How to Pressure Joe Manchin? Damage His Brand.
Progressives in congress need to change their strategy.
No one makes me feel more like a broken record than Joe Manchin.
In the short few months that Joe Biden has been President, it feels as though no one has taken more pleasure out of standing in the way of progressive policy goals than the Senator from West Virginia. That said, almost equally is frustrating is the fact that his left wing counterparts in both the House and the Senate seem to have absolutely no desire to do what it will take to change this pattern.
Politics is leverage.
Politics is using calculated pressure through television media, social media, and organizing in order to achieve a goal. In the case of opponents, that requires damage to their brand. Damage to poll numbers, credibility, and their narrative. It means dissecting arguments in a clear way that the American people can understand, identifying the reasons why they are wrong, and the truth behind why these arguments are being made. Joe Manchin is literally going to cost Democrats the Senate, and yet progressives will not discuss this or, even more importantly, talk about why: donors.
Joe Manchin is not serving the people of West Virginia. His positions have nothing to do with the fact that he’s some political mastermind and miracle who has to resort to these tactics to stay in good graces with his voters. West Virginia’s infrastructure has a D rating. Are we really expected to believe that Joe Manchin would lose his seat if he voted for Biden’s infrastructure bill? Are we really expected to believe his voters are in favor of lower wages, when 63% support a $15 minimum wage? Are we really expected to believe he’s come to his positions based on principle, or is he acting in the interests of those who fund his campaigns?
Why aren’t progressive lawmakers spreading this message in his state? Why aren’t progressives flooding the airwaves in West Virginia, making the case for the infrastructure bill and minimum wage increase, making voters question why their Senator is going against their best interests for the sake of his own power and the will of his donors?