President Lame Duck

Alas, Joe Biden has become a lame duck president just one year after taking office. His own party is accusing him of political missteps since taking office along with an inability to keep promises made during the campaign. Biden is following in the footsteps of Barack Obama, who bit off more than he could chew with Obamacare and then lost a filibuster-proof Congress after about two years. Obama didn’t anticipate the untimely death of Sen. Teddy Kennedy and the resistance of his opposition. Biden overestimated the influence of his left-wing comrades.

Unlike other situations, Biden’s own colleagues are doing him in. Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, both Democrats, have vehemently opposed outrageous initiatives of the president. After decades in the Senate, you’d think Biden would know how to navigate through thorny political minefield in Congress. He didn’t give weight to his razor thin margin in the Senate. At 50/50, only one defector can derail big plans of a president and a political party.

The lesson to be learned is that a president should not try to make massive changes in our country without a buy in from the opposition and a significant mandate from the voters. The bad blood in Washington has made it exceedingly difficult to get anything done these days.

Specifically, Democrats tried to slip through a $5 trillion spending plan and change the rules relating to the Senate filibuster (to enact voting rights reform). Overspending and attempted dominance by a political party without a mandate was resisted by the two Democratic senators. They saved the country from several horrible mistakes, granting unwise entitlements and ensuing exacerbation of inflation, and blowing up Senate rules that have been in place for a long time.

Why didn’t Biden appreciate the fact that radical left-wing hacks in his own party were leading him down the primrose path? Joe has Schumer, Pelosi, Sanders, the Squad and a number of socialists in his government to thank for his predicament. He is destined, for sure, to be in office only one term, and Democrats are going to lose seats in the House and Senate in 2022 and 2024. And, Joe Biden has 40 plus years experience in Washington. Can you believe such an experienced person can perform so ineffectively?

After all this said and done, our government worked well. It prevented a rogue group of socialists from disrupting our country. Having a 50/50 advantage in the Senate is not a platform from which a president can change the pillars of the country.

But what will happen during the next three years. Probably, Republicans will gain majorities in the Senate and the House. But with a Democratic president little will be accomplished, as one would expect Biden to veto all Republican initiatives. Gone are the days that opposing parties could find compromise. There will be little or no compromise between now and 2024.

It causes great concern that Joe Biden will be conducting foreign policy for three more years. Getting close to Iran and mishandling Russia and China is expected with Biden in a lead role. Hopefully, Congress will be able to fend off bad decisions regarding our allies and enemies.

Manchin’s Actions Are Heroic

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has shut down President Biden’s “Build Back Better” initiative. He has been threatening to do so since the summer. During that time the senator previewed all the issues that disturbed him. As an aside, I’d like to know who dreamed up the inane title of this legislation. Is it grammatically correct?

Manchin is a centrist Republican in Democrat clothing. He is the most popular politician in West Virginia even though he is a Democrat. Note: Trump carried the state by 39 points in 2020.

Manchin is extremely concerned about his constituencies and the risks to West Virginians affiliated with new eco-strategies, before technology is developed. Why stop or encourage decreases in production of fossil fuels when so many electric facilities need it to operate? Why create a dearth of coal in the US that may necessitate importation of the resource from other countries?

Manchin found himself in the enviable (or maybe unenviable) position of being the pivotal vote for Biden’s spending extravaganza, and entitlement smorgasbord. It’s not Manchin’s fault that the Senate is divided 50-50. The real problem for Democrats is that they are trying to make gargantuan social and economic changes that could markedly change America for decades with razor thin margins in the houses of Congress. The Democrats strategy was (is) a fool’s errand.

Manchin is concerned with inflation. Is this a foolish perspective? Costs of critical purchases, including gasoline, have skyrocketed in recent weeks for all Americans. Should politicians ignore the potential ramifications of a presidential plan to jam new entitlements down the throat of Americans if they increase costs to consumers further? There is no consensus about this issue among economists, so why isn’t moderation a reasonable position? Hopefully, inflation inflationary pressures will recede, and new initiatives can be reconsidered at that time.

Legislators often shroud new spending to make it seem less expensive. They play tricks, sometimes assuming an end to funding by applying sunset clauses. The cost of an entitlement that is scheduled to end in 10 years is obviously much greater than the same annual installments over five years. Sometimes legislation is assumed to end when everyone knows it will not. Democrats are using a number of tricks and faulty estimates to decrease the expected cost of the legislation. Manchin has called his colleagues on this issue.

And one other note. If you’re attempting to solicit the cooperation of a fellow senator, of the same party, why would you denigrate him or her and make it personal? Fellow Democrats are calling Manchin a liar! This is not a savvy tactic to change a person’s behavior.

What has Manchin done politically? For one thing, the West Virginia senator has single-handedly halted an ill conceived, progressive initiative that would be detrimental to the country. It’s too big. We are in danger of an inflationary crisis.

Expediting grand climate change initiatives before technology is updated would potentially create huge energy shortfalls for the US and make us dependent upon other nations.

Trying to change our country dramatically without a real mandate in Congress is folly.

The downfall of this legislation is yet another reason to not vote for Democrats in 2002 or 2024.

As I wrote in earlier blogs, Manchin could become a factor in the 2024 presidential campaign, maybe as a Republican presidential candidate.

It Hasn’t Been Easy For Biden

President Biden has had a hell of a difficult time over the past few weeks. His inability to deliver promises made is based upon several issues that are getting worse with each passing day.

The main problem is Biden has yielded to the most radical elements in his party. Pelosi, Sanders and AOC are driving the government further left each day. But the administration cannot legislate in such a progressive fashion because of the composition of Congress and the reticence of critical senators.

It’s been difficult for Democrats to accept that the House is divided, almost equally, and their mandate is not overwhelming. The left has only a small majority, so that the liberal base is in jeopardy on every important bill proposed.

Further, the Senate is split evenly at 50/50, so Democrats have a majority only if every Democratic senator votes with the caucus and the vice president joins them. Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema have resisted attempts by Senate Leader Schumer to pass legislation that is partisan on major issues such as social entitlements and the filibuster, which has been driving the Democratic leadership mad.

Regarding major funding for social entitlements that could be upwards of $4 trillion, the aforementioned Senate outliers have balked, so its passage has been effectively blocked

A “nuclear change” that would decrease the number of yea votes needed to pass laws from 60 to a simple majority (the filibuster) is not feasible because Manchin and Sinema oppose it.

The ultimate effect of all this is that true infrastructure legislation for bridges and roads and the like, which is supported in a bipartisan fashion is being held up because Democrats are linking it to passage of a human infrastructure law. No doubt this legislation would dramatically increase inflation resulting in a weaker dollar. But progressives care not about the financial implications of income redistribution.

That is not all that is impacting Biden’s overall ratings, which are dropping as of late. The crisis on our southern border is reaching a boiling point. The performance of US border agents has been hampered by an extraordinary flow of illegals across the border. The imprisonment and horrible conditions that we see on TV are similar to that what we’ve seen in Syria and Africa. It’s a humanitarian crisis that unempathetic countries to our south are perpetuating in response to the bizarre comments of our president.

There are many other issues that are dogging the administration, which are related to saving face. America would be better off focusing on things that will make America safer and more prosperous.

Joe Manchin Must Save The Senate

The jury is out. Democrats in Congress are governing and legislating with absolutely no input from the opposition. Representatives of around 70 million Americans will have no say in the proceedings and laws enacted by out of control progressives. Bipartisanship is a thing of the past, unless someone takes action to save the country now.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is in a very special position, given the 50-50 split in the Senate. Effectively, he has the deciding vote on many important issues. The only thing stopping Democrats from running the table is Manchin’s dream to see the Senate operate efficiently and fairly. The filibuster is the only way conservatives will be able to temper the government against overspending, open borders and appeasement of our enemies.

Mansion says he wants the Senate to be collegial. All the members should work together to keep the country great. No matter what you read in the liberal press, the filibuster is the only way to protect the US from crazy politicians and their mission to extinguish exceptionalism in our country. If they have their way, liberals will tax Americans mercilessly in their misguided efforts to eliminate income inequality.

Every majority in the Senate in recent years considered ways to end the protections afforded by the filibuster. It forces the Senate to operate on a bipartisan basis when controversial legislation is being debated. If a senator wants to enact a new law of some magnitude, he or she cannot do so unless he or she can whip up the support of 59 other senators. The damage a bad law can do is much greater than no law at all.

Back to Manchin. He’s the voice of reason. He’s in the majority and still believes the filibuster is an important tool for senators to avoid a calamity. The senator is one of a very few moderates in Washington who have the courage to vote against his own caucus. Manchin is someone who would vote to save the filibuster, and at the same time vote to oust Trump. We need more moderates in our government and in the White House. The senator from West Virginia can be this person. He is a fiscal conservative and a man with a liberal’s sense of social responsibility.

Goaded by radical members of Congress and his own cabinet, President Biden is proposing outrageous legislation without any regard to the damage it will do prospectively. I’m not sure he is being told about the downside to the immigration crisis on our southern border, or the damage multi-trillion dollar entitlements will do to our economy, or the danger of Iran producing a nuclear weapon and terrorizing the Middle East.

It’s time the Biden administration slows down and considers the carnage he is going to create with his outlandish proposals. If he calls for the elimination of the filibuster, the Senate will be just a second-class version of the House of Representatives.

If Biden does not see the light, Manchin may have to save the day. If he does, he will be in a perfect position to change parties and run for president.