OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Many Democrats lashed out on Sunday after moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he will not support Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” legislation, which contains trillions in new social and climate spending.
Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, in particular, launched into a profane tirade against Manchin and claimed that he couldn’t be “trusted.”
During an interview on MSNBC, Omar said it was “complete bullshit” that Manchin said he wouldn’t vote to advance Biden’s multi-trillion dollar legislation.
“I mean, we all knew that Senator Manchin couldn’t be trusted,” Omar said.
“The excuses that he just made, I think, are complete bullsh*t. It is really disheartening to hear him say that he has been trying to get there for the people of West Virginia because that’s a complete lie. The people of West Virginia would greatly benefit from their families having access to long-term elderly care and care for folks with disabilities,” Omar added.
She continued: “They would benefit from the expansion of the child tax credits; they will benefit from having access to pre-k. There are just so many things that, you know, the people of West Virginia desperately need. And we know that he is not working on behalf of their interests, and I really am just completely disappointed and disgusted by his reasoning.”
Another progressive, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, added: “He has continued to move the goalposts, he has never negotiated in good faith and he is obstructing the president’s agenda, 85 percent of which is still left on the table. And in obstructing the president’s agenda, he is obstructing the people’s agenda.”
“Manchin is Manchin. But what kind of healthy democracy is structured in a way that can allow one man elected by 290,000 voters in one of the least populous states to thwart the agenda of his party and the President who was elected with 81 million votes. We need structural change,” tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, head of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Council.
And of course, Sen. Bernie Sanders was furious.
“Well, I think he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia, to tell him why he doesn’t have the guts to take on the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” he said. “West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country. You got elderly people and disabled people who would like to stay at home. He’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t want to expand Medicare to cover dental hearing and eyeglasses.
“I’ve been to West Virginia a number of times, and it’s a great state, beautiful people, but it is a state that is struggling,” Sanders added. “And he’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he’s rejecting what the scientists of the world are telling us that we have to act boldly and transform our energy system to protect future generations from the devastation of climate change.”
For his part, Manchin opposes the legislation now for the same reason he has all along: Pouring another couple trillion dollars of newly printed money will only make the bad inflation the country is experiencing now even worse.