The split senate that we have, with Kamala Harris able to cast a tie breaking vote, is not the automatic rubber stamp that some people wish it would be. Neera Tanden is probably one of those people right now, because unless she can find a Republican who will vote for her — good luck with that — the fact that Joe Manchin just cut her loose is likely to be decisive. My read on this is that Tanden is toast. While I agree with her calling Mitch McConnell “Voldemort” and some of her other colorful characterizations, they’re now coming back to haunt her. Washington Post:
When Biden chose Tanden, there was an uproar among some Republicans over her past tweets that mocked several GOP senators. Republicans argued that her partisan beliefs made her unfit for a job that required frequent engagement with lawmakers.
Manchin, in a statement, says he agrees with that assessment, citing her tweets as his reason for opposing her.
“I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget,” Manchin said. “For this reason, I cannot support her nomination. As I have said before, we must take meaningful steps to end the political division and dysfunction that pervades our politics. At a time of grave crisis, it is more important than ever that we chart a new bipartisan course that helps address the many serious challenges facing our nation.”
With the Senate split 50-50, Tanden now needs at least one Republican to support her nomination.
At her confirmation hearing, Republican senators read aloud her tweets calling Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) “the worst,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) “a fraud,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Voldemort,” and one saying that “vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz.” Cruz (R) represents Texas in the Senate.
Naturally, the hypocrisy here is stunning to contemplate. After many years of Donald Trump misusing Twitter and making it a tool of propaganda and division, suddenly if a Democrat is critical on the medium, it’s a death sentence to her nomination.
Let this be a lesson to other Democrats, because I don’t see this changing. There has always been a double standard with respect to the two parties. I think that Tanden is done for and I think that now would be the time for other Democrats to take heed that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.
Biden has no choice here, as I see it. Unity is the central plank of his platform. It would be best if Tanden just withdrew from the process and I think that’s what you’ll see.