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SharonClark's Journal
SharonClark's Journal
December 22, 2021

Decoding Joe Manchin

from the NYT The Morning by David Leonhardt

Good morning. Joe Manchin’s history suggested he could vote for Build Back Better. Why didn’t he?

Five reasons

Until this week, Joe Manchin tended to side with his fellow Democrats on major questions of economic policy.
During the Trump administration, Manchin voted against both the attempts to repeal Obamacare and a tax cut skewed toward the rich. Earlier this year, he insisted on changes to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion virus rescue bill, but still provided a deciding vote for it.

Manchin’s breaches with his party have tended to come on issues other than economic legislation, like abortion, voting rights and Supreme Court confirmations. This pattern makes sense, too: Manchin’s West Virginia constituents, like most Americans, largely agree with the Democratic Party on economic policy, while being to the right of the party on many social issues.

Biden’s Build Back Better program looked like the kind of bill that Manchin would support. Its provisions are generally popular, polls show, and Manchin has said that he wants Biden to be a successful president. Manchin could have shored up his image as a moderate by demanding a few high-profile changes to the bill — and then voting for it.

Instead, he went on Fox News this past weekend and announced his opposition. The announcement led to a public spat between Manchin and the White House and has left many Democrats feeling despondent about Biden’s agenda.
What happened? There is no simple answer, but I’ll walk through five main possibilities in today’s newsletter. As is often the case, the full answer probably involves more than one explanation.

1. Face Value. . .
2. Class consciousness. . .
3. Climate and coal. . .
4. Democratic disarray . . .
5. Performative politics

Each of the five includes "reasons for doubt" of each explanation. I wish I could post the entire article. You can sign up to receive the newsletter in your email inbox at https://www.nytimes.com/newsletters/morning-briefing?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20211222&instance_id=48424&nl=the-morning®i_id=66602566&segment_id=77626&te=1&user_id=e807f22faace3e1eaaed35ce67f15ca1
December 22, 2021

The Ricardos on Prime

Is it just my teevee or was it filmed in sepia? It’s so dull looking and dark, there is hardly any color except for Lucy’s soft red hair.

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