By Byron York, Townhall
Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement that he will not support the Democrats’ giant spending bill should not have been a surprise to anyone who has been watching Manchin for the last few months. Yet many Democrats, especially in the White House and in the progressive wing of the House of Representatives, appeared shocked when Manchin told Fox News’ Bret Baier, “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t.”
They apparently believed Manchin would ultimately come around, and do so before Christmas. When he did not, they were stunned.
Their reaction is the latest manifestation of a mass delusion affecting Democrats in Washington. For nearly a year, since Jan. 20, 2021, they have believed they could enact a nation-changing agenda — shades of FDR and LBJ! — without having won a majority of seats in the U.S. Senate. Somehow, all on their own and without any Republican support, they could bring landmark legislation to a 50-50 tie vote in the Senate, and then have Vice President Kamala Harris break the tie in the Democrat’s favor. They seemed to forget that Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson had huge majorities in both House and Senate when they enacted sprawling New Deal and Great Society legislation, respectively.
Even the structure of their massive spending bill, which they called Build Back Better, was shaped by their lack of a Senate majority. Democratic leaders knew how hard it would be to get anything through the Senate — to keep all 50 of their own senators together — so they packed nearly the entire Biden agenda of social spending and climate projects into a one big bill. Then everyone on their side would have to vote for it, wouldn’t they?
No, they wouldn’t. Manchin, a Democrat from a state Donald Trump carried by 40 points last year, voted for earlier massive spending measures but drew the line at Build Back Better. He gave lots of reasons. He’s worried about inflation. He’s worried about the accounting gimmicks. He’s worried that the bill distracts resources from the fight against COVID. But the bottom line was: No.
Perhaps the real news was that Democrats were shocked.
Read more at Townhall.