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Opinion: Time to call Manchin’s bluff

Opinion: Time to call Manchin’s bluff

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nutritionvegan

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) declared in a Sunday op-ed that he is against the For the People Act because it is not bipartisan. “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” he wrote. “Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.” Let’s take H.R. 1 first. He does not state what provisions he likes or doesn’t, nor does he suggest what compromise bill might reach 60 votes. So his objection is that Republicans object? Many bills that he supported came without Republican support — the American Rescue Plan, most recently, and of course, the Affordable Care Act. The notion that Republicans win simply by refusing to agree to any of the majority’s legislative proposals makes a mockery of democracy, and specifically of the Senate. Indeed, Republicans’ filibuster of the Jan. 6 commission legislation showed that we lack 10 Republicans willing to operate in good faith. Manchin also states that he prefers H.R. 4, which addresses only reauthorization of preclearance provisions. He argued, “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would update the formula states and localities must use to ensure proposed voting laws do not restrict the rights of any particular group or population. My Republican colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has joined me in urging Senate leadership to update and pass this bill through regular order.” But where are the 10 Republicans to support that measure? Manchin is “encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights.” Yet when 10 Republicans do not emerge for cloture on that either — just as we saw on the Jan. 6 commission bill — does Manchin simply give up? It’s time for Manchin to put up or share blame for Republicans’ subversion of democracy. Let him come up with 10 Republicans for H.R. 4 and for a slimmed down H.R. 1. Let him find four more Republicans to support the Jan. 6 commission. If he cannot, then his thesis that the filibuster promotes debate and makes way for compromise collapses and his role in promoting the tyranny of the minority is laid bare. Manchin insisted that he will not “weaken or eliminate” the filibuster. He should be compelled to spell out what reforms he would accept. Is requiring Republicans to hold the floor (i.e., demanding a talking filibuster) “weakening” the rule? It is well past the time to start pressuring Manchin to answer some basic questions: If the filibuster is simply a means of thwarting any reasonable legislation, why is it worth preserving? What if the integrity of our democracy is at stake? Manchin’s bland platitudes suggest he prefers stalemate to taking hard votes. The status quo leaves him with latitude to make holier-than-thou pronouncements to decry both sides. Elevating the filibuster to the sine qua non of our constitutional system is absurd. It is not in the Constitution. It protects no constitutional principle. It does not constitute a check or balance on the other branches as, for example, a veto override or the Senate’s advise and consent power on nominees. It does not protect minority rights when it is used to thwart voting rights protection for disfavored minorities. Moreover, the republic survived previous changes to the filibuster, such as reducing cloture to 60 votes, eliminating the filibuster for executive branch nominees and carving out budget reconciliation. There is no reason to assume another modification — one to ensure the fundamental right to vote — would be any more harmful. What are Democrats to do with someone so seemingly irrational and obstinate as Manchin? First, Democrats should compel Republicans to filibuster again and again the bills Manchin himself thinks are entirely reasonable. Bring up H.R. 4. Put the Jan. 6 commission back on the floor. After 5 or 6 of these rounds, Manchin’s bipartisan fetish may subside. Second, Manchin’s Democratic colleagues have a right to demand he present compromise legislation that has 10 Republicans. What magic formula is he aware of that has evaded others? Where are four more Republicans in addition to the six who would support the Jan. 6 commission? And finally, voters and voting rights activists need to confront Manchin civilly and peacefully, but with unrelenting demands for him to justify his position. An array of interest groups hurt by Republican obstruction and assaults on voting rights — e.g., organized labor, seniors, the disabled community — must turn up the heat. Most of all, Capitol Hill police and other law enforcement officials must demand passage of the Jan. 6 commission — or Manchin’s agreement to push it through with less than 60 votes. They and the widows of law enforcement personnel killed from the Jan. 6 events need to be omnipresent and unrelenting. The time for Manchin’s excuse-mongering is over. It is time to demonstrate his bipartisan notions are more than fantasy. And if he cannot, he needs to choose his legacy: He either ushers in democracy’s demise or refuses to allow Republicans to dismantle democracy before our eyes. That’s certainly the only thing for which he’ll be remembered.


Thrakkkk

I like that this article offers ideas to correct course. I would throw in one more: Biden and Harris need to have a private meeting with Manchin and Sinema. All the talking points of this article (and more) need to be put on the table in a environment where the "bipartisan" democrats have to listen and respond to questions.


Slapbox

> Biden and Harris need to have a private meeting with Manchin and Sinema Biden has already met privately with Manchin, and probably Sinema too.


Accurate-Birthday678

Manchin should meet with voting rights advocates who could provide dispatches from the proverbial front lines.


GotDatWMD

I don't think Manchin gives a shit. He is doing what his corporate donors want.


porkbellies37

Voters. I truly believe in this case it’s his voters, not donors. I know it’s a reflex to blame money in politics, but in this one case it’s pretty cut and dry. West Virginia has been hostile ground for Democrats since at least 2008. Manchin is the only D who has been able to win statewide there and he does so by a very slim margin despite his popularity. And before anyone gives me the line “well if he acted more progressive he’d get a groundswell of support”, I don’t think that’s the case. At least not in WV. Manchin needs that occasional headline that he’s bucking the Dems in order to keep his seat. And we need Manchin to keep his seat in order for Schumer to keep his. That’s the hand we’re dealt. This was a very good article by the way.


HenryWallacewasright

HR 1 has anti-dark money laws in the bill that would limit companies and big donors to some degree from donating to campaigns. It could be more he is afraid of losing that money if he wants to run for reelection.


Gorlitski

There’s plenty of other Democratic senators with heavy corporate interests who would be voting against the bill if that were really the prime motivating factor


HallucinogenicFish

There’s occasionally bucking your party to show that you’re independent-minded, and there’s sinking your party’s entire agenda. This is the second one.


Drithyin

He's not running for reelection. It's money.


pensezbien

Not running for re-election to the Senate, but considering a run for his old job of WV governor. So he still has to care about WV voter opinion.


Maulokgodseized

Except he is voting against Schumer being able to keep his seat


ishkabibbles84

Last night there was a survey that was put to the WV voters and it was quite suprising: Video here (survey results are shown from 1 min and beyond): https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/poll-shows-manchin-wildly-out-of-step-with-west-virginia-voters-on-voting-rights-bill-114456133748


porkbellies37

This is good to see! He needs to listen and do what’s right. I can accept a more conservative Democrat in a place like WV, but when his voters are on the correct side of an issue, it should be a no brainer to support it.


Inside-Palpitation25

According to the latest polls in WV his supporters support the voting bill. 72% support. and that includes republicans. This isn't for his supporters.


nolabmp

Based on recent polls, the majority of WV voters are in favor of stronger, defined citing rights. Manchin is not looking out for this voters. He’s looking out fir himself (and still shooting himself in the foot).


Snoo_5714

Remember when Manchin met with the parents of Sandy Hook victims -- he looked them in the eye and was a no vote on gun reform.


LadyBogangles14

Biden needs to come up with some extremely popular pork for WV and dare Manchin to vote against something his voters desperately want/need.


Thrakkkk

Then he did a poor job and should try again with more informed people joining the conversation.


GotDatWMD

I thought the whole point of a Biden presidency was because he could get Republicans to work with him. Dude can't even get Democrats to work with him.


Trorbes

I thought the whole point was to avert the slide into fascism under Republican rule.


seakingsoyuz

That was the point of picking Biden over Trump. The point of picking Biden over another candidate for the *nomination* was supposed to be electability and ability to get Republicans to work with him. The first one is unverifiable (since we’ll never get to know how a Sanders/Trump general election would have gone) but the second one is being discredited.


dirkdivak

Nobody in their right mind thought Biden would be able to get (R)’s to work with him. Which part of (R)’s obstructing the Obama admin for 6 straight years made anyone (other than Joe Manchin) think bipartisan compromise was still possible?


JohnMayerismydad

People who don’t pay attention. I heard quite a few people saying Biden would ‘reach across the aisle which we need in Washington’ and like he can try, the GOP will just spit in his face though (obviously)


Maulokgodseized

I don't think many people thought republicans would ever side with Dems. Did you miss the impeachment? It's children throwing a tantrum, not lack of bipartisanship.


timmmeeeeeeeeeehhhhh

It was always spurious bullshit. Anyone who said either of those things was either in on the lies or was too fucking stupid to know better.


JStarx

Not the whole point. The fact that he's not Trump and not a Republican plays a big role.


GotDatWMD

That was the main selling point in the primary. Biden has the experience from the senate to get Republicans to work with him. He hit on this multiple times. So far his ability to do that has been zero and his ability to wrangle his own party also looks to be about zero.


JStarx

> That was the main selling point in the primary. I thought the main selling point was that older voters liked him because he wasn't a scary almost socialist. I doubt anyone paying attention ever put any stock in the idea that Republicans were going to work with Democrats regardless of who was elected.


GotDatWMD

It was from Biden's own campaign.


JStarx

Of course they did, no one is going to stand up there and say "elect me and Republicans will try and block every single thing I try and do". But again, anyone paying attention knows that if Republicans don't want to play then there's nothing Biden can do about it and those people voted for Biden anyway because bipartisanship was never the main selling point.


thingsorfreedom

Newsflash- "Work with" doesn't mean bend over and do whatever the GOP wants while saying thank you.


TeutonJon78

All the "centrists" who really mostly only vote Republican but hate Trunp and all the neolibs who hate progressives all liked that rhetoric. Is why all those candidates dropped out within a day or two of each other to support Biden, because he was a sinking ship before South Carolina and Clyburn.


Maulokgodseized

Wasn't the point. Far more people voted for not trump. Regardless, not getting stuff done because two senators are voting republican more than Dem seems like a silly thing to blame on him. There is no bipartisanship from republicans. It was just wishful thinking. Plus people forgot how well biden tackled covid. From one of the worst countries to one of the best. He did a better job on covid than any other leader in the world


Count_Bacon

Ask joe Manchin how he feels about price gouging pharmaceutical ceos? Maybe ones that raised the price of epipens? Maybe they need to have some hearings. Fuck joe Manchin helping destroy democracy because republicans (the ones doing the destruction) wouldn’t like the democrats stopping them. Manchins definition of bipartisanship is republicans can do whatever they want, but democrats need to do what Republicans want. It’s absurd, and illogical.


Psile

Why is everyone believing a word Manchin says? He is obviously lying. There is no reason on earth for a logically consistent person to demand bipartisanship when the GoP has demonstrated a complete unwillingness to compromise in any way for no reason other than to blame Biden for the death their obstruction causes in 2022. A child could determine this. Manchin doesn't want voting rights preserved because he doesn't want certain people to vote. The end.


Rooboy66

“Certain people”. I believe you’ve hit on something


earthwormjimwow

An expanded HR.4 is a trap. It will immediately be struck down by this current Supreme Court. They already ruled against preclearance for some states, you think they would rule in favor of preclearance of all states? Their ruling was not about unfairness or unequal treatment, they fundamentally did not agree with preclearance in these "different" times. Watch out who actually supports it in the Republican party. McConnell has already expressed interest in it, he would never do so for a legitimate reason. If HR. 4 is truly the route Manchin is seriously pursuing, he is either complicit or a moron. I'm hopeful it is the latter, since at least you can try convincing a moron.


anubis132

>They already ruled against preclearance for some states, you think they would rule in favor of preclearance of all states? As I understand, it was struck down \*because\* it was only applied to some states. The revised law is designed specifically to avoid the part that was ruled unconstitutional.


earthwormjimwow

> As I understand, it was struck down *because* it was only applied to some states. That was a part of their reasoning, but the main thrust is that Congress has no right to presume systemic racism, and that times have changed. There is no possible way the present court would allow a bill which requires all states to go through the department of justice to make changes to their elections. Read through their opinion, it's very easy to see they would apply that same reasoning to HR.4. > The Court declared that the Fifteenth Amendment "commands that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race or color, and it gives Congress the power to enforce that command. **The Amendment is not designed to punish for the past; its purpose is to ensure a better future.**" They viewed preclearance as punishment, having to go through the department of justice as punishment. Look at the contradiction, they claim congress has the power to enforce, but viewed enforcement as punishment. So how can you possibly enforce then if you can't punish, and enforcement is punishment?


ccellist

Bipartisan Republican = "I get what I want, you get nothing."


tamebeverage

He... He does realize that not passing this "partisan" voting rights bill is essentially consenting to the republican agenda of state-level partisan voter suppression bills, right?


SauronSymbolizedTech

> Sen. Joe Manchin III (R-W.Va.) FTFY


tonsilsloth

> What are Democrats to do with someone so seemingly irrational and obstinate as Manchin? Fucking ***vote*** is what Democrats have to do. If Democrats fucking showed up every year instead of every four years we’d have more Dems in the Senate. I get that Manchin is a problem mow, and the issue is protecting the next vote. But man if we just showed up in huge numbers year after year we wouldn’t have to worry about one or two Senators anymore. Imagine if the House and Senate had not flipped under Obama. Imagine if people had not voted in 2018 to flip the House. Imagine what happens if people don’t show up this year to put good people in the state legislatures, or next year if there are even more seats that go red. The answer every time needs to be “fuck all these guys I’m voting every chance I get I’m sick of these fuckers. You should too.” If democracy is at stake we better fucking vote while we still can. I hope Manchin changes his mind this one time, but I’m sick of Dems never being able to pass a single fucking thing because too many Republicans vote year after fucking year.


HallucinogenicFish

Here’s the problem, past is past and we have to deal with the situation that we find ourselves in now. And that situation is dire. The voter suppression bills don’t just throw up roadblocks to voting — they also tackle the problem from the other end, and give the Republicans legislative and judicial mechanisms to overturn election results that they don’t like.


Rooboy66

That’s the fuckin truth—and it’s scary as hell


tonsilsloth

Yeah. I know. It’s bad. I guess I just hope that enough people are disgusted and actually turn out to vote in these three off years. Then maybe the margin of error would be wider and we would not have to worry about how just two people will vote in order to fix our democracy… But you’re right. Right now that’s where we are.


IrisMoroc

> Fucking vote is what Democrats have to do. If Democrats fucking showed up every year instead of every four years we’d have more Dems in the Senate. While Republican voters are more lock-step (which is in tune with their authoritarianism), Democrats have been out voting them for year but the GOP still hold most of the power. The electoral collage, the Senate, gerrmandering, gives them a huge advantage. And their new election laws will cement that advantage.


Count_Bacon

This is what needs to happen. Enough with Manchin walking around living in fairy tale land, he needs to be brought to account. He needs to be asked everyday which 10 republicans he’s going to get, and how.


NeedleworkerBitter37

lets not forget, this guys daughter is head of Mylan pharm. the one who raised the cost of epi pens. she also raised her pay grade 671%. once again people not knowing shit about elected officials. he is a sheep in wolfs clothing posing for the dem. party, but we all know who is lining his pockets. we see.


Count_Bacon

Which is why democrats need to start hearings and investigations on her, fuck joe manchin and fuck his rotten daughter


InternetArtisan

I love it. He should put up or shut up. He can go find Republicans to "play nice". Call him out on his hiprocrisy.


deepeast_oakland

I agree that he’s full of shit. But the effects of him flipping to Republicans would be devastating. The LAST thing we need is Mitch McConnell back in power.


spacegamer2000

It might be more devastating for democrats to have a majority and fail to do anything.


handsthefram

Yup, he’s handing the GQP any easy campaign season of them pointing and saying “ see, the dems are in disarray, they can’t get anything done”


opinionsareus

Joe Manchin is just one more domino in the long, slow, steady decline of American hegemony. I've been watching politics closely since the 70s. Not just here, but internationally. Frankly, I don't see America ever again returning to its glory days. The structure and rules laid out for our democratic republic, things like the electoral college, gerrymandering, etc. are deep structural flaws. Add to that, the sad and very unequal representation structure of the Senate where a state like Wyoming with roughly 600,000 people gets the same number of senators as a state like California with 40 million people. No, add to all that the ignorance of a significant portion of the American public. Frankly, I think the solution to all of this is for people who want to live in a place where there is a social safety net and where reason and truth are more available, it's best to live in a blue state or in a blue region within a red state. I just don't see states like Florida, West Virginia, Indiana, Louisiana, Kentucky, Texas, etc. changing. At least not anytime soon. I'm not saying be passive or submissive about all of this, and everyone should vote in every municipal, state and federal election. But hoping that people like Joe Manchin are going to change is a fools errand. In the very long run, the people who vote for someone like Joe Manchin or Mitch McConnell or Ron DeSantis how are eventually going to have their genes selected out of the human gene pool. The kind of ignorance that they subscribe to will not hold in the long run - it will make them relatively less adaptive to change, and they will slowly die off or be rendered irrelevant in smaller and smaller numbers. Whether or not America survives in the long run is up for debate, but the only solace I find it all of this is that the ignorant people who still support people like trump, McConnell, etc. are not going to be fit for a future world. They are dinosaurs breathing their last long gasp, roaring until they fall into the mud to become future fossils.


Lokito_

> They are dinosaurs breathing their last long gasp ANd their right wing spawn will live on.


lobaron

I honestly think that it will come to violence, and/or a fracturing. I have half a mind that it will break into the United States of America, and the Confederated States of America. State lines may shift, Texas could attempt to be Lonestar, but I doubt it'd work out. Purely just conjecture on my part, but I don't think the US will remain a stable country in the next decade or so.


tossme68

It's not state vs state, it's urban vs rural. Rural America is over represented and over subsidized. The places where people live are Democrats and that doesn't matter if it's in Texas, Georgia, North Carolina or NY all their cities are blue and all their rural areas are red.


Ferret_Faama

>on. I think this is what a lot of people overlook. I'm in WA for example and while it's a blue state overall, it is very red in a large majority of it when it comes to area. States simply splitting off would be unlikely to work out well.


julbull73

West coast and East Coast would stay "united". You'll lose the middle and South. In a very short period of time, they'll eventually rejoin the union but under new rules. If you take all of the US citizens living in those states now and said, oh you're an agrucultural only nation now with Texas and Dakotas gas/oil. You'll be amazed at how quickly they really really don't like that.


epepepturbo

I tend to agree. I think that the Republican party is going to steal an election legally through their own state voting rules. I think that this will cause a flurry of lawsuits, and that many state legislatures will not recognize the authority of the federal government. That might tank the dollar. I'm not sure how much violence there will be, though. The military isn't going to get involved in domestic affairs, apparently. Anyway, I see a break being into 50 sovereign states with a shared currency and open borders like the EU. Or maybe into three countries: The Pacific coast, the Northeastern seaboard, and the rest of it. There would be no more "United States." I think it will take years of turmoil and a shattered economy to bring this about.


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louiseaveryb

At least with Manchin, Biden can get his judges confirmed. If Mitch gets back in power, say hello to hundreds of open seats as Mitch shoots down every judge while waiting for the next Republican president. Mitch would sooner let every court in the land be vacant and thousands of cases go unheard than ever seat a Democrat appointed judge.


wrongmoviequotes

Dems will lose the midterms if they can’t clear their agenda. If Manchin turncoats then instead of Dems failing the narrative becomes the GOP turncoats stealing the will of the people, that’s a hell of push to get a more stable senate majority in 1.5 years.


BassmanBiff

If we don't pass voting reform, which requires getting rid of the filibuster, then the next election itself can be stolen outright. So there's risk either way.


Accurate-Birthday678

Exactly. This is basically the correct retort to the argument that "Republicans will get revenge if Democrats kill the filibuster". Republicans \*USE\* power; they will do away with the filibuster as soon as it benefits them.


Chuckleslord

Manchin outright stated he won't vote for the Voting Rights Act as "Partisan voting will only weaken our democracy"


slicktromboner21

The problem with that line of reasoning is that he is endorsing not only partisan but racist voting by letting the states impose Jim Crow 2.0.


mabs653

There are 2 voting rights bills. He will vote for the John Lewis bill which re-ups the old voting rights bill, but will not vote for the new one. H


BassmanBiff

*said he won't Stacey Abrams was asked about this in a recent interview, and I liked her take on it. As I understood it, she says politicians' stated views are a result of the social climate that they perceive. If we change that climate, we will change their views, no matter how strongly stated.


spaceman757

And the John Lewis bill is not retroactive, so all of these laws already passed by the state GOP parties, stand.


Even_on_Reddit_FOE

Yes, the bill that makes it actively harder to change election laws and therefore remove all the voter suppression that the GOP added recently. That's certainly something we can applaud Manchin for supporting. /s


Politirotica

And which has no teeth due to SCOTUS ripping them out with pliers, slowly, over the course of a couple of decades.


spaceman757

Yet he'll sit on his hands and partisan voting bill after partisan voting bill is rammed through in every GOP controlled state, each one shoving the knife further and further into democracy's gut.


yatterer

Well, that's perfect then, isn't it? Kick out Manchin, and then he can be the precious non-partisan (R) vote he needs to ensure that allowing everyone to vote doesn't weaken democracy.


MrMongoose

Don't forget reconciliation and the ability to control the agenda. If McConnell is speaker it'll just be more Benghazi hearings or maybe some 'Stolen election' conspiracy theory meant to push a dangerous narrative based entirely on fantasy.


SanityPlanet

"I won't vote for any judge unless they have bipartisan support." -Manchin, next week, probably.


StinkiePhish

What makes you think Manchin would vote for Biden's picks when it really came down to it? If Breyer retires now, it's up to Manchin to be kingmaker to the candidate. I wouldn't take anything for granted.


mabs653

he voted for Obama's judges.


Sityl

That was before he decided to become a Republican.


latenightbananaparty

Not sure it's worth anything if HR1 doesn't get passed. If manchin would hop on board for a filibuster fix and HR1, as it is now or even more radical, I think that would be fair to say. However if we're going to be living for decades, if not until the collapse of the government, under the tyranny of the minority, then I don't really see a few judges as actually mattering in the grand scheme of things. They'll just be overruled by the wackjobs changing the laws and the constitution via the supreme court, which they're guaranteed to keep.


SmokeSmokeCough

So true


RSperfect

Can he? really? I dont think you're paying attention. If Joe wants to prove how bipartisan he is... let him do it as a republican. This fucking useless sack of shit can put up or shut up. Democrats need to drop him from the party.


mabs653

then democrats get nominees passed. 100% of all judges blocked and republicans confirmed tons of right wing judges. All of bidens nominees blocked.


TowerOfGoats

It is literally better for Americans to see Manchin betray the party by switching sides than to see the Dems in control of the White House and both houses of Congress and then fail to pass anything that improves their lives. The latter is how 2010 happened and it will happen again if things continue the way they are now, and then Republicans won't give up their grip on power ever again


Accurate-Birthday678

>At least with Manchin, Biden can get his judges confirmed. Not to mention his cabinet and other agencies. People forget that Biden staffing began very late due to the Republicans allowing Trump's GSA to get away with delaying the transition process. Manchin may be full of shit, but without him, a lot of good people would have been kept from joining Biden's administration. I understand the anger, though. I myself feel a sense of dread at the prospect that democracy is barrelling toward a cliff.


DefaultSubSandwich

>At least with Manchin, Biden can get his judges confirmed. There have been no judges confirmed under Biden.


WhiskeyT

Yet They are voting on the first few [today](https://news.ballotpedia.org/2021/06/07/senate-expected-to-vote-today-on-first-biden-judicial-appointments/)


louiseaveryb

Yes, but you think Manchin won't vote to confirm them?


DefaultSubSandwich

I thought Manchin wouldn't openly caucus with the GOP, so what I think about him is irrelevant. I just find the "confirmed judges" argument weak until we actually confirm judges.


louiseaveryb

He's not openly caucusing with the GOP, though. He voted to confirm every single one of Biden's Cabinet. Every single one. I am curious what his game is here with the voting rights bill. I still think he's just trying to get more concessions for his state, and I think he was a little personally offended by Biden's remarks about "two senators" the other day. I still think he will come around.


Morlik

As mentioned, the power to confirm judges and cabinet appointments.


WunWegWunDarWun_

Republicans don’t care about that. They have no idea that trump accomplished virtually nothing policy wise in four years except giving rich people more money.


pyrotron666

Dems can at least use reconciliation to do something, like they did for covid relief/stimulus and like what they'll likely do with taxes/infrastructure. Unfortunately Manchin/Sinema will likely force a lot of 'compromise', but it's at least something and should be popular with most of the country.


rand0mtaskk

Only if all 50 vote for it. And Manchin is saying he’s not going to vote for “partisan” bills. So unless they call his bluff and he folds on his words reconciliation isn’t even worth something.


pyrotron666

Yet he voted for covid relief with no GQP votes. I'm not a Manchin apologist, but the voting bill had no legs, no path in the Senate because of the Filibuster (and yes I'm aware Manchin could change that too, but 'principles'). Being from WV, he's not sticking his neck out if he doesn't have to or when he knows it's futile. We'll see how he votes on the next reconciliation bill. Aside from his vote, note that with Dems in the majority, things can happen like judge appointments, committee agendas and actually bringing bills forward that can get bipartisan support, like the anti asian hate crime bill and clean water bill. The all or nothing mentality is what allowed Trump to win in 2016. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and pretend that a GQP controlled senate is somehow the same or better than where we're at now. I can't help but suspect incredible insincerity, naivety or straight up Russian activity when I hear otherwise.


Doomsday31415

>The all or nothing mentality is what allowed Trump to win in 2016. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater and pretend that a GQP controlled senate is somehow the same or better than where we're at now. Let's not pretend that we can afford to just let the state level Republicans rig the 2022 election. There is no second chance for the voting rights bill, because if it doesn't pass now, the House and various other institutions will fall under permanent GQP rule.


Rindan

How is "we can't let Republicans win" a counter argument to, "Trump won because of a broken all our nothing attitude that resulted in nothing.". You can't pass it now. Democrats literally don't have enough votes. Wanting something super badly doesn't make it happen.


mabs653

without a majority in the senate we can't get any judges confirmed or other positions. McConnell will block all democratic nominees. its why Harry Reed got rid of the filibuster for judges, republicans blocked every judge nomination. Then when he took back control it meant no judges at all. No supreme court nominations either. no its not good to lose the majority. Biden won't be able to get his nominees through either. McConnell will block those too. He said he would block them before democrats took control of the senate.


boobers3

I see no difference from what we have now. GOP with Senatorial power won't pass legislation as they know they would spark opposition and motivate people to vote them out.


PleasantWay7

Judges. Manchin is weak and doesn’t want the attention from voting agains the filibuster, but he will vote to approve Biden’s judges. Lose that and McConnell will let vacancies pile up until the country is dumb enough to elect a Republican like he did last time.


A_P666

Presumably, if he’s so principled about his convictions, then he will vote for Biden’s judges despite switching over to R. Afterall, that’s the point of being a “centrist” right?


Oops_I_Cracked

The problem is McConnell could just refuse to have a hearing in the first place and not give Manchin the chance to vote.


A_P666

Majority leader can change depending on who 51 senators say it is, regardless of party. It’s not McConnell by default. We’ll see how strong Manchin’s convictions are.


jmcgit

The point is that politically, it is easier to say "We didn't get anything done because of Moscow Mitch" than "We didn't get anything done because we couldn't get 50 Democrats to agree to act".


boobers3

IMO if the Democrats kick Manchin out of the party for his inaction and refusal to listen to the will of the people, the momentary loss of majority in the Senate would be rectified by an energized voting base. Right now Manchin is doing nothing for the Dems but losing votes in 2022.


illiter-it

And suddenly Sinema will come around if that happens?


TheIndianUser

Without the For the People Act, winning the Senate in 2022 may be a near impossiblity even with an energized base. Dems cannot afford to lose the Senate.


Doomsday31415

It's not the Senate you should be worried about come 2022. It's the heavily rigged House.


RSperfect

The democrats dont really have the senate now.


ProfessorPickaxe

With Manchin and Sinema in office, they've already lost the Senate.


LiberalAspergers

Really...you lose the majority, you lose the majority on committees. You lose that ability to approve judges Biden nominates. You lose that ability to launch investigations and subpoena witnesses. You give that ability ot McConnell. Want to see a version of the Arizona "audit" on the Senate floor? Let's be crystal clear. Joe Manchin has to run for reelection in a state that Trump won 70-30. He has some duty to represent the wishes of his constituents. Progressives want something from him that he didn't campaign on and never even implied that he would or could deliver.


RSperfect

America is dead. Joe Manchin can go with it. Fuck this country. Playing for inches when you're already drowning is still losing.


lex99

Even today, Dems control committees. And the filibuster was already eliminated for judicial nominations. Things would be worse with Mitch in control of the Senate.


RSperfect

Who give's a shit what he calls himself. Lets see how well he survives among the crazy cult members of the republican party. I'm sure they would love his cute ideas on bipartisanship. Those fucks will eat him alive. Feed him to the sharks. Fuck Joe Manchin that fucking scumbag traitor.


eugdot

Mitch has more power as the minority leader than our majority leader.


underpants-gnome

Might as well say hello to the 7-2 conspiraservative supreme court, led by Judge Boof and Amy the Handmaiden.


roy_mustang76

Please. Amy would be a Wife.


Careful_Trifle

The effect of him flipping is negligible. If he flips, he becomes one of many republican senators obstructing legislation. He loses all of his leverage. Whereas right now, he and maybe Sinema have a lot of power within the caucus. If he doesn't help kill the filibuster, then there will be no voting rights act, and if that happens, all of the terrible state laws will stand. Which means that we probably lose both GA senators, will likely lose all the progress made in Texas, and will never win any other southern state. So his one seat won't mean much for keeping the majority when we're giving away at least the two GA seats, a potential TX seat, and in all likelihood Sinema's seat. What's more important - the one seat held by a conservative democrat in a conservative state that would prefer to vote with Republicans even though they refuse to do anything meaningful...or all those other seats that are being bolstered by on the ground progressives that will stop engaging if they're blocked by state level voting access restrictions?


AnythingReasonable34

He already is. That's the point. Manchin calling himself a Dem and obstructing is no different than him calling himself a Republican and obstructing. ​ Except instead of just obstruction, you get obstruction and voter apathy. When Dems like Manchin act like Republicans, Dem voters grow apathetic and stay home. ​ Dems need to cut Manchin off entirely, and then start lumping him in with Republicans and attacking him. Blame everything on him. Day in, day out. ​ Tell your voters Manchin is the obstacle and you need them in mid terms to get rid of Manchin's obstruction (it doesn't matter he's not up for re-election, others are). Make his betrayal your lightening rod instead of your anchor.


_PRECIOUS_ROY_

>When Dems like Manchin act like Republicans, Dem voters grow apathetic and stay home. You're half right. But Manchin is not the obstacle; he's the scapegoat. Because Manchin isn't acting like a Republican - he's acting like a Democrat. A lot of Democrats. Possibly *most* Democrats. But Manchin can take the heat for it and let voters believe Democrats actually would if only they could (spoiler: they would not). Because as you say, the level of apathy that would result if Democrat voters knew how many Democrats privately do not support ending the filibuster, let alone a whole laundry list of reformative legislative proposals, would be so much worse than instead of being able to publicly say it's only Manchin and maybe Sinema.


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generalissimo23

Is there no "no-confidence" or similar motion that could be made by a sudden GOP majority?


MuppetSSR

That’s gonna happen in 2022 unless Dems actually get something done.


testspecimen85

Mitch McConnell is still in power if the Dems don’t vote in unison. They aren’t, so…


neok182

McConnell getting back in power is probably the best possible thing that could happen for the Democrats right now. It's been made very clear That absolutely nothing is getting past the rest of this year and all of 22 so the Republicans just have to sit and say oh look at the do nothing Democrats they got nothing done and they will be absolutely 100% right. But if One of them switches parties and gives control of the Senate back to Republicans then Democrats can say hey we didn't get anything done because we didn't control the Senate and you guys need to go out there and get us more seats so we can actually control it.


_PRECIOUS_ROY_

>then Democrats can say hey we didn't get anything done because we didn't control the Senate and you guys need to go out there and get us more seats so we can actually control it. Lol that's your winning strategy? Putting the onus on voters? "Sorry we can't keep the Democrats who you elected to a Senate majority from defecting to the GOP and ending that majority; but get out there in '22, enjoy those new voter restrictions we couldn't prevent, and give us more seats so we can have the majority that we lost back again. For realsies this time!" Lol holy shit.


teddiesmcgee69

Thats happening in less than 2 years anyways if the Dems don't get anything substantial done. And other than email and benghazi investigations what will be the difference?


CornBreadW4rrior

Can he name one thing that would make any republican consider voting for the legislation? Can he name 2?


SecretAshamed2353

Correct


Simpicity

No, it is time for Biden to close one of the two Coast Guard bases in West Virginia (which Biden can do entirely by himself). Then he should have the EPA start shutting down coal mines in WV, and imposing restrictions on coal use in power. Enough with the carrot. It's time to bring out the stick.


Bits-N-Kibbles

oh, damn... I don't know if that would work, but it sure would make his life worse.


bothnatureandnurture

Why does WV have coast guard bases? Is there a coast I don't know about in a landlocked state with no great lakes?


Simpicity

My guess? Because there's no good reason for the Army, Navy, or Air Force to be there either.


Ch3t

It's the Coast Guard Operations Systems Center (Intel). It could literally be built anywhere. Bob Byrd made a deal to get it built in WV. Joe Manchin could be making deals to get other pork barrel projects in WV in exchange for supporting the Democratic platform. Things like drug treatment programs and job training for out of work coal miners.


Simpicity

Great. Maybe Arizona wants it. (Looks toward Sinema...)


tenstoriestall

Key word could


Cats_Cameras

When G.W. Bush tried these types of tactics, he converted Jim Jeffords to a Democrat and lost his 50-50 Senate majority.


Simpicity

If he switches parties, I guess we'll do two base closures, huh?


Kayethis

I think Schumer should start putting popular stand alone bills on the floor for votes, republicans won’t support squat therefore proving to Manchin that the republicans have zero intention of bipartisanship


QuirkyEdge4428

and when he doesnt care?


GotDatWMD

Impotently scream about hypocrisy while nothing gets done. Then watch Manchin retire after this term and probably gets a board position on some major energy company paying him 10s of millions.


notanartmajor

What's the alternative then?


Thue

But Shumer can't put bills on the floor because of the filibuster, and Shumer can't abolish the filibuster without Manchin's vote. Which proposes an obvious reason for Manchin's behavior: If he abolished the filibuster, he would have to vote on things, and some people would not like the way he voted.


ThePenultimateOne

That isn't how this works. The filibuster does not stop one from presenting a bill to the floor.


ebolajones

If Manchin and Sinema switch parties, maybe they would feel more comfortable supporting voting rights, infrastructure, etc. because then they would be the ones reaching across the isle to promote bi-partisanship.


alexcrouse

Call his wife and tell her about his mistress. Ruin this fucker.


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PaintedGeneral

I broadly agree with you; we are slow-rolling right into Fascism Station and the signs are all there and nothing is being done to change tracks. My speculation (based on conversations with friends who aren’t Conservative) is that they wouldn’t know where to start if they wanted to. Specifically, people like my friends haven’t been involved with political discussions in any depth ever and out of frustration with how polarized things are now they can’t find a niche that satisfies them so they don’t participate.


HallucinogenicFish

Every Dem in the Senate is a cosponsor on the For the People Act except for Manchin. He’s also said that he won’t consider nuking or weakening the filibuster, or a carve-out for voting rights. He is THE roadblock in that specific instance.


famouslut

The filibuster is a bizarre, anti-democratic *custom*, ffs. I'm not sure it needs to even be overturned; what happens if it's just ignored? Senator Manchild should cling tight to that anchor, as his silly, studenty houseboat takes on water. Minority rule being a thing in America is inexplicable.


xaanthar

The Senate (and House) set their own rules of operation. None of these rules, except for what constitutes a quorum, are established in the Constitution and can be changed by the Senate agreeing to change the rules -- but there are procedures in the rules about how to change the rules, lest it turn into Legislative Calvinball. There's nothing sacred about the filibuster, but it's The Rule until a motion is passed to change it. Otherwise, what's to stop somebody from saying "Well, to pass this bill, we only need 40 votes" arbitrarily because we can just ignore rules?


kilgorevonnegut

Thank you for introducing "Legislative Calvinball" into my lexicon!


powerisall

There literally is nothing, and this is known as [the nuclear option](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option), because politicians are super clever. The problem is that you need 51 votes to accomplish the nuclear option, which is what Manchin is blocking for filibuster reform.


M2D2

But it’s not really minority rule. It’s republican rule. Democrats don’t use it because when republicans are in power, they either get rid of it or pass everything through reconciliation.


darrylzuk

Regardless of the number of Senators the Republicans get into congress, they represent an increasingly smaller and smaller minority of the US population. So even when they are "in power" they still represent a minority of voters.


selfpromoting

To be fair, Democrats used it plenty of times during Trump years.


shabby47

The thing is that the only thing Republicans care about it tax cuts and judges, and they only need 50 votes for both of those, so they will gladly just let everything else fail due to a lack of “bipartisanship.”


Waylander0719

\>what happens if it's just ignored? The way the senate works, is that if you wanted to ignore it you would hold a vote for cloture and when there aren't enough (60) you would make a motion that the bill be voted on anyway. This would be challenged by the minority to the Senate Parliamentarian who is in charge of reviewing the rules of the Senate to decide if conduct is following the rules. He would rule that this isn't allowed as there aren't enough votes for cloture. Then you would need 50(+VP) votes to override his decision. Without Manchin the Democrats do not have 50 votes.


joshdts

The parliamentarian is advisory. They hold no actual power. They can be overruled by the presiding officer, it doesn’t need a vote.


TowerOfGoats

The Senate Parliamentarian is an advisor with no actual power who serves at the pleasure of the Majority Leader. The Majority Leader can fire her and appoint somebody he likes better whenever he wants. Which many Majority Leaders have done totally uncontroversially right up until she started providing cover for weak Dems who don't want to pass an agenda. The Republicans tossed out the Parliamentarian in 2001 because he ruled against the Bush Tax Cuts.


claimTheVictory

Still think Romney is borderline done with the GOP. Utah basically already has everything HR-1 is for anyway, so won't impact him.


Bf4Sniper40X

happt cake day!


alvarezg

The filibuster does not exist in the House and things work there just fine.


QuirkyEdge4428

They dont, bills passed are overtly partisan and are straight up ignored in the senate because of how unrealistic they are. Senators from both sides say it: knowing it requires a supermajority to pass in the senate, the House just passes whatever it wants knowing it'll be cleaned up later, it becomes a pandering to the base exercise. Hence with the House we'd have lost the ACA but with the senate we didnt.


janethefish

Randomly ignoring the rules of the Senate to vote on a bill would trigger an immediate constitutional crisis if it worked. The GQP would sue and SCOTUS would side with the GQP and overturn whatever the Senate did in all likelihood.


TowerOfGoats

In 2001 the Senate Parliamentarian made rulings about the Bush tax cuts that the Republicans, who only held 50 votes in the Senate, did not like. They fired him and appointed someone who gave them the rulings they wanted because the Parliamentarian serves at the pleasure of the Majority Leader. There was no constitutional crisis; it barely made the news. The truth is the Dems are hiding behind the Parliamentarian because they are not interested in fighting to pass their platform. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/05/08/key-senate-official-loses-job-in-dispute-with-gop/e2310021-0f14-4667-a261-54e6c033207c/


Dominx

Yes, this is perfect. I'm really hoping the Dems keep pushing him and stop accepting these bland platitudes like "not bipartisan enough" -- Christ, Manchin, ***pass*** something


Qubeye

Put Manchin in a room with Sanders, Merkley, Gillibrand, Jayapal, Omar from the Demoractic side, and Kinzinger, Stefanik, Collins, Murkowski, and Romney from the Republican side. Tell Manchin that he has one week to create a bill where all of those people will vote for the bill. If he can't find a way, then there **is not a fucking way** to create a bipartisan bill. At which point, if Manchin **refuses** to kill the filibuster, then he is de facto siding with the Republicans. The Republicans WIN if there is no bill. Manchin is HELPING the REPUBLICANS by doing this. "No Bill" is not a *neutral* outcome. It is a *Republican* outcome. The press needs to stop making it sound like "bipartisanship" is a middle ground between left-wing and right-wing. "Bipartisanship" is right-wing by default.


LunaNik

He’s such an asshole! Voting rights is not a partisan issue, ffs...unless you literally can’t get elected without suppressing votes. And if Manchin supports that, then his opinion is partisan, and on the wrong fucking side.


knock-off-pale

Dumb question, why does it seem like manchin voting it down would make the idea dead forever? How many times did republicans vote to kill the ACA? 60 something? Why can't senate Dems do the same thing, just keep bringing it up for a vote, 60 fucking times.


PiltdownPanda

Manchin is scum.


SLCW718

The Democrats are allowing Manchin to single-handedly stop the agenda they were elected to carry out. We're going going lose this country because spineless Democrats were too afraid to use the levers of power to fulfill their obligations to the people.


rotomangler

It’s hard to not surmise that the top dems don’t actually want to do what they say. And they’ll let any little issue stop them.


SLCW718

I think there are some delusional people at the top who are disconnected from the reality of the situation. And there are others who are slaves to a constant fear of doing anything that will upset the Republicans, who believe they can simply focus on policy and ignore the escalating assaults on the very fabric of our nation. Those flaws in the character of the people in charge seem like a more likely explanation for their side-lines attitude than a secret malicious desire for the Republicans to get their way.


ajc1010

Good piece.


jackstraw97

Paywalled.


crazybones

I'm pretty sure he's being paid to do all this stuff. There are many super wealthy people who would be prepared to shower him with cash to protect their interests.


Epistlero

Republicans do whatever they want, apparently to institute their version of Sharia law, #1 if it ain't written it ain't law; T-boy sent the troops to his hotels and charged extra, #2 even if it is a law, waddaya goin' to do about it; don't send a subpoena because they won't show up (?/!), if you wrestle with a pig you both get dirty but the pig likes it, now is the time to just do it ! Whatever you can as soon as you can because the clock is ticking and lives literally (figuratively?) hang in the balance


Sutarmekeg

Manchin doesn't want to support this effort to protect democracy because it's not bipartisan, but is ok with democracy being destroyed even though it's not bipartisan.


rafits

I love it, "Democracy dies in darkness...also you can't read this unless you pay" Hilarious.


Drifter_Lux

To be fair, the massive shadow is cast by increasingly unchecked Capitalism, so it lines up.


DiarrheaMonkey-

That's not telling him to put up or shut up, that's providing him with an impossible task which ignores the importance of him not doing what he's doing. Telling him to put up or shut up would be telling that if he doesn't vote yes, he loses his chairmanship, and the DNC funds a recall against him. Honestly, what do they have to lose by losing him? He's blocked corporate taxes, LGBT rights, minimum wage, Jan. 6 commission. The stimulus likely would have been bigger with Trump/Republicans in power, so he gets no thanks for that. He's literally a Republican. Recall him. At least then there'd be a chance at a Democrat having his seat. They'd lose the Committee chairmainships? Oh no, then they couldn't introduce bills for MAnchin and Sinema to kill. What a fucking loss. At least make an example of him to show voters your not complete pushovers,. It costs them nothing. Problem is the Democratic leadership is perfectly happy paying lip service to these things while knowing they won't pass, and hurt the people who put both parties into "power".


LoveIsOnTheWayOut

Joe manchin is the perfect representative for West Virginia. Inept, corrupt, backwards, immoral and rundown. Beautiful state of you avoid people and their ran down roads and buildings


PoliticalThrowawayy

There is no bluff. Manchin is trying to preserve his seat and WV loves watching Manchin stick it to the government. So you might as well attack him over his stances. You'll at least look like you might have a spine.


snailhighway

Hey...it was a great run for American democracy. We did some great things and have a lot to be proud of. Don't be sad it's over, be happy it happened.


sandleaz

> Opinion: Time to call Manchin’s bluff Wait, Manchin is bluffing?


FramedAgain3

Enough republicans have asked him to wise up. Let’s see what happens.


new2accnt

manchin should be asked, repeatedly, to identify what's wrong with HR1. manshin should be put on the spot, be made to answer, and not in vague terms. He should be forced to clearly point out what he think is wrong with HR1. He should be asked if all the anti-democrat bills pushed by team (r) everywhere they can are bipartisan or not, and to say if they make \*voting by everyone\* easier. He should be made to answer if he finds it normal that areas that tend to vote for the democratic party have seen polling stations closed down, with restricted hours, etc. Forcing manchin and sinema to give clear answers to pointed questions can't hurt.


gomerp77

What leverage does anyone have to think they are going to call Manchin’s “bluff”? He seems pretty well settled on this for now.


vrilro

fine thought experiment but idk why manchin is obliged to engage any further, he’s said what he’s said and nowadays it doesn’t really matter if what was said was based in fact. i still dont see what incentive there is for him to change his mind just as much as i fail to see a consequence if he stays the course.


breaddrinker

His bluff is that he stands as a democrat. He's never had so much power in his whole ridiculous 'career'.


julbull73

Agree. Kick him out. Then suddenly the GOP has to be the face of the "do nothing" years. WV isn't going to replace him with a D anyway, pull the band aid.


Weak-Committee-9692

$20 says McConnnell drops the filibuster like a hot potato when the GQP take back the senate.


Long_island_iced_Z

I still think it's hilarious that Manchin and Sinema are the only problems in people's minds. You people are forgetting they're just meat shields for Warner, Coons, Tester, and the other moderates in the Senate who want nothing to fundamentally change, and are fine with being the loyal opposition to a Republican controlled Government. They will all vote against the filibuster and HR1, so Schumer won't even try because when push comes to shove, I doubt he'd support these things too with how quiet he's been the last few months. What's the solution? Stop supporting DNC backed candidates in primaries of safe blue districts and states, they've been running Blue Dog Dems in very blue areas since 2006, probably to please the mega donors who want to stay as the ruling class without the threat of a left-wing insurgency into their useless party.


MentorOfArisia

Manchin is not bluffing. He is on a mission to sabotage his own party and get his Messiah Trump back with a trifecta.


JakeYashen

can someone provide the full text?


rematch_madeinheaven

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin Columnist June 7, 2021 at 7:45 a.m. EDT 651 Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) declared in a Sunday op-ed that he is against the For the People Act because it is not bipartisan. “I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act,” he wrote. “Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster.” Let’s take H.R. 1 first. He does not state what provisions he likes or doesn’t, nor does he suggest what compromise bill might reach 60 votes. So his objection is that Republicans object? Many bills that he supported came without Republican support — the American Rescue Plan, most recently, and of course, the Affordable Care Act. The notion that Republicans win simply by refusing to agree to any of the majority’s legislative proposals makes a mockery of democracy, and specifically of the Senate. Indeed, Republicans’ filibuster of the Jan. 6 commission legislation showed that we lack 10 Republicans willing to operate in good faith. Manchin also states that he prefers H.R. 4, which addresses only reauthorization of preclearance provisions. He argued, “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would update the formula states and localities must use to ensure proposed voting laws do not restrict the rights of any particular group or population. My Republican colleague, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, has joined me in urging Senate leadership to update and pass this bill through regular order.” But where are the 10 Republicans to support that measure? Manchin is “encouraged by the desire from both sides to transcend partisan politics and strengthen our democracy by protecting voting rights.” Yet when 10 Republicans do not emerge for cloture on that either — just as we saw on the Jan. 6 commission bill — does Manchin simply give up? It’s time for Manchin to put up or share blame for Republicans’ subversion of democracy. Let him come up with 10 Republicans for H.R. 4 and for a slimmed down H.R. 1. Let him find four more Republicans to support the Jan. 6 commission. If he cannot, then his thesis that the filibuster promotes debate and makes way for compromise collapses and his role in promoting the tyranny of the minority is laid bare. Manchin insisted that he will not “weaken or eliminate” the filibuster. He should be compelled to spell out what reforms he would accept. Is requiring Republicans to hold the floor (i.e., demanding a talking filibuster) “weakening” the rule? It is well past the time to start pressuring Manchin to answer some basic questions: If the filibuster is simply a means of thwarting any reasonable legislation, why is it worth preserving? What if the integrity of our democracy is at stake? Manchin’s bland platitudes suggest he prefers stalemate to taking hard votes. The status quo leaves him with latitude to make holier-than-thou pronouncements to decry both sides. Elevating the filibuster to the sine qua non of our constitutional system is absurd. It is not in the Constitution. It protects no constitutional principle. It does not constitute a check or balance on the other branches as, for example, a veto override or the Senate’s advise and consent power on nominees. It does not protect minority rights when it is used to thwart voting rights protection for disfavored minorities. Moreover, the republic survived previous changes to the filibuster, such as reducing cloture to 60 votes, eliminating the filibuster for executive branch nominees and carving out budget reconciliation. There is no reason to assume another modification — one to ensure the fundamental right to vote — would be any more harmful. What are Democrats to do with someone so seemingly irrational and obstinate as Manchin? First, Democrats should compel Republicans to filibuster again and again the bills Manchin himself thinks are entirely reasonable. Bring up H.R. 4. Put the Jan. 6 commission back on the floor. After 5 or 6 of these rounds, Manchin’s bipartisan fetish may subside. Second, Manchin’s Democratic colleagues have a right to demand he present compromise legislation that has 10 Republicans. What magic formula is he aware of that has evaded others? Where are four more Republicans in addition to the six who would support the Jan. 6 commission? And finally, voters and voting rights activists need to confront Manchin civilly and peacefully, but with unrelenting demands for him to justify his position. An array of interest groups hurt by Republican obstruction and assaults on voting rights — e.g., organized labor, seniors, the disabled community — must turn up the heat. Most of all, Capitol Hill police and other law enforcement officials must demand passage of the Jan. 6 commission — or Manchin’s agreement to push it through with less than 60 votes. They and the widows of law enforcement personnel killed from the Jan. 6 events need to be omnipresent and unrelenting. The time for Manchin’s excuse-mongering is over. It is time to demonstrate his bipartisan notions are more than fantasy. And if he cannot, he needs to choose his legacy: He either ushers in democracy’s demise or refuses to allow Republicans to dismantle democracy before our eyes. That’s certainly the only thing for which he’ll be remembered.