While Senator Joe Manchin’s refusal to support President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar ‘Build Back Better’ legislation apparently surprised only the White House, the shocker was the unprecedented vilification of the respected West Virginia Democrat by high-ranking Biden staffers. Among others, Presidential press secretary Jen Psaki effectively called Manchin a liar, untrustworthy, and a two-faced traitor – despite the reality that, for months, the independent-minded Democrat consistently voiced adamant reservations over the bill’s excessive outlays, tax levels, questionable efficacy, potential to further ramp up inflation, blatant pork-barrel hand-outs and the increased power it would’ve provided the IRS. Questioning his integrity and the personally attacking him was a MAJOR mistake. After all, Manchin doesn’t need Biden, who is deeply unpopular in West Virginia – and which Donald Trump handily won, twice. Moreover, in today’s 50-50 US Senate, Joe Manchin isn’t just ANY Senator; basically, he holds veto power, and proved he’ll use it. From the outset, everyone KNEW that absent his vote, President Biden would get nothing.
Exacerbating matters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi forced Democrats, including vulnerable lawmakers in marginal districts, to go on record as supported this costly, controversial bill. In six months, Republican candidates will transform those votes into an albatross around the neck of their Democratic opponents.
After months of concessions to Senate Democrats, liberal House Democrats may have thought that Manchin was placated. They know they were wrong, but have they learned? House Democrats will NOT cede more ground; in their view, the version of the bill that Manchin rejected has already been watered down enough. Democrats who castigate Manchin for having dealt Biden this blistering defeat can blame only themselves. Meanwhile, Biden’s mismanagement has resulted in the worst inflation (now at 6.8%) since 1982. The botched exit from Afghanistan, his self-inflicted border crisis, violent crime rapidly sky-rocketing out of control in numerous major American cities, job-killing Covid vaccine mandates, supply chain disasters, and other, unforced errors, seem central to his administration – despite Team Biden’s promises to restore “competence” to government. But HOW was it competent for Biden’s advisors, congressional allies, appointees and high-level staffers, to viciously attack Senator Manchin? The clueless Leftists who infest this polarizing administration have needlessly undermined The Big Guy.
As a low-level aide to Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr., I learned the paramount importance of ALWAYS keeping peace within the party. White House staffers should NEVER publicly condemn a lawmaker of the President’s party. Why Biden retains such caustic amateurs is astounding, and calls into question his judgment. In 10 months, Biden will be a further diminished 80-year-old, whose party – in my view – will have lost control of both houses of Congress. Practically speaking, his legislative agenda will be dead. Most likely, by mid-2023, he’ll be challenged for his party’s nomination. Of the last six Presidents who faced such challenges (Taft, in 1912; Truman, in 1952; LBJ, in 1968; Gerald Ford, in 1976; Jimmy Carter, in 1980 and George H. W. Bush, in 1992) four managed to get nominated. But they ALL then lost the general election. Respected polls show that in a re-do of the 2020 election, Donald Trump would oust Biden. A December poll by The Wall Street Journal showed that 59% disapproves of Biden, and likely voters approve of Donald Trump’s presidential performance, by seven percentage points more, than they approve of the job Biden is now doing. In 2024, President Biden should probably fold, not fight.
Todd Blodgett, the author of ‘REPUBLICAN CRACKHEAD’ is from Clear Lake, and Tyler, Texas. He served on the Reagan and Bush White House staffs, and later worked for the Republican National Committee and the FBI. Mr. Blodgett can be reached via his website, at www.ToddBlodgett.US.