“Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.” — Othello
It’s a shame that Shakespeare isn’t around to write up this tale of political treachery. This is right up his alley. Lacking Shakespeare, if we even had Chris Wallace, who left Fox News Sunday last week to ask questions, that would be an improvement over yes man Bret Baier. If Wallace had stayed for just one more week and interviewed Joe Manchin, then Wallace might have asked what in the world Manchin was doing, going back on his word to Joe Biden. I mean, we know what he was doing. It’s what Brutus did to Julius Caesar on the steps of the Roman Senate, but it would be interesting to see what he would say about it, if asked in those terms.
Unbelievable. Kiss BBB goodbye for this Congress and the stakes just got raised for 2022.
Here’s what treachery looks like. And on Fox News no less. That adds a real panache to this. If Brutus had put silver glitter on his knife blade, he wouldn’t have outdone Joe Manchin today.

Manchin has no shame, to pull this in the first place, and in this way. Axios:

The big picture: The unexpected announcement via the conservative cable channel just days before Christmas sent fellow Democrats reeling. It infuriated progressives, who’d warned for months of the potential for such an outcome. And it stirred new speculation about the GOP courting a party switch.

  • “Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday.

  • “Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework ‘in good faith,'” she added.

  • “If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.

How we got here: Manchin had never agreed to support the size and scope of Biden’s ambitious Build Back Better spending package and has long sought to bring the price tag to around $1.75 trillion and force more transparency over long-term costs.

  • House progressives long held off on passing a separate infrastructure bill because of concerns it was their only leverage over Manchin.
  • The question now is, where does this leave Biden and the Democrats’ agenda as they head into 2022 midterms that could cost them control of the House and Senate?

Driving the news: Manchin had harsh words for his party, implying the Democrats’ agenda is making the country unsafe.

  • “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk,” he said in a statement released after his Fox News’ appearance.

The intrigue: A source close to Manchin told Axios the White House and leadership were notified of his intentions before his appearance on the show. But sources familiar with the discussions said it was a staffer who reached out — not Manchin himself — and that the White House got only about a 30-minute heads up.

In a twist of timing that is garnering fresh eyes, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters last week that “it would be a great idea” for Manchin to switch to the Republican Party.

  • The comment came after McConnell and Manchin had a meeting as negotiations continued for the plan.

  • “As you know, he likes to talk,” McConnell said of Manchin. “It would not surprise you to know that I’ve suggested for years it would be a great idea, representing a deep-red state like West Virginia, for him to come over to our side.”

  • But “I don’t think that’s going to happen,” the GOP leader added.

  • Manchin has been asked often in the past whether he’s would switch parties but has always reiterated his intention to remain a Democratic.

No, it wouldn’t surprise us at all, Mitch, not one jot. And in truth, what’s in a name? If the man talks like a Republican, votes like a Republican and goes on Fox News to publicly announce he just stabbed the standard bearer of the Democratic party in the back, then he’s a Republican, right?

And as for Manchin, of course he’d rather stay a Democrat. The better to screw with us.

So much for Democratic control of the Senate.

What’s next, Trump asking Manchin to be his running mate in 2024? In light of what we’ve seen, that would not be so strange at this point.

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  1. It’s a great idea as long as he loses all his seniority in the transfer. Otherwise, it’s cr*p. And he won’t be able to count on Manchin, because Manchin is out for his own profit.

  2. Thinking back to my days in opera, I can’t help but think that the real world version of the worst parts of Iago (the scheming villain from Othello) and Sparafucile (the assassin in Rigoletto who kills the title character’s daughter instead of the intended victim) the result would be Joe Manchin. Maybe it’s best I didn’t move back up to WV when things went to hell after I transferred down to NC. There were those who encouraged me including a gal from work who was a huge help during the move and offered to help if I moved back. Anyway, I that because I might already be in jail in Martinsburg for what I’d be doing in front of his office there,

  3. Has anything been voted on yet? No. Will it be on Monday? Nope, Senate is out of session for two weeks and then the vote can happen. This is a song and dance that anyone who has ever watched Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski should know by heart: lots of noises and then they quietly toe the party line when the rubber hits the road.

    Manchin is your classic Dixiecrat, not crazy enough for the GQP nor in step with the party he’s officially affiliated with. He’s got the best of both worlds right now and we do ourselves no favors by playing the role he wants us to. Learn to think beyond your gut reactions.

  4. Manchin is nothing but a stupid cross-eyed crook. He should be ignored until they have a vote. Go with a vote on the BBB and then go to voting rights. If he can’t get the voting rights bills through, then campaign on all the things he and his traitor- trash friends have prevented.

  5. Wait. Manchin ISN’T a Republican? Coulda fooled me.
    Also, I don’t think that Manchin is working against Biden’s policies.
    He’s either doing Biden’s dirty work, allowing him to go back on his campaign promises without it blowing back on him.
    Or Biden is the weakest, most feckless president in modern history.
    I’m not sure which is more damning.


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