The Most Despicable Villains of 2021: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema

When Joe Biden won the presidential election, many progressives breathed a sigh of relief when Donald Trump lost, but still worried about the future. After Trump tried to overturn the election, even going so far as to instigated a violent uprising on January 6, That anxiety only increased. The moment that calls for a visionary president, a type of FDR, a willing person Addressing the serious structural failures that have opened the door to the current democratic crisis. Biden has spent most of his career centered on a unlucky trend to support bankers are richer than working Americans. It is hard to imagine that he would have the motivation to fight for the democratic reforms and progressive economic vision needed to really stop what is increasingly looking like a burgeoning fascist movement. developed and succeeded in the United States.

But Biden’s actual presidency was a great surprise.

He entered the office take seriously the threat to democracy, study “How do democracies die?“by Harvard political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. His theory of how to respond to the moment is the right one: Prove to the public that democracy can work and people will fight So he focused all of his energy on getting through the Better Build Back, a massive package of economic reforms and social spending that was seen as a New Deal-style rebuttal to the owner. skepticism and frustration allow authoritarianism to thrive strengthen the electoral system and imprisoning the coup leaders — but Biden is absolutely right that any strategy to save democracy requires public demonstration of its worth.

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Yet despite Biden’s audacity, here we are at the end of 2021, with fascists and fascists on the throne. the pro-democracy majority felt dismayed. Biden’s approval rating has sunk for months, with more than half of Americans disapproving of his performance in office. Biden’s theory is not wrong. Saving democracy requires showing that government can work. But Biden doesn’t do that. By contrast, the message most Americans get is that he has failed, the Democrats have failed, and maybe it’s time to give up the fight.

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The worst part of all of this is that it’s largely not Biden’s fault. Nor is it the fault of the congressional Democrats, 96% of them support Build Back Better and, almost certainly, some kind of bold democratic reform to save the electoral system from Trump’s tiny fingers. No, the fault lies entirely with two Senate Democrats, both people We inundated with corruption: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.

As 2021 comes to a close, the verdict is clear: Manchin and Sinema have managed to do more damage to the country and to the future of democracy than anyone else throughout the year. And that was the year that the former president Trump has been actively plotting his next coup! Why are these two even more devastating than the various Republicans working with Trump around the country to gut democracy? Mostly, it comes down to power.

Republicans are in the minority and, in theory, shouldn’t even have power rewrite our voting system to make it easier for Trump to beat the race in 2024. In theory, a Democratic congressional majority could have prevented all of these anti-democratic moves at the state level by passing tight election protections, as well as supporting the program. Biden’s agenda and prove to voters that government can work. However, due to a toxic combination of selfishness, stupidity, and greed, both Manchin and Sinema thwarted any attempt by the Democratic Party to counter the Republican assault on democracy. And worse, they did so while pretending, every step of the way, that they were on the verge of victory for the good, when it was clear that neither of them intended to do anything other than destroy cancel Biden’s agenda.

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This is not a matter of conquering evil because good men do nothing either. Neither Sinema nor Manchin are “good” in any sense. Their records show that they are sinister figures who have actively undermined Biden throughout the year — and in doing so, aided the rise of authoritarianism. Through duplication and bad faith, both led the majority of Democrats to believe that there was a real chance of getting the needed reforms through Congress, as it became quite clear, both. neither of them intend to let anything noticeable get past their firewalls. Republicans are waging a war for democracy in the open. Manchin and Sinema, however, are snakes in the grass, using the power of their allies to lure Democrats into traps before unleashing them. Repeat.

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For instance, witness days of meaninglessness with the Build Back Better plan. Republicans make no secret that they have no intention of voting for it. But both Manchin and Sinema repeatedly tricked Democrats into believing it was likely they would award the votes needed to pass the bill this year. By pretending to be interested in voting for the bill, they could cause the Democratic leadership to spend months negotiating with them and engaging them, wasting time and energy that could otherwise be focused. into more effective efforts. Just this month, Manchin inadvertently leaked that he never intended to vote on the bill, confirming what progressive critics may have been saying for months: He never negotiated in good faith.

Manchin played similar games with the right to vote, even going so far as to instill Democratic hopes that he would support a democratic reform bill by writing his own. But instead of actually doing anything to pass his own bill, Manchin simply continued to defend the Senate record, giving Republicans the ability to block his bill. That is not how one behaves if one is honest about passing a bill. But, as Paul Waldman of the Washington Post pointed outIt is clear that Manchin does not look down on anyone other than himself and his wealthy friends. After all, Manchin has the ability to rewrite Build Back Better “to completely transform his state of affairs” with huge cash piles, but instead, he’s doing everything he can to stop Biden from helping the very voters that he doesn’t want. Manchin claims representation.

Cinema, someone whose true intelligence doesn’t surpass her ego, is a little cunning hiding her bad faith. She issued scathing press releases claiming she supported the full spectrum of Democrats’ policies – higher minimum wages, better social safety net, voting rights – but credibly is to side with the wishes of her wealthy donors to the needs of the public. And she likes throw in some yogurt, mocking her critics with pictures or make an F-off gesture while she’s there, could not resist the urge to troll the people she was ostensibly hired to serve.

It is not just betrayal from friends that is said to be worse than hatred from sworn enemies. That is they are only more effective than Republicans who are derailing Biden’s plans to save democracy. It’s hard not to wonder what the past year would have been if Democrats hadn’t been distracted by the hope of getting through these two assholes. Manchin and Sinema not only wasted a year of the Democratic Party’s meager time in saving democracy, but they also broke the spirit of the Democratic platform in doing so. And, as Trumpists know well, that dismay is the best friend a fascist can have. Republicans are mocking cartoon villains, but by the end of 2021, it’s clear that Manchin and Sinema have been more destructive. They broke Biden’s vision and held him accountable heading into the 2022 midterm elections, doing more to bring about the end of democracy than the most aggressive Trumps ever had. can do. The Most Despicable Villains of 2021: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema

Huynh Nguyen

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