Manchin Pushes Back At Dems Who Accuse Him Of Unfairly Drawing ‘Red Lines’ | Talking Points Memo

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Sunday disputed criticism from fellow Democrats who accuse the centrist senator of drawing more “red lines” with his caucus compared to Republicans on legislative proposals.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

“Manchin doubled down on his hopes on passing legislation through bipartisanship, saying that he is “willing to meet everybody halfway.””

It takes two to tango, and Republicans are not willing to budge in meaningful ways. How do you meet someone halfway who isn’t willling to compromise?


Lots of things unsaid here. I’ll leave it at that… Two of them are Ornstein and Franken.






I’m not sure why this is a story. If Manchin is saying anything new, I’m missing it. Despite all the evidence, he claims there’s still a middle to be found with Republicans. Wake me up when he wakes up.

As I see it, Biden is maneuvering to show Manchin and the broader public that his arguments hold no water and are unsupported by the evidence. Republicans are just a sideshow in this equation, but they’re helping Biden prove his point with their knee-jerk obstructionism.


Yea Joe, just dig in your heels and refuse to move, regardless of what people think. But what were you elected to do? Does serving the people sound familiar? Because you sure as hell don’t seem to care much about that. All you seem to care about is sticking like glue to your own pre-conceived notions of what centrist means. Let’s get real, the Rethug Senators have absolutely no interest in doing anything to support whatever President Biden proposes. McConnel has made this very, very clear. But theSenate must still serve what is most needed by the American People!

So Joe, get off your ass and get with the program, or quit and go home.


With the Repubs viewing compromise as a dirty word and adopting a “our way or the highway” approach, for Manchin to say he “willing to meet everybody halfway” is a surrender to Republican domination. Masochist, meet sadists!


“willing to meet everybody halfway.”

I call this Manchin’s Paradox: How many times does it take, meeting things half-way, before one is voting with Republicans?


IMO, by now the ‘thinking’ Democrats in the Senate know that Manchin is an Asshole. He is going to gum up the works for the next year and a half. The Democrats need to redouble their efforts to make Manchin’s Republican point of view irrelevant in 2022


The situation is not as hopeless as this article seems to suggest. Part of that is Manchin’s shift that he already made w/r/t to S1.

The other is “what the filibuster is”.

Lastly, the negotiations taking place.


“I’ve always been very moderate, very centrist…I want to find that middle.”

Allowing a minority to hold the majority hostage is neither “moderate” nor “centrist”.

The Democratic majority in the senate represents 42 million more Americans than the GOP minority.

Allowing 30% of voters to control 70% of senators by 2040 is not the “middle”.

It’s radical, profoundly undemocratic, and a ticking time-bomb for chaos and violence.


Without the dramatics of Sinema and Manchin, we would have had Infrastructure and S1 right now.


“Willing to meet everybody halfway” is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard a politician say. What audience is Manchin addressing with a statement like that? Is everyone in his state a clueless idiot?

And the second stupidest thing is any interviewer who lets him get away with saying something like that without a challenge.


There are two other things which must occupy our attention… One is the history and use of the filibuster. Two is the variation of it.


Yeah, but the trouble is, without the votes of Sinema and Manchin, we would have had Majority Leader McConnell right now. And S1 when Hell freezes over.

That’s the circle that needs to be squared, and no matter how much fun it is to say “fuck Joe Manchin” over and over again, we kinda need him if we’re going to get anything at all passed.

Ya know?


It would seem that Manchin’s devotion to being, “Willing to meet everybody halfway” manifests itself as blind obeisance to the GQP.

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The below is a post of mine from a previous thread…which encapsulates the conundrum we all face, given the Senate’s present composition, along with the gravity of our needs:

["I saw Sinema give a mini-speech during Joe’s presser. In fact, she was prominently displayed throughout Biden’s time at the mike.

I am going to diverge a bit and offer this:

If both Sinema and Manchin go along with the rest of the Dem Caucus and (1) pass Joe’s Reconciliation bill and (2) pass the S1 Voting Bill, those two will have stuck a blow not only for badly-needed Infrastructure but also to save this Republic.

Years from now, those two (both of whom are from non-Blue states) could be singled out in terms much more befitting courageous public service than, say, Dem Senators from reliably Blue states.

Having said all this…I do not recall being more upset with two Democratic politicians for being bone-headed than I am right now with Sinema and Manchin."]


Since becoming an adult, I have asked myself if the action I am about to take is going to result in the action I desire and if not, I make a different decision. If Joe Manchin really wanted to protect voting rights, have reasonable changes to policing, responsible gun ownership, or any of the other Democratic Party priorities, he would vote for them. Full stop. Waiting for Manchin is foolish. The only way to solve this is to elect more Democratic senators in 2022.


JManch: I’m willing to grab ankles if someone else will yank my pants down! I have always said so! I am not going to change! You can’t make me change! It’s who I am!

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It’s all I have, other than screaming –