As I’ve noted a few times in these missives, the Left doesn’t do long-term thinking, or thinking in general to be fair. Since Democrats took control of the Senate back in 2020, the Left has been drooling over the potential policy gains they could make. But there was a problem, or more accurately, two problems named Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Both identify as Democrats, but aren’t necessarily on the Leftist bandwagon. Which means, Leftists hate them.
Manchin and Sinema have been on the lips of many Leftist vipers, including our favorite Socialist Socialite most recently decrying how things would be so much better if they would just put party above country and vote the way they’re supposed to. (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the general gist of the Socialist Socialite’s tweets.)
Normally, internal struggles within the Democrats brings a smile to my face, except when it makes the Left mad. Then, I laugh a lot. Either way, it’s time we look at the two Senators responsible for so many Leftist breakdowns.
Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema
What the Left thinks it means – Two Democrat Senators who prevent any and all progress from being made
What it really means – Two Democrat Senators who understand the role of the Senate better than the Leftists
Back in the day, the Founding Fathers envisioned a two-body legislative branch: the House, which would be responsible for listening to the people and proposing legislation, and the Senate, which would be responsible for thinking through the logistics of what the House sent them. Today, neither body is particularly interested in listening to the people and the hardest thing most Senators deliberate about is their belly button lint. Just be glad Jerrold Nadler isn’t a Senator, kids.
When it comes to Manchin, he’s garnered the ire of the Left for years because he’s an exception to the rule. I may not always agree with his decisions, but it’s clear he doesn’t just think about what his party wants. He actually thinks about what the voters in his state want. That bastard!
Then, there’s Sinema. On paper, she’s a Leftist’s wet dream. She’s attractive, bisexual, and was able to beat a Republican to win her seat. She’s practically Katie Hill, but without a thing for staffers. I think you see where this is going, but I love to say it. Eventually her star in Leftist circles dropped when she decided to vote the way her constituents wanted instead of how the Left wanted her to vote.
The reason for the Left’s dismay is the same in both cases: they feel entitled to Manchin and Sinema’s votes because of their party affiliation. Granted, the Right has the same problem, but they aren’t as butthurt as the Left are. To wit, there aren’t any Republicans trying to force Lisa Murkowski to vote a certain way through insults, invectives, and appeals to popularity, but there are a lot of Leftists who keep bringing up how Senate Democrats need to either pressure Manchin and Sinema to vote “the right way” or strip them of their committee assignments.
Yeah, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the Left’s approach isn’t going to work because…how can I put this delicately…pissing off the people you’re trying to persuade doesn’t end well.
Of the two, I think Manchin has an easier road because he’s established himself in his home state of West Virginia, which means better name recognition. Combine that with the fact West Virginian Democrats tend to be more purple than blue (which Manchin understands far better than the Leftists suggesting he should be primaried), and he could fall into a coma and still win reelection. (Not that I want that to happen, mind you.)
Sinema, on the other hand, hasn’t been in office that long, so she will see far more pressure from constituents in a bluer Arizona. If current polling is accurate (and even that has to be taken with a lake of salt), Democrats see her unfavorably, lagging behind fellow Senator Mark Kelly and President Joe Biden. That may have been before Biden’s recent Afghanistan debacle, though. Either way, she does have an ace up her sleeve: non-Democrat voters. There is a segment of the population who think the Left go too far and look for people who buck the party or try to put the brakes on their agenda. Sinema checks those boxes and looks sympathetic, especially when she’s being attacked constantly by Leftists. Whether that will be enough to overcome the Leftist exodus from her corner will be seen soon enough.
The impact of Manchin and Sinema’s reluctance to join the Left on matters ranging from eliminating the filibuster to statehood for the District of Columbia cannot be overstated. With the Senate so close to the political tipping point, Democrats need every vote they can get, including those from more Left-leaning Republicans, to advance their agenda. The more Democrats break away from the leadership, the harder it gets for Democrats to get anything done. Even with Kamala Harris as the appropriately-yet-ironically-worded trump card in a 50-50 tie, Senate Democrats need to be able to get to 50 votes to force the issue. Let’s just say it gets harder to get to 50 when you keep lambasting two of the Senators necessary to pass what you want.
The Left also overlooks two other Senators who tend to vote with the Democrats, Independents Bernie “Five House Socialist” Sanders and Angus “Burger” King. These two could be under the microscope next, provided they decide to actually be independent. Fortunately for the Left, Sanders and King tend to roll over like a dog wanting belly scritchies, so the Left doesn’t attack them much. If Manchin and Sinema would do the same, the Left wouldn’t have a reason to attack them.
But I don’t think that’s in their character. They have strong beliefs and, dare I say it, character, which make the Leftists attacking them look petty by comparison. (Of course, they are petty, but that’s beside the point.) For the self-professed party of inclusion to be so exclusionary when it comes to ideological matters draws the curtain back so we can see what’s motivating the Left to attack Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema: lust for power.
Either that or they’re just assholes.