Senator Joe Manchin, the last high-profile conservative Democrat, has tested the media’s power of personal destruction.
The media has little else that it can wield against Manchin who has protected democracy from the Democrats by refusing to abet their national power grab of rigging elections (spun by the media as voting rights legislation) or eliminating the filibuster to allow them to do whatever they want.
Manchin has an obvious political interest in being a key swing vote to be courted, rather than an annoying single vote out of step with the new woke master race whose powers have become unlimited. Unless he were about to retire or be defeated, he’s unlikely to back any measure that turns Democrats from a contending party to a permanent ruling class.
And that’s what H.R. 1 and killing the filibuster would do.
But Manchin may actually mean what he says when he rejects these as dangerous partisan power grabs that would break the Senate and the entire system of government. It’s an argument that the party’s rabid base, which includes the media, has no time for.
And so the political media has spent the past few weeks alternating between trying to persuade Manchin (a bizarre spectacle) or berate him for believing in bipartisanship (even more bizarre).
No attack on Manchin has been deemed off-limits as the media and the base hurl the worst insult they can think at him: Republican.
Manchin is testing the media’s powers of personal destruction. He’s surviving the same cancel culture power that has toppled billionaires and movie stars. But it has done little to touch him because, unless the media comes up with something more potent than accusing a red-state senator of undermining a radical agenda, like say #MeToo stuff, Manchin doesn’t care.
And that would be a dangerous red line that could remove him from office and replace him with a Republican.
There’s something obviously funny about seeing a furious political media class throwing everything they have at Manchin. Strategically, Manchin has achieved a balance of power. And personally, he doesn’t seem to be that invested in what the Washington Post thinks of him.
How do you solve a problem like Manchin? Make a good enough offer. But no offer is good enough to kill his power of a swing vote.
There’s a certain irony in political market economics stifling the bid of socialists for absolute power.