Democrats Don't Have a Filibuster Problem. They Have a Joe Manchin Problem.

The problem isn’t the GOP or Senate rules. It’s that Democrats can’t agree amongst themselves.


When Democrats took control of Congress earlier this year, there was a lot of talk about ending the legislative filibuster. Broadly speaking, the argument was that the filibuster gave a recalcitrant GOP minority the power to block policy changes favored by the majority party. 

Looked at one way, the situation in the 117th Congress was ripe with possibility for the left: Democrats had won 50 seats (including Bernie Sanders, an independent) in the upper chamber, plus a tie-breaking vote from the vice president—a narrow but clear majority. But the Senate procedural rule, in current usage, effectively requires a 60-vote supermajority to pass legislation, which in this case would necessitate finding 10 Republican votes along with a unified Senate Democratic caucus.  

The reconciliation process, which allows for the passage of some legislation with a simple majority, offered some exceptions, but those exceptions were subject to various rules and requirements themselves—notably that reconciliation bills could only consist of provisions germane to the budget, which put certain sorts of social legislation off limits. But Democrats argued that the particulars of this process were tilted toward Republican priorities, like tax reductions, and that the underlying situation was inherently undemocratic. 

If Democrats scrapped the legislative filibuster, reconciliation rules would no longer apply. They would be able to pass any legislation they wanted with a simple majority. 

You can see how this notion appealed to a certain sort of seize-the-moment progressive, in that it presented a huge opportunity for sweeping change without having to negotiate with Republicans. During the Trump years, progressives had solidified control of much of the party's political infrastructure, and they had an expensive, expansive wishlist for the next administration. Eliminating the legislative filibuster was seen as an aggressive power play—a way to advance the agenda by ditching old, supposedly broken rules and norms. 

But as it turns out, the primary obstacle to the Democratic party's agenda this year isn't Republicans, and it isn't the filibuster. It's moderate Senate Democrats—most notably Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.), but perhaps a handful of others as well. 

Following the passage of the roughly $2 trillion American Recovery Plan in March, Congress has been locked in a debate about a pair of bills that are best thought of as a pair of linked pieces of legislation. Recovery funds aside, these two bills represent, in a real sense, the entirety of the Biden administration's first term domestic policy agenda. 

The first is a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that calls for about $550 billion in new spending. For better or for worse, this bill has clear bipartisan support in the Senate. 

The second is a $3.5 trillion package that is still taking shape, but in all versions is heavy on social spending. This bill is being moved through the reconciliation process, meaning it is intended to pass entirely with Democratic votes—which in this case would mean that every single Democratic senator would have to sign on to the entire package. In other words, either every Democrat in the Senate agrees on everything, or nothing passes at all. 

The all or nothing nature of this proposition was always going to make this an arduous negotiating process, since any one Democratic senator could conceivably kill the bill.  

But the widespread assumption throughout most of the year was that eventually they would come together on something that roughly resembled the $3.5 trillion plan that the Biden administration had put forth—perhaps at a slightly lower topline number, perhaps with some funding levels and priorities tweaked around the edges. But since no Democrat would get anything unless they all agreed on something, the expectation amongst Congress-watchers and insiders alike was that something would eventually pass. 

But within the last week or so, that's become far less certain. A large reconciliation bill may still pass, either this year or next, but it no longer seems quite as guaranteed. And the reason is that it's less and less clear that Manchin and Sinema will sign on at all. 

Manchin recently called for a "strategic pause" and reportedly even suggested in semi-public remarks that he would like to see the reconciliation bill put on hold until 2022. That's not quite a rejection of the bill. But a months-long pause would sap its momentum and create time for intra-party disagreements to fester. 

Sinema, meanwhile, has said she simply won't support a bill at $3.5 trillion, bucking progressive Democrats who already view $3.5 trillion as far too small a package. She also reportedly doesn't support the prescription drug price controls that are currently in the mix. 

Without Sinema or Manchin on board, no reconciliation bill can pass. Their votes—and their demands—will determine its final shape, or if it even passes at all. 

And while Sinema and Manchin are the public faces of the opposition, they are probably not alone. It is reasonably likely that there are at least a few other Senate Democrats who are privately uncomfortable with the current bill as well, but who don't want to be as outspoken about it. 

This brings us back to the filibuster. The problem that eliminating the legislative filibuster would solve is that the filibuster institutes an effective 60-vote threshold in the Senate, giving Republicans the ability to block legislation that could garner 50+1 votes from a Democratic majority. 

But the problem that Democrats have right now isn't Republicans or Senate procedure. Instead, it's that they're having trouble mustering even a simple Senate majority from within their own party. Perhaps in a world without a filibuster, Democrats could pass some chunks of the reconciliation package on party-line votes, but that still returns us to the central issue: Senate Democrats can't agree amongst themselves on their own agenda. There may not even be a simple majority for everything President Biden and Congressional Democrats want to do. 

The push to end the filibuster was always a power play by the ascendant Democratic left, who have come to view themselves as both purveyors of a broadly popular policy agenda and the rightful owners of the entire Democratic party political apparatus. 

While it is true that progressives have amassed considerable influence within the party in recent years, and the party as a whole has by most measures moved distinctly to the left, especially on economics, Democrats remain far from unified on these issues. 

The slimness of the Democratic majorities in Congress, meanwhile, suggests the limitations of the party's broad appeal. Democrats, it's worth remembering, actually lost seats in the House last fall, and only squeaked out 50 seats in the Senate by winning two unlikely runoff races in Georgia—races they might not have won had former President Donald Trump spread rumors of election malfeasance that likely depressed GOP turnout.  

Yes, Democrats won control of both chambers fair and square, but their victory was hardly overwhelming, and did not necessarily suggest a definitive public mandate for the sort of ambitious "cradle to grave" social spending agenda that the $3.5 trillion represents.

So at least where this year's reconciliation bill is concerned, this is not really a story of undemocratic Senate rules or GOP obstructionism. It's a story of progressive overreach. 

The filibuster, then, was a convenient scapegoat for the party's legislative troubles; the real problem, it increasingly seems, is that even amongst their own, there may not be enough support.

NEXT: The Government Let a U.S. Citizen Spend Months in a Foreign Prison for No Good Reason

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165 responses to “Democrats Don't Have a Filibuster Problem. They Have a Joe Manchin Problem.

  1. "While it is true that progressives have amassed considerable influence within the party in recent years, and the party as a whole has by most measures moved distinctly to the left, especially on economics"


    I expect low-info poor people to be fooled by Democratic economic messaging. Koch-funded libertarians, OTOH, shouldn't be so gullible.

    I mean, if modern Democrats are genuinely more leftist on economics compared to previous decades, then why are they the preferred party of American billionaires?


    1. For an issue on which Democrats' leftward movement really is sincere, access to abortion care is the best example. The contemporary Democratic Party's official position is that abortion should be 100% legal, for any reason, right up until birth. Fortunately, this is also the Koch / Reason / ENB position.


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    3. Why do billionaires support the leftist Democratic party? Because like all leftists, most of what the Democrat leftists claim to intend is a lie. Leftists pretend to be for equality, but in every place that began with less inequality than Louis XVI's France, inequality _increases_ when leftists gain power. There's an elite, and it is very privileged and protected. Except for Bolsheviks and Maoists (whose revolutions were 70 to 100 years ago) socialist countries include the very rich in the elite, and form policies that protect the very rich from competition. Why shouldn't Warren Buffet, the Kennedys, and Soros love that?

      Leftists claim to be for the poor, but all their programs keep the poor and blue-collar laborers down. One of the old Democratic party main power bases was blue-collar union workers, such as Manchin's coal miner constituents. But those people are _not_ woke, and Manchin seems to be the only one of 50 Democratic Senators that still represent them or even listens to them. Worse, the new Democrats want to restrict coal mining and coal burning. The only thing keeping West Virginia Democrat is the Republican opposition to unions...

  2. You're giving democrats too much credit that they recognize the situation. The wailing and gnashing of teeth though is quite entertaining. Now in November 2022 I expect more howling at the moon and tears because the GOP takes over. Don't let us down wine moms.

    1. to clarify, the GOP wins, and takes over in January.

      1. They'll fortify the fuck out of every non-GOPe/Dem seat.

        Look forward to more 4am miracles.

      2. I expect a string of fortuitous plumbing leaks to allow time for the ballots needed to fortify the desired electoral results.

        1. But the Republicans/Russians will be ready this year for the Democrats/Chinese shenanigans and will foil that plot. Sending the question as to who won the election to SCOTUS who will steal the election for the Libertarian candidate!


    2. I think they well know they are going to lose their congressional majorities in 2022, that is why they are trying to be so aggressive in their agenda now.

      The calculation is that if they can get their 3.5 trillion package then they are good for about 8 years in the "wilderness" with their strength in the bureaucracy and the courts making sure their agenda stays implemented.

      Look what they did 2008-2010 as an example Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Elizabeth Warren's independently funded and run consumer protection behemoth, all of those were crafted to be extremely hard to undue with the courts and bureaucracy in their corner.

      1. Exactly.

        The moderates just don't want to be their sacrificial lambs.

        They're throwing the moderates in the volcano.

      2. Agreed! good analysis.

      3. Precisely. The party as an institution has a history of trying to achieve permanent gains, even if they have to sacrifice seats for an election cycle or two in order to get them. It's heck on the sacrificial lambs.

        In '94, Clinton literally gave a speech thanking the members of Congress who had just politically doomed themselves for their sacrifice.

        The Republican party does the opposite: They sacrifice potential gains to preserve seats. McConnell made the Senate a killing ground for conservative bills, to preserve RINOs who would have voted against them and been primaried; He killed the party's nominal agenda, but saved them from the voters' wrath.

  3. Yes, Democrats won control of both chambers fair and square, but their victory was hardly overwhelming, and did not necessarily suggest a definitive public mandate for the sort of ambitious "cradle to grave" social spending agenda that the $3.5 trillion represents.

    Like they give a fuck about having a public mandate.

    1. Correct; it is simply solidify as much as they can when they can. No compromising.

  4. Here's McConnell, yesterday, explaining that the Senate Republicans will not vote to raise the debt ceiling, this week, ahead of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill--in case there's anyone out there who's still unclear on what the Republicans in the Senate are doing ahead of September 27th.

    McConnell is saying that the Democrats should include raising the debt ceiling in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, but the Democrats don't want to do that--because it will make House and Senate Democrats less likely to pass the budget reconciliation bill.

    The Democrats don't have the votes to raise the debt ceiling, but they have the votes to pass the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill--who's buying that? If the moderate Democrats in the House and Senate pass the reconciliation bill by September 27th, at this point, I'll be surprised, and if they fail to pass it by September 27th, when the infrastructure bill is up for a vote, then it probably won't be passed.

    This isn't to say that none of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill will be passed. It's more likely that it will be significantly pared down to the Joe Manchin's $1.5 trillion whisper number that he'd accept. The fact is that there are too many voters in swing districts and red states that don't want what the progressives want.

    The Democrats may manage to pass it on September 27, but there will be a terrible price for moderate Democrats to pay come the midterms if they do. Democrats in deep blue districts and deep blue states don't give a shit, but policy isn't made by the extremists on the margins. It's made by the center breaking one way or the other.

    1. there will be a terrible price for moderate Democrats to pay come the midterms if they do.

      Fortified. Elections.

        1. Doesn't matter to people whose only metric is Trump.

        2. That doesn't really say much about the state of the 2020 House races, because it's possible that the Republicans were set to gain even more seats if not for potential Democracy Fortification, and that's compounded by the fact that everyone was so focused on the Fortification of the presidential Democracy that nobody even bothered to look at down-ballot races until the Georgia senate runoffs. It certainly doesn't debunk the notion that the midterm Democracy will be Fortified as between November 2020 and November 2022, the leftist establishment will have further solidified their grip on the nation and every indication is that they intend to use every weapon in their arsenal to cling to power.

          We're in a state where we can't trust that our elections are fair on faith alone and we have no way of auditing the veracity of our elections. It's entirely possible that there was no fraud and everything was perfectly fine and we really did have the Most Secure, Fraud-Free Fortified Democracy in Democratic History, but there's absolutely no way to show where all the ballots that mysteriously turned up hours after a plumbing leak never happened came from and nobody who can answer such questions seems to care about answering such questions.

          I will say that it's a little encouraging that some states are trying to fix their election systems to make them more accountable, but I expect that deep-blue strongholds will Fortify Democracy even further and any Republican gains in 2022 will be far smaller than you're expecting them to be.

          1. It really is amazing to me the level of credit Republicans give Democrats. I mean, if you think your political opponent is so good and organized and capable that they can steal elections without leaving any evidence behind and no one goes running to the press about it; isn't that almost a backdoor endorsement of your opponent?

            And I just love how Biden and his administration are actually more incompetent than Trump and his admintartion ever were, but somehow these are the same people who pulled off a successful, clandestine, multi-state election stealing campaign.

            1. Yes, the Democrats are perfectly capable of stealing elections. They do it all the time in their strongholds. With their stranglehold on the media, big tech, big business, the bureaucracy, the unions, academia, and well over half of the political establishment, it wouldn't even be that hard to do it. All they would have to do is ensure that anyone that is capable of investigating the mounds of circumstantial evidence left behind is uninteresting in investigating it.

              In fact, just thinking about how they would go about it reminds me of this one article in Time magazine...

              1. Ooh, that one absolutely enraged me. Outright admitting to fortifying the election against Trump.

            2. There was evidence. It is why they switched to "widespread fraud."

            3. Biden didn't count the votes someone else did. I live in Cook county. if you think dems don't know how to steal an election you are dumber than Joe. Elections have been fortified in Washington State, in Minnesota and recently in Georgia. They did it in their own primaries. They know how to do it and don't give a shit on who heads their ticket.

              1. The Democrats stuffing the ballot box in Cook county is about the most unnecessary act of voter fraud I can imagine.

                1. Today it is, but it mattered a great deal for JFK.

          2. "That doesn’t really say much about the state of the 2020 House races, because it’s possible that the Republicans were set to gain even more seats if not for potential Democracy Fortification"

            Vicious dictators, from Assad to Putin and from Gaddafi to Xi, have been worried sick about what their people were saying to each other about them, but Democrats in red and purple districts don't need to fear election results?

            Statistically, from historical data, the Democrats are likely to lose 24 House seats in the 2020 midterms, which is the median number of House seats lost by the President's party in his first midterm since before World War I. If the Democrats manage to pass a radical agenda like the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill, they'll probably lose a lot more than 24 seats

            Ballot stuffing has been a problem since the first election, and the two dominant parties have taken turns trading control of the House back and forth between them in spite of it.

            1. Vicious dictators, from Assad to Putin to Gaddafi to Xi, have never worried about election results. As for what their subjects say to each other, the Democrats seem to be as worried about that as any dictator, which is why they want to restrict free speech in any way they can, from discrediting disfavored speech as Misinformation or Racism, to having large corporations censor disfavored speech, to holding subjects in solitary confinement for months on end for expressing disfavored speech in a political protest.

              1. And to be clear, I genuinely hope you're right. I'm just not as optimistic.

              2. That's the point.

                Even the dictators that don't need to worry about elections worry about public opinion, so why wouldn't the Democrats who ARE facing elections not worry about public opinion in red and purple districts?

                The fact is that nine Democrats are worried about their political futures--if they vote for this bill--and if the Democrats lose four of them, the bill is sunk. That doesn't mean the bill won't pass. It just means that there's probably a steep political price to pay if it does.

                1. Dictators do face elections. Regularly. They just don't worry about them because they know the outcome ahead of time. Much like Time magazine alleges of Democrats.

      1. Nine House Democrats are doing everything they can to avoid voting for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill--for fear of what will happen to them in upcoming elections if they vote for it.

        What do you know that they don't know?

      2. That's a whole lot of fortifying, though, and in places that the Democrats don't have the sort of monopoly control that they did in 2020.

        Obama lost 63 seats in 2010, and I'm betting Joke Biden is on track to do at least as bad. Let's say that Democrats are able to steal 2/3's of those, they still lose 20 seats and control of the House.

        The more places they need to cheat in, the more likely they are to screw up someplace.

        1. Or he goes full Palpatine.

          1. No way he's ever going to sound that good.

            1. Definitely more of a Jar Jar Binks.

    2. "The Democrats may manage to pass it on September 27, but there will be a terrible price for moderate Democrats to pay come the midterms if they do."

      The price is likely to be terrible either way. The dems sold their entire party to the far left over the past 4 years, in service to the #resistance. They don't have a lot of choices here. They can deliver for the far left, who certainly exepct to be paid for their services, and sell out the moderates. Or they can sell out the far left and protect the moderates. Either way, they're screwed. If they lose the moderates, they lose any chance at passing any of their priorities. If they sell out the progs, well, we've seen what they do when they're pissed off.

      And passing the $3.5 trillion package all but guarantees they lose the midterms, then lose the White House in 2024.

      1. Democrats aren't likely to lose much in deep blue states. It doesn't really matter if the Democrats win 55% rather than 63% in a typical blue district. In fact, they need to win more of what few redder districts there are in their states to stay even--since they're losing seats because of the census to places like Florida and Texas.

      2. Yeah, but who cares if more rabid progs burn more prog cities down? Especially on Joe's watch?

        I mean, that sounds like Orville Reddenbacher time.

  5. No, Dems have a problem that their policies are shit, that they're sellouts and hypocrites.

    They have a problem that they think they have a mandate to force their agenda against a largely unwilling populace. Manchin, Sinema and other holdouts have the common sense to recognize the pogrom is not paid for and Progs will never have enough.

    1. "...the pogrom is not paid for and Progs will never have enough."

      I call that two fundamental truths.

      1. Progressives are a cancer. Now we’re going to have to go through some harsh chemo to kill off the tumor that is them.

        1. "Progressive" means "always moving forward", there's no end to their "improvements" upon society. Everything you give them is just a compromise until they can get more.

          1. We are on a sinking ship. And to proceed forward would be a bow movement.

          2. Actually, progressive as used in this regard means something more specific.

            Marxists believe that the conversion of society to the socialism that leads to communism that leads to the withering of the state in utopia (seriously) requires a violent revolution over the rich and the bourgeoisie (middle class).

            Progressive is another name for Fabian Socialism which primarily differs from Marxism in that they believe they can expoit democratic systems to *progressively* implement the socialism that leads to communism that leads to the withering of the state in utopia.

            So Progressives ARE socialists ... specifically Fabian Socialists. OF COURSE there is no end their "improvements", since their goal is full socialism. They generally prefer Progressive over Fabian Socialist as a name because they are largely trying to achieve their goals by whatever means necessary. To ANY socialist the ends truly do justify the means. Deception and selling "progress" as "common sense reforms" (like disarming your adversaries) is all part of the modus operendi.

            1. This isn't right. In the US, the Progressive era developed rather distinctly from Fabian Socialism.

              The simplest definition I would use is that American Progressivism is the belief that society and indeed human nature can be advanced along a development path by appropriate governmental policy. Combine millenarianism with a belief in the mutability of human nature and you have (American) Progressivism.

              I'd argue it's more steps away from Marxism. But it certainly still leads there when you're just centralizing ever more powers in the government.

        2. Cram it traitor!

          How’s shithole Spokane treating you?

  6. >>>Yes, Democrats won control of both chambers fair and square

    lol Georgia. that you write out the self-denial is cute.

  7. Democrats had won 50 seats (including Bernie Sanders, an Independent) in the upper chamber, plus a tie-breaking vote from the vice president—a narrow but clear majority

    Apparently you don't know that Angus King from Maine also identifies as an Independent. The GOP actually holds a 50-48-2 edge in the Senate, which is why I'm not sure why Mitch McConnell agreed to the power-sharing arrangement he did with the Democrats - I'm pretty sure if the situation were reversed the Democrats would insist they were still the majority party. Other than the fact that Mitch McConnell is a shitweasel Uniparty RINO NeverTrumper, of course.

  8. The truth is that having a majority does not equal control. The Republicans had as much trouble with its own internal caucuses in past years. What is needed is a coalition of members of both parties that have similar ideas. Namely the centrist of each party. As we have fewer centrist we get less done.

    1. “We get less done.” No. We have less taken from us when Congress fails to pass legislation. More government is not the solution to too much government.

      1. The solution is to get rid of the progressives. This includes RINOs.

        1. Except that the far right and Trumpist spend as much, if not more. What did the last administration cut in spending?

          1. Hence the RINO removal too. And Trump tried to cut spending. Between you democrats and the RINOs there was a veto proof majority. Make since when did Trump EVER advocate for $8 trillion budgets like Biden?

            Why do you progs always make these bullshit arguments? The only way forward is to rid ourselves of your kind.

            1. Moderation as 4ever uses it is just going to hell slower.

        2. Cram it traitor

      2. The flaw in that thinking is that the size and cost of government goes up when the far left and far right are in control. With the middle in control you get horse trading, I will give up this to get that. In the end it cost less for the middle to deal than for the ends to get their way.

        1. The ‘far right’ has never been in control, and centrism just slows the progs a little.

        2. Gridlock >> middle compromise.

  9. If the Dems’ graft bill fails to pass, poor folks won’t be trading in their single wide for a manchin.

    1. Chumby wind the thread!

      1. Just a little imanchination to call out this manchination.

        1. Thank you for machioning the facts in here.

      2. Chumby is the real Manchinian Candidate.

        1. Yup. Everything else is just Sinemigans.

  10. They didn’t learn their lesson when they got rid of the nuclear option on confirming judges?
    Enabled Trump to appoint, and the Senate to confirm literally hundreds of conservative judges.
    Democrats won’t be in power forever.
    Even with vote rigging and election fraud, at some point the people vote to throw the bums out and vote in the other party.
    Then they will probably regret getting rid of the filibuster as the Republicans ram through their agenda by simple majority vote.

    1. You know it won't be peaceful. Prog fascists will not stop trying because Democracy.

  11. Democrats had won 50 seats (including Bernie Sanders, an Independent) in the upper chamber, plus a tie-breaking vote from the vice president—a narrow but clear majority.

    So, Democrats actually have fewer votes than Republicans, but with an independent and with the tie breaking vote, they can still push through legislation.

    If that's a "clear majority", I shudder to think what Suderman would consider a "narrow but unclear majority".

    1. Ohhhh, that's so cute! You implied Suderman could think!

  12. "Looked at one way, the situation in the 117th Congress was ripe with possibility for the left: Democrats had won 50 seats (including Bernie Sanders, an Independent) in the upper chamber, plus a tie-breaking vote from the vice president—a narrow but clear majority. "

    So what's Angus King?
    Chopped Liver?

    1. King Anus is an independent Democrat.

    2. Rife with...

  13. As you can see, being a moderate in the Democratic party means being about 95th percentile.

    Or, to put it another way: The democrats are dirt.

    1. They have to go. Or we won’t have a country left.

      1. Cram it traitor

        1. Being in opposition to a coup does not make one a traitor.

          1. He supported a coup attempt.

            He is a traitor.

            1. What coup attempt was that? Did I miss the bombs, the shooting of the opposition, or the usurping of legitimate political authority?

              Ohhh ... you mean General Milly and Nancy Pelosi bypassing civilian control the military!
              Are you talking about a couple of hundred civilian demonstrators illegally entering the capital building, then sitting around taking selfies?

              Number of armed insurrectionists = ZERO.
              Number killed by demonstrators = ZERO
              Buildings burned or bombed by demonstrators = ZERO

              If that is a coup, it is the lamest one is history.

              1. Trump trying to overturn the election is what I was referring to.

                I shouldn’t expect much from a inbred hick from Alabama.

                Why would you advertise that you live in the assshole on America in your name?

                1. Oh my friend, we just have a difference of opinion on where the asshole is. I live in a beautiful place, with good friends from all over the world and most of the people I meet are friendly and considerate. They are mostly polite even to those they don't care for.

                  I have the choice of several universities within 30 minutes of my home, one with a nationally known medical school. Industry here ranges from commercial aircraft manufacturing, to navy shipbuilding, specialty chemicals, steel and stainless steel.

                  Yep, first class education, great jobs, low cost of living, beautiful beaches, terrible place to live you would hate it!

                  Yep, I have lived other places in the US, but this is the best.

                  Y'all have a nice day! ;-D

            2. The FBI itself has determined that there was no plan, not concerted effort, no objective.

              You should keep up with the news rather than the fascist propaganda rags where you get your talking points.

    2. The only moderate democrats are the RINOs.

  14. Reason still firmly believes in their Deus Ex Manchina.

  15. Manchin problem? Hardly. He is one of the only sane democrats left who knows that adding $3.5 TRILLION that we do not have and adding it to the almost $30 TRILLION national debt would be a bad thing and drive inflation even higher. The Biden admin is so awful and it is almost like they sit around and say "what is the most damaging thing we can do to America and Americans?" every day and then run with that. Total train wreck and will go down as the worst ever president and VP in history. And OH MY GOD look at what they have done in just 8 months??? Getting both houses back in 2022 is critical to this country's future.

    If you voted to Biden please do 3 things. Find a mirror and call yourself an idiot loudly, then slap yourself hard, and then promise never to vote again. Your last vote is destroying the country.

  16. The absurdity here is that they have crammed so many poison pills in the legislation, that any Red State Senator who votes for it is DOA the next time they are up for election. What’s MT Senator Tester going to do the next time he runs, when the family farm that he always uses for a prop had to be broken up for Estate Taxes? Both he and Manchin have to also worry about prohibitions and limitations on coal mining and other extractive industries. Why would any Red State Dem Senators vote to raise taxes on their constituents, to pay for the elimination of the SALT cap, which is only really important in high tax, high cost Blue States? The Red State Senators know that passing this legislation into law will be so unpopular in their states, that no Dem will likely be elected to the Senate for a generation.

    My theory is that there are more Senators unwilling to vote for the legislation than just Manchin and Sinema. They are just the ones who raise their heads up to take the incoming flack. Manchin probably has little chance - if he caves, he is unlikely to be able to win a race for dog catcher in such a dark Red State.

    It’s great Dems, in particular Speaker Pelosi, who are not being realistic. They could get the basic $1.5T infrastructure bill passed, plus some sort of funding and debt limit legislation. But she is the one demanding that their $3.5T progressive Christmas tree legislation be tied to the $1.5T infrastructure bill. Because her most rabid caucus members are insisting on it. She has a half dozen vote margin, and Schumer has Kamala Harris. They have no margin for wiggle room, and are acting like they have supermajorities in both Houses. Very likely, I think, because they know that they will lose 5he House in 2022, and the Senate then, or soon after that.

  17. “ Yes, Democrats won control of both chambers fair and square, but their victory was hardly overwhelming, and did not necessarily suggest a definitive public mandate for the sort of ambitious “cradle to grave” social spending agenda that the $3.5 trillion represents.”

    I love the obligatory mouthing of the forced conventional wisdom that the election was fair and square. We all know that it wasn’t. At a minimum, very likely at least three Senate seats were stolen (2 in GA and 1 in AZ). Already, the AZ canvas showed roughly 100k in overvotes and 100k in undervotes, which together are roughly 5x Kelly’s margin of victory (and 10x Biden’s). And the actual senate audit is very likely to turn up more than that, most favoring Kelly and Biden.

    You can pretend that the election wasn’t stolen, because that is what you have to do if you work in academia. But pretending it is so doesn’t make it so.

    1. The election was stolen Fair and Square, via unconstitutional ballot access/COVID Rules.

    2. Media is complicit in peddling misinformation, and millions of Progs lap it up because it conforms to the 'correct' narrative that feels right.

      They call Trumpers a cult, but won't look in the mirror.

  18. The end of every day is the perfect time to let your imagination run wild and declare yourself to that special someone. A simple goodnight message can bring a smile, but a very passionate and romantic phrase is even better!

    1. Taxation is theft.

  19. Fair and square? Take away trumps claims in the last election and, of course, the democrats claims about his victory. I'd be hard pressed to assign that phrase to almost any election in my lifetime. I'm 65 btw

  20. This article does not have any libertarian direction to it. To write that Joe Manchin is the problem indicates an expectation that the Democrats should be monolithic... without any freedom for individual reps to make their own choices.

    1. Reason writers have a hard on for Biden. It's why they're so butthurt that their messiah is an incompetent sockpuppet.

    2. All of this just reinforces the argument for congressional term limits.

  21. This headline is really rich. More clickbait aimed at targeting and not offending the Trevor Noah crowd.

    1. Trevor Noah is untalented offal. He should be deported.

      1. Why do you hate America?

        1. You want to kill all "Rednecks". A slur used against white farmers who get sunburn from working in the fields all l day. Why do you hate America? I had no idea who this Trevor dude was and had to look him up. He's South African. Your comment makes no sense.

          1. My name is a joke. I don’t want to kill them.

            I don’t like conservative, rural hicks.

            1. Rich liberals may own farms, but its the "Rednecks" who work them, so I would be careful about biting the hand that feeds.

            2. Even worse are Urban hicks. I busted out laughing when I saw the "community garden" during the one month failed woke occupation of Seattle. They couldn't keep a rabbit fed, let alone a community.

              1. Oh yeah, 'community gardens' are a study in incompetence.

            3. What does that have to do with my observation that Trevor Noah is an unfunny hack with a meager little sack of talent that shamelessly shills for democrats on a show he has rendered completely joyless and unfunny? Plus my desire to send him packing back to his shithole country of origin?

              1. Just felt the need to ask why you’re such a traitor?

            4. My name is a joke. I don’t want to kill them.

              Funny, so was Patriotic Guy's call for Noah's deportation.

              I don’t like conservative, rural hicks.

              I'm sorry conservative, rural hicks instill such feelings of inadequacy in an incel like you, but you should try to get your violent impulses under control.

            5. It isn't just you name that is a joke! 😀

  22. Yeah the problem isn't that the Senate is an institution of slavery which constantly perverts and thwarts the will of the people. The problem is Democrats:

    1. Yes, the problem is the democrats.

      1. Shut up traitor

        1. Only those who shop at Traitor Joe's are traitors.

          1. Good one!

            Patriot guy took an oath to defend the constitution. He supports violating the constitution. He is a traitor.

            1. The current regime is not constitutionally compliant, so removing that regime would be necessary to uphold that oath. The declaration of independence outlines exactly what to do in this type of situation.

              1. The DOI doesn’t have much legal basis today. Might as well cite the Articles of Confederation.

                1. You have little understanding of these things. Which is unsurprising.

                  1. How’s Spokane traitor?

                    If you think the DOI has much legal basis today than you’re mistaken.

                    We are no longer part of the British empire, so it’s mostly irrelevant.

            2. Maybe I am catching up, but what is it about "the Democrats that are the problem" as a statement that equals "violating the constitution"?

              1. He promotes killing them all the time?

                How’s shithole Bama?

                1. Bama is awesome!

    2. I'm pretty sure that Senators aren't enslaved to their position.

  23. "It’s that Democrats can’t agree amongst themselves.
    Something to thank God for.

    1. The same thing happened during the 2nd world war. Socialists went to war with communists. We will wee the same thing in WW3.

  24. I wish Joe Manchin would resolve this and declare himself and independent and caucus with the Republicans. That would shut down the Democrats and leave all of this until the 2022 mid-terms. Manchin is safe in WV as long as he doesn't go along with the Democrats.

    1. He's a tool, but he's not an idiot.

      Yes, have your legacy be jumping onto a sinking ship with a swastika flag on it.

      1. Yes, have your legacy be jumping onto a sinking ship with a swastika flag on it.

        Hey, it worked for Joe Biden. He will make history!

  25. Surprised Manchin isn’t following the party orders. Typically, Byrds of a feather flock together.

  26. $3.5T is $13.4k per adult (over 18) in the US. And that's presuming all people over 18 are paying taxes, which isn't the case. This is already beyond an unreasonable burden on the people and they want more. WTF! Its way pat time we delete this dysfunctional government and start over.

  27. The way forward -- through Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, perhaps -- for Democrats is to obtain enough votes to eliminate or diminish the filibuster without Manchin, then to impose a severe price on Manchin (and his fellow slack-jaws from West Virginia).

    Without disproportionate federal aid, West Virginia would be an even more desolate, poorly educated, bigoted, superstitious, obsolete shitshow, believe it or not.

    1. Fuck Joe Biden, and fuck you.

    2. They were backward enough to still elect a Democrat to the Senate, but don't worry, I think they'll catch up to their Texan cousins soon enough.

      Manchin is a tough nut for that reason. You can hardly blame him for being the most conservative Democrat. There is bound to be one. And it's not his fault there are only 50 votes.

      But it is frustrating because it's so tantalizingly close, and he might be simply an idiot.

    3. Can you point me to instances of you saying we need to do away with the filibuster in the aftermath of democrats using them under Trump? Thanks in advance!

    4. The way forward — through Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, perhaps — for Democrats is to obtain enough votes to eliminate or diminish the filibuster without Manchin

      You mean when Democrats receive big majorities in the House and Senate in 2022? Yeah, that will be the day.

      then to impose a severe price on Manchin (and his fellow slack-jaws from West Virginia). Without disproportionate federal aid, West Virginia would be an even more desolate, poorly educated, bigoted, superstitious, obsolete shitshow, believe it or not.

      The left's concern for the downtrodden and blue collar workers is truly touching.

      And let's not forget who made West Virginians so poorly educated, bigoted, superstitious, and obsolete: public education and progressive policies.

  28. There is no such thing as a "moderate" democrat. There are two factions within the DNC, the socialists and the Marxists. But you might consider the communists a third faction or lump them in with the Marxists. In the end, they will tear each other apart. Its preordained and unavoidable.

  29. With the ACA they disagreed on the details but agreed on the big picture.

    This has no big unifying picture beyond spend more.

    1. That's more than enough when your vote totals are driven by government dependence and graft. The base is mad, pay them. Swing voters are ambivalent, pay them.

      Really, the ideological complication of how to take over the healthcare system is what detracted for the Democrats during the passage of Obamacare, not the spend-for-the-sake-of-spend.

  30. They don't have a Manchin Problem, they have a democrat problem. Boy, I wish this article - nay Reason in general - had the same vitriol towards the spending, taxing and social agenda of the bulk democrat party as it did toward anything the republicans and trump did or tried to do... or tweeted. I mean, I mean tweet may hurt one's feelings for a short spell, but an additional gaping shot to our deficit and a huge taking of our money via taxes - that shit hurts forever.

    1. Trump's spending, taxing, and social agenda was almost incomprehensibly worse. There, an opinion.

  31. If something halfway useful passes, everyone will be praised for their performances in a bit of stale Meet the Press theater, and those who said stop paying attention to the sausage-making will be proved right.

    If the Biden agenda is dead, we just have to hope the average American voter is smart enough to understand things like "the filibuster" when they're doling out blame.

    And if the average voter thinks it's something that eats oopah-loompahs and not an arcane legislative loophole, maybe we deserve to be genocided by the fascists.

    1. Correct Tony people need to understand understand the same weasels saying the filibuster is wrong now were silent when Dems filibustered under Trump.

      I love being better than these hypocrites. How about you?

      Btw: you've never in your life encountered an actual fascist. Not online nor in real life.

      1. Btw: you’ve never in your life encountered an actual fascist. Not online nor in real life.

        He most certainly has because he is one. Tony's views reflect the views of the late 1920's/early 1930's fascists nearly perfectly. That is, he is at the anti-capitalist, free-and-fair-everything stage of fascism.

        He is not yet at the kill-all-X stage of fascism, but he'll get radicalized more and more over the coming years.

      2. Why is there no Filibuster in the Constitution nor in the House?

        1. Irrelevant. The point is Democrats utilized it numerous times under Trump. Now suddenly it is racist and anti-democratic? No.

          They truly believe they are right whenever they use it but Republicans are always wrong when they use it.

    2. If the Biden agenda is dead, we just have to hope the average American voter is smart enough to understand things like “the filibuster” when they’re doling out blame.

      Since it's obvious that Democrats are going to kill the filibuster next opportunity they get, Republicans should take the initiative and eliminate it when they are in the majority.

      1. Of course its fair for either side to make laws as they see fit, elections will fix bad laws.

        Filibuster is not in constitution - reason why House of doesn't have one.

  32. Thank the gods for people like Sen. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

  33. GOP senators haven't represented a majority of voters since 1996. Filibuster, gerrymandering, general over representation of voters from low population states and recently more barriers to voting are all reasons majority rule no longer gets the laws it WANTS.

    The continued EROSION of majority rule makes the future of democracy in the USA unlikely - what kind of government would take its place?

    1. Did you complain when democrats utilized the filibuster under Trump or is this hypocrisy on such a level it damn near qualifies as a mental illness?

    2. A 60% barrier to enacting new laws helps protect democracy and make it work better. Who wants the law to change every 2 years as support for the party in power shifts from 50.1 to 49.9 percent?

      I'd prefer a 90% barrier to enacting new laws, with automatic sunset provisions after 10 years. If 90% of the people can't agree that some new prohibition or spending program is needed, we can probably get by without it.

    3. ecently more barriers to voting are all reasons majority rule no longer gets the laws it WANTS.

      That is how the US system of government is intended to work: numerous obstacles to the majority passing law after law. That is how limited government is supposed to function: minorities are supposed to be able to torpedo legislation.

      "Majority rule" never existed in the US. Majority rule is what socialist states have; hopefully, the US will never get there.

      1. Majority rule is how democracy works, but you are right USA has had a SHAM democracy for some time.

        Sooner or later the denial of majority rule will cause the USA will transition further away from democracy and the voting MAJORITY WILL NO LONGER CARE.

        Question: What form of government will take democracies place?

        1. The same republic we've had for 200+ years - despite the best efforts of communists waving a democracy strawman, like you.

          1. Lol.. democracies are failing all over the world now. There is no cosmic guarantee the USA will always be a representative democracy.

  34. "Democrats had won 50 seats (including Bernie Sanders, an independent) ". Bernie Sanders effectively declared himself a Democrat when he ran twice for President as a Democrat.

    Both Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D–Ariz.) should leave the Democrat Party along with other "Moderate" Democrats. Pick something else such as being an independent, Green, Libertarian, Republican, or create a new party, just leave the Democrat Party where you are obviously no longer welcome for not towing the Democrat party line.

    The Democrat party needs to be exposed for the utter waste and corrupt organization it is. When there are a few somewhat decent Democrat office holders it insulates the larger terrible Democrat office holders.

  35. Anyone who whines about the filibuster now, but had no problem with it when Democrats used it under Trump: shut the f*ck up

    1. Democracies and majority rule are failing in many countries over last decade - more countries are now minority ruled or dictatorship.

      When you lose majority rule/democracy, its VERY difficult to get it back.

  36. Misspelling: "The slimness of the Democratic majorities in Congress..."

    You left out the 2nd 'i' in "sliminess".

  37. A Joe Manchin problem? Suderman, as usual, did not research his column.

    Manchin is the best actor since Olivier. His job is to convince people that there is division within the Democrat party. He's about as "moderate" as Bernie Sanders, in fact, his voting record is almost identical to that of Sanders. Only once did Manchin vote against his party, the same number of times as Sanders, Hirono and Sinema.

    Since 44 Democrats never deviated from the party I guess you can call Manchin a "moderate" but only in the sense that Lenin was a moderate compared to Stalin.

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