Who is this video aimed at?
If it’s aimed at Democratic voters, I invite you to scroll through the replies on Twitter and see how it’s going. It’s … not great.
Lotta “END THE FILIBUSTER” and “THIS IS YOUR FAULT” huffing and puffing.
If it’s aimed at Senate Republicans then I can’t imagine what he’s thinking. That which is shameless cannot be shamed, my man. You could immolate yourself in grief over the vote and Mitch McConnell would use the flames to light his cigar.
The most noteworthy detail here is what’s absent. Despite Manchin’s low-key annoyance, there’s no threat to nuke the filibuster. A threat might be inferred, perhaps, from the fact that he went to the trouble of expressing his disappointment on video and circulating the clip, as that signals more than the usual amount of frustration by a senator who’s just lost a floor fight. But if he’s suddenly reconsidering his support for the filibuster there’s no inkling of it in his remarks.
Choosing to put politics and political elections above the health of our Democracy is unconscionable. And the betrayal of the oath we each take is something they will have to live with. My statement on the January 6th Commission vote: pic.twitter.com/tlPme9LMIo
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) May 28, 2021
I think he cut the video for a simple, non-strategic reason. McConnell and the Senate GOP just made him look like a royal schmuck by hanging him out to dry on a “nonpartisan” matter like the commission after he went to bat for them on their alleged willingness to compromise for months. Maybe he wanted to communicate his sense of betrayal by looking them in the (virtual) eye and letting the world know that, yes, he feels like a schmuck for having taken their good faith for granted.
It’s a small concession to the left in lieu of ending the filibuster. You were right and I was wrong. They’re terrible.
Manchin’s not the only centrist Democrat who’s on the hot seat. At least he showed up and voted for the commission, even in a losing cause. Kyrsten Sinema skipped the vote. That didn’t affect the outcome, but progressives already have it in for her and didn’t appreciate seeing her absent on a matter that meant something to them:
Does anyone know why @kyrstensinema skipped the vote on the Jan 6th commission and bailed on her much-hyped push to bring in the magical 10 R votes to break a filibuster?@mkraju @sahilkapur @yvonnewingett
— Kai Newkirk #EndTheFilibuster (@kai_newkirk) May 28, 2021
Other Senate Dems are hinting about getting rid of the filibuster in the aftermath of the vote. “It affects how I think about Senate rules,” Tim Kaine told Politico. “Whether it’s this [commission] or voting rights or other things, people expect at a minimum we’re going to protect the country’s democracy. If one side’s not willing to, I’m not as a member of the majority going to throw up my hands and say ‘OK, I guess we can’t.’” That’s fine, but so long as Manchin and Sinema are then there’s nothing to be done about it.
Nothing in the Senate, I mean. In the House, Pelosi is moving ahead with her select committee:
“Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans’ denial of the truth of the January 6th insurrection brings shame to the Senate. Republicans’ cowardice in rejecting the truth of that dark day makes our Capitol and our country less safe…
“Democrats worked across the aisle, agreeing to everything that Republicans asked for. We did this in the interest of achieving a bipartisan Commission. In not taking yes for an answer, Republicans clearly put their election concerns above the security of the Congress and country.
“Honoring our responsibility to the Congress in which we serve and the Country which we love, Democrats will proceed to find the truth.”
The commission had a statutory deadline of December 31. I assume the select committee will keep chugging into next year, generating headlines about the insurrection well into election season. That’s what’s disingenuous about people like Marco Rubio saying, “We know exactly what this commission is about. This commission is about keeping this whole issue in the headlines as long as possible and using it as a weapon to try and subpoena Republicans they want to target.” If he was worried about January 6 being in the headlines “as long as possible,” he would have been better off with the commission than with Pelosi’s committee. The reason he preferred the latter to the former is that it’s easier to delegitimize a House committee on partisan grounds, even at the price of a much longer investigation.
I’ll leave you with this, a short bit from Brian Sicknick’s mother about her experience on the Hill yesterday meeting with Senate Republicans.
The mother of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick says it was “tense” meeting with some GOP lawmakers yesterday, “because we knew they weren’t sincere. They weren’t sincere.”
“I don’t understand it. They are elected for us, the people. And they don’t care about that.” pic.twitter.com/eUepjvpod7
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 28, 2021
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