Where Reason Fails, Chaos Reigns. Our Democracy is Hanging by a Thread and is Manchin Shooting Straight? I’m a Frayed Knot.

Joe Manchin’s Incoherent Case for Letting Republicans Destroy Democracy

The most powerful senator ties himself in knots.

What does Joe Manchin want? The inscrutable whims of the West Virginia senator and 50th Senate vote have always controlled the future of the Biden administration’s domestic agenda. As such, Manchin’s desires are the subject of daily speculation and the vessel into which his party has projected a mix of hope and rage.

It would be a relief of sorts if Manchin would simply tell us what he wants. The problem is that his statements frequently conflict with each other. (On infrastructure, he has alternatively demanded that the bill be enormous, that it be fully paid for, and obtain Republican support, all of which are individually difficult and collectively impossible.) His position on voting rights is, if anything, even less clear.

In an op-ed yesterday, Manchin laid out a series of propositions that purport to explain his position, but upon close inspection make it difficult to understand what he believes or wants.

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