Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Pettiness on Display


Image via preen.ph.

And it's back to no, according to yesterday's interview with West Virginia MetroNews Radio. Jennifer Psaki was just too mean.

Manchin said he would not say "the real reason" talks failed.

But when asked what that was, he said: "The bottom line is ... it's staff. It's staff purely. ... It's not the president. It's staff. And they drove some things and put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable."

That's more important than the United Mine Workers, probably among the most important factors in electing him as a Democrat in one of the most Republican states in the union. It was the UMW that convinced me he'd end up voting for the bill back in April, when union president Cecil Roberts showed up with him to endorse the BBB climate change provisions. Nah, he threw those guys under the bus:  

The labor union noted that the bill includes an extension of a fund that provides benefits to coal miners suffering from black lung disease, which expires at the end of the year. The UMWA also touted tax incentives that encourage manufacturers to build facilities in coalfields that would employ thousands of miners who lost their jobs. 

“For those and other reasons, we are disappointed that the bill will not pass,” Cecil Roberts, the union’s president, said in a statement. “We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families, and their communities.”

He didn't think much of the mothers of West Virginia either:
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one of the major critics of the bill due to concerns over increased spending and inflation. Organizers say Manchin told them in a meeting he is not hearing directly from West Virginians about how the Child Tax Credit has helped them.
JoAnna Vance, West Virginia recovery fellow for the American Friends Service Committee of West Virginia, said she has gathered more than 150 stories showing how the credit has helped residents pay for groceries and utility bills.
"Some people that I talked to, I'm so happy for them," Vance remarked. "They got to move out to of their parents' house with their kids because of the Child Tax Credit. They got a car. But then if the Child Tax Credit isn't extended, then how are they going to pay for their house? How are they going to pay for their car?"
Nah, he just suspects they spend all the money on drugs. They ought to have "work requirements", notwithstanding the fact that they may not be able to take a job if Senator Manchin decides they can't have a car. But that's not the "real reason" either.

Nor is it the fear that the bill might be "inflationary", though economists have carefully explained that it isn't. After all, he happily voted for $6 trillion of clearly inflationary spending (not offset by taxes) over the past couple of years. 

Or the sense that $1.8 trillion is just too much like $3.5 trillion, although $1.75 trillion might be OK

During the interview on Monday, Manchin said he told Schumer in July that he would only support $1.5 trillion in spending, or up to $1.75 trillion with improved tax reform elements.

The current proposal is too close to the initial one, he said. Every time Manchin and the White House took something out, the bill went back to the House of Representatives and "they put everything back in," he said.

Nor has he just been lying the whole time, as Greg Sargent suggested, though it's clear he's been lying a lot, with his constantly shifting and often irrational complaints and reservations.

Nor could it have anything to do with the hundreds of thousands of dollars per year he earns from Enersystems, a purveyor of "coarse gob", an especially polluting kind of coal (the ash is full of mercury). I mean that would be downright corrupt, and besides he's plenty rich already.

No, it's really the inexcusable Psaki. Josh Marshall nailed it down yesterday: when Psaki was drafting the White House statement of last week, the one where President Biden announced his confidence that he and Manchin were making progress and would be able to finalize a deal, Manchin wanted her to add that Biden was making progress with Kyrsten Sinema too, because the statement as drafted make it look as if he, Manchin, was the only obstacle to the bill, though in fact he, Manchin really was the only obstacle, and Psaki didn't do it.

That's the reason Manchin decided to blow up the whole thing:

In other words, in what was actually a positive and cordial statement, Biden pointed to Manchin by name, kinda sorta implicitly saying that Manchin was the hold up but that he was optimistic they’d get to a deal. This apparently set Manchin off and led him to torpedo the negotiations and basically the President’s whole domestic agenda.... The level of pettiness on display here may be difficult to comprehend or believe. But as far as it goes I do believe it. 

Matty had an outstandingly stupid take:

Cross-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.

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