschooler holding up the entire morning routine by refusing to put on his damn shoes. Specifically, nominal Democrat Manchin has announced that he supports a mere $1.5 trillion price tag for Biden’s big social policy bill, part of his Build Back Better agenda—which is less than half of the $3.5 billion it’s supposed to be and would require stripping out all kinds of extremely good programs.
Fortunately, he is a grown man and not a four-year-old, and so the solution is clear: As a nation, we must come together to yell at Joe Manchin in the loudest, most disrespectful possible fashion until he gets with the program.
Manchin is busy pitching a fit about how programs need to be means-tested. On Thursday, this man stood in front of a bunch of reporters and helpfully explained in somewhat garbled fashion, “Means testing means that, are we targeting the people that need it, are getting it? Or the people getting it that maybe could do without?” I would truly love to know what qualifies Joe Manchin to determine who “can do without.” At any rate, he’s holding this entire process up because: “I cannot accept our economy, or basically our society, moving towards an entitlement mentality.” That means, for instance, Manchin is threatening the continuation of the child tax credit in its current very simple and very effective form, which Democrats would like to extend and has proved a lifeline for working families stretched thin by the pandemic. Manchin, on the other hand, wants work requirements for a program that is currently lifting an unprecedented number of children out of poverty, making lives easier, and pumping money through the economy.
But of course, let’s not reserve all our ire for Manchin, who is far from the only person in Washington who can absolutely kick rocks. Can’t forget Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who is very concerned about tax increases on either people or corporations. Don’t make me start in on those dress prints, Kyrsten, because I will not be nice about it.