Joe Manchin's War
Who, many people must be wondering, is Joe Manchin? The Democrat Senator from West Virginia seems to wield more (destructive) power than Joe Biden, whose huge ‘building back’ budget in Congress has been stymied by Manchin’s opposition. I’m sure that if Manchin had had to deal with LBJ he may have had to take a different path, for his own welfare. Manchin is a creature of the fossil fuel industry, and despite all the row-backs Biden has made for the benefit of said industry, they don’t seem in the least bit grateful. Manchin does have a personal agenda (apart from earnings from coal, etc): he’s up for re-election next year. His fellow senator from the state is a Republican. Perhaps he’s feeling a bit vulnerable and thinks out-Republicking the Republicans will help save his skin. One wonders why he doesn’t just cross the floor. But if he did, his power would be lost overnight, as the Republicans would take control of the Senate and Manchin’s bargaining power with Biden would evaporate. So his chosen path is to glory in his own nihilism. In the meantime, even with nominal control of both Houses of Congress Biden’s party still looks powerless, and any direct benefits of Biden’s administration to the electorate will not be felt without that huge injection of cash. His popularity ratings are low, midterm elections tend to favour the President’s opposition anyway and other factors such as Covid will almost certainly linger well into 2022. Doesn’t look good does it? I wonder if a war with Russia could turn things round? Perhaps Putin should be careful not to get what he wishes for. For moviemakers this could be called ‘Joe Manchin’s War.’
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