The Democrats’ political malpractice killed BBB

The Democrats need every single Dem Senator in order to pass their “Build Back Better” bill. That’s the $1.7 trillion social-spend-a-palooza that really costs more like $4.9 trillion according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Several Dem Senators have reservations about BBB behind the scenes, but the one with the guts to stand up to it publicly is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin publicly objected to the bill on the grounds that it pumps too much money into the economy at a time when inflation is rocketing, that it contains numerous provisions unrelated to the budget process such as illegal immigrant amnesty (where the Senate Parliamentarian has agreed with him, three times), that it is larded with too many social handouts that aren’t “means tested,” meaning they are welfare for people who don’t need it, and that the true cost of the bill is deliberately hidden by accounting gimmicks – and the CBO agrees.

After months of excruciating public and private negotiations, Manchin yesterday may have pounded in the final nail in the BBB coffin by telling Fox News “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation.”

The Dems are enraged at Manchin, but they have mostly themselves to blame for their substantive and political debacle. Consider how we got here.

Last summer, the Dems had some momentum for their spending. The Senate passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill which contains many things that aren’t actually “infrastructure” but also many things that are.  

In the House, however, the bill bogged down. The “Squad” and other hard left Dems peevishly held hostage the infrastructure bill – which they favored – until the GOP agreed to even more spending in a separate BBB bill.

The Dems could have gotten some kind of BBB bill by scaling it back at this juncture. Instead, they went for broke.

The GOP finally saved the infrastructure bill when a dozen Republicans joined the majority of Dems in voting for it without any guarantees that the Senate would agree to a House BBB bill.

Then the House passed its blowout BBB bill, one which was clearly unacceptable to every GOP Senator, privately unacceptable to a few Dem Senators, and publicly unacceptable to Manchin. Manchin repeatedly said no. The Dems repeatedly disbelieved him.

Manchin is a rare politician; he’s looking out for the country, not the party. He may also be looking out a bit for himself, as West Virginia gave Biden only 29% of the vote in the presidential election (though Manchin himself is not up for reelection till 2024).

Today Manchin finally and firmly announced on Fox News that he’s not voting for the bill.

Adult Dems dealing with this setback would have some serious talks among themselves, regroup, and then meet with Manchin to see what if anything could be salvaged. They would have their president meet with Manchin for a carrot and stick session.

But there seem to be no adult Dems. They instead had a public temper tantrum, accusing Manchin of negotiating in bad faith, having no clear principles and being undecipherable. In short, they projected their exact childish traits onto the only adult straightshooter in the room.

Joining in was their president, or whomever is running the Keystone Kops that passes for today’s White House show. You might expect a guy who’s been in Washington for 40-some years to have some in-person tricks up his sleeve. Instead, the White House issued a long press release accusing Manchin of double-crossing them along with other ad hominem attacks.

As if publicly attacking a person’s honesty and ethics is an effective strategy to persuade him.

Meanwhile, the GOP played the limited hand they were dealt masterfully, mainly by not playing at all. Every single GOP Senator made clear that his vote was not for sale. Moreover, they mostly kept quiet about BBB as the Dems squabbled among themselves.

If this is how the White House manages its own party, I shudder to think how it manages the likes of Vladimir Putin.

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32 thoughts on “The Democrats’ political malpractice killed BBB

  1. I hope Manchin is as solid as Glenn thinks. Because the House bill’s mass amnesty of illegal aliens (estimated at about seven million qualified, but that’s before all the inevitable fraud) is ultimately its most nation-ruining feature, as that would set off a worldwide stampede for the U.S. border. The amnesty itself would be bigger than the combined effect of the prior seven mass amnesties (first in 1986, most recent in 2000): And the House bill (HR 5376) doesn’t even have any boob-bait-for-bubbas pretense about future enforcement.
    The 1986 amnesty (the Immigration Reform and Control Act [IRCA]) was promised to us citizens as a one-time abuse of the rule of law, to “clear the books.” After this, illegal immigration would be negligible, because there was going to be serious enforcement. The (fraud-ridden) amnesty happened, but not the enforcement. After a pause, illegal immigration returned in force, so the just-this-once-and-never-again promise was betrayed six subsequent times, as laid out in that link.
    And lest you think that IRCA gained us a bunch of eager-beaver new citizens, wanting to contribute to our gorgeous mosaic, note that, by 2009, only about 45% of those who’d gained Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card”) status through 1986’s IRCA had bothered to naturalize. ( ) Lesson (as if it was needed): Most of those here illegally don’t care about citizenship. They just want to be relieved of worry that they’ll be deported to their hellholes of origin.

    • Thank you for directing the focus to the issue that dwarfs all others.

      How quaint now seem the days when we threw up our hands because of the “coalition” of Democrats and Republicans — the former said to be seeking cheap votes, the latter cheap labor — that could so easily marginalize and dismiss immigration hawks such as Colorado’s Tom Tancredo; or, later, somewhat credibly cast Donald Trump as a nativist and racist; or could simply shrug and stare blankly when a Pat Buchanan or Michelle Malkin made the obvious observation that our elected leaders were tolerating an invasion, in violation of The Constitution.

      Now we are looking at nothing less than the left’s all-out effort to overwhelm the nation’s cultural center, and destroy it utterly. Even without the massive amnesty tucked within the BBB bill, is there really any coming back from what is now being done? Do those in love with traditional America face any choice other than submission or secession / civil war?

      • Short answer to your concluding question: Yes.

        Vote. Vote in 2022, vote in 2024, vote in school board elections and local city elections. Vote, vote, vote.

        The notion that we face … [drum roll] … CIVIL WAR is melodramatic and unrealistic balderdash. You would be crushed before it even got started.

        And by the way, count me out. We don’t restore the Rule of Law by breaking it.

      • Glenn, we voted in 2020. The result was a coup, upheld by the Rule of Law — the same Rule of Law that is holding participants in the alleged January 6 “insurrection” in the Bastille with only a ghost of due process, while the Adam Schiffs of our government carry on unmolested.

        And lest you think that I am naively beating the drums of war, I would point out that civil wars can take different forms. The Roman Catholic Church is currently embroiled in one, and while there may not be blood in the streets, division and schism are inevitable within the “one holy, catholic and apostolic church.” There is simply no prospect of reconciliation and “unity.” It could be argued that the medical community is engaged in another, over how to respond to a virus, with one side keeping the lid on through sheer governmental and economic power. Here, there may eventually be professional “accommodation” and a show of reconciliation, but it won’t be pretty. In both cases the “stakes” involve the fates of our souls, our bodies, and our social relationships.

        I guess my point is that, one way or another, politically The United States cannot pretend “unity” much longer, if history is any guide. We are not made for that.

      • You responded to my admonition to vote with “we voted in 2020” and “the result was a coup.”

        First, who is “we”? A third of eligible voters in 2020 didn’t even both to vote. If Republican voting increased by just a few percent, Republicans would own the presidency and congress forever.

        Second, what’s the evidence of a “coup”? After much gnashing of teeth, the real evidence is a piffle. I’ve heard of a “bloodless coup.” This was was apparently a “evidence-less coup.”

        Believers say, “… but, but BUT the courts refused to look at the evidence!” To which I say WHAT evidence? If there’s evidence that the courts refused to consider, then why won’t the evidence-holders throw it into the court of public opinion? Sure, there is some evidence of fraud, but only the tiniest fraction of what would be necessary to swing the election.

        Trump lost. Get over it. Get ready for the next election. Stop with the talk about boys playing army, already. The last time that happened in America, 600,000 of those boys died and we had a scar that persists to this day.

      • Starting with your final sentence, are you suggesting that the Civil War took place because a huge population of boys wanted to play army, that the already existing scar (actually an unhealed laceration) of slavery could have been removed in a more “lawful” manner, after the nation’s having tried various accommodations and compromises over the previous 10-20 years? As I see it, we’re in the same position as our ancestors were in 1859.

        Second, I tried to explain that I wasn’t speaking of “playing army” so much as “Civil War by U-Haul trailers,” as Forgotten Man puts it below. Though I can’t say exactly how or on what terms, the Great Divorce is underway. We are not going to suffer battered wife syndrome much longer.

        As for courts and the court of public opinion, Forgotten Man has answered for me well.

      • This is for Glenn:
        Yes, Trump lost, but there were really TONS of evidence, UNLESS EVERYTHING Mollie Hemmingway wrote in her book “Rigged” was WRONG! PA, for example, had a Superior Court disallow 800K ILLEGAL ballots, but the PA SC overturned that ruling on a party line vote. GA had many voters leave one county, but still vote there, etc. etc.
        Trump may have lost, but, I had heard you only need to win 7 counties in 5 states.
        I STLL want valid voter ID and signature verification!

  2. Maybe the GOP has finally decided to take Napoleon’s advice. “When your enemy is making a mistake, do not interrupt…”

  3. Apparently, we still are blessed that a majority have an adult temperament, and that many Dems do not. I can sort-of understand adult Dems who might choose to sit out an election here and there, but they really should just acknowledge that their party is overrun by children and abandon it

  4. A couple of months ago we were informed about the Green Nude Eel, and we took note.

    Now, we have heard that the Green Nude Eel has died, apparently of the West Virginia variant–we are not sure what it is a variant of, so we are waiting to find out. But in the meantime, we are grieving and wearing black in our sadness, including our pijamas.

    But, we ask, has anyone scheduled a wake for the Green Nude Eel? Not to mention a funeral Mass with Gregorian chant, while Biden and Pelosi take Holy Communion. But, we should ask first, was the Green Nude Eel even Catholic?

    We await with anxiousness news about the wake, other than what the modern liberals/lefties/”progressives”–in citation marks because there is nothing progressive about progressives/moral relativists/subjectivists/humanists/secularists/Democrat buffoons say about the death of, or the wake for the Green Nude Eel.

    We will, that is, WILL, attend the wake, hillbilly music and moonshine and all–of course, we are assuming the wake will be held somewhere in rural West Virginia. We will take “country roads” to get there. YES.

    The Howard Clan, distant relatives of both the Hatfields and the McCoys

  5. Glenn’s take is surely one way of looking at this. However, I am more inclined to see it as the typical motte and bailey ploy used so successfully by the democrat socialists for the past fifty years. That is, propose a wildly overreaching piece of legislation, then negotiate with the (cough, cough) “opposition” to scale it back. Then while the “opposition” is proclaiming its honor, integrity and waving the ensign of victory, the democrat socialists take the leftward ratchet in stride, waiting for the next opportunity to move the game leftward. If anyone thought, for example, the “civil rights” movement would be satisfied once blacks were given “equality,” it is now clear that “equality” was merely another waystation on the road to black superiority. (My other theory, well supported by history, is that the slave never desires equality with the master; the slave wishes to become the master.) If you entertain any doubts, take a look at professional sports, entertainment, etc. In what other circumstance would a bum like George Floyd become a literal saint? Ditto feminism. CRT and “Social justice” are the ruling philosophies of the day. All of this can be summarized by understanding that it is their unified goal to overthrow the prevailing social order and replace it with… what? Some socialist utopia where everyone is exactly the same as everyone else, except, of course, for the ruling class. Do yourself a favor, study up on the Soviet nomenclatura, And never forget, utopia translates to “nowhere” for a reason. And think about this the next time you feel like declaring a victory over the left.

  6. The country is run by a bunch of senile, “out-of-touch” politicians clinging to power by trying to leverage a connection to the voting masses via millennial politicians that lack any understanding of what it means to be a Republic. Together they strive to “fundamentally transform” the country to a more malleable existence. This is a political struggle over the meaning and application of the US Constitution.

    Civil War with guns…no.
    Civil War with U-Haul trailers…yes.
    The redistribution of society has already begun.

    • Well, OK, I have no objection to “Civil War with U-Haul trailers.” People who don’t like California are certainly free to move to Texas or Idaho, and I don’t blame them. But “Civil War” is an odd characterization of retreating from the field of battle.

      Personally I think what we see in some of the comments are people who are frustrated with politics, as I am. Unlike me, however, they express that frustration by fantasizing about Civil War with guns, but backtrack and say “just being metaphorical” when they get called out for their violent fantasies.

      I urge such people to stop wasting time and energy with fantasies. Fantasies are for children. The rest of us have work to do.

      Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for the actual evidence that the 2020 election was stolen. A year later it’s still no more than s piffle in comparison to Biden’s winning margin. I say let’s forget about our loss in 2020, and focus on our upcoming battle for 2022.

      • I think you lost track of the thread. I never advocated the use of arms to “overthrow” anything. I only offered a different perspective on initiating change. Incidentally, California is a lost cause with the top two vote primary winners moving forward.

        As for evidence or the lack thereof regarding the 2020 elections, without a accurate audit of votes there never will be any solid evidence. Show me the data and I will form my own conclusions. Having said that using lawsuits to fundamentally change election process is a clear violation of the US Constitution and it is improper…and it happened in several states initiated by the same nefarious actors. Quite frankly I care not what the rules are rather I care about conformance thereto. We need a level playing field. If you focus on the 2022 & beyond elections without addressing the improper behaviors you are sticking your head in the sand. Disregarding the 2020 shenanigan’s is confirmation that nothing happened or that you are ok with it.

  7. “Several Dem Senators have reservations about BBB behind the scenes, but the one with the guts to stand up to it publicly is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.”

    Let’s be fair here. Manchin is doing this because he can. He is a Democrat senator in one of the reddest places on earth. It might even be more accurrate to say that he’s doing this because it would be political suicide not to. As for the rest, it’s probably asking too much to expect them to end their career over a single vote.

    • It occurs to me that Manchin **might** actually be operating on principle, sincerely concerned about the country.

      I say this because I recall that several years ago he was vocal about the pompous uselessness of the Senate, and he was either thinking of resigning or of not running for re-election. (He was re-elected to his third term in 2018.)

      Manchin turned 74 this year, and it seems to me a reasonable bet that he doesn’t need the job. Which is why I suggest that his stand is principled. One can always hope …

  8. “””””Believers say, “… but, but BUT the courts refused to look at the evidence!” To which I say WHAT evidence? If there’s evidence that the courts refused to consider, then why won’t the evidence-holders throw it into the court of public opinion?””””

    Which “court of public opinion” are you referring to? The media cabal that offers leftist taking points ad nauseum? The same people that parade a correspondent in from of an inferno and declare it nothing more than a “peaceful protest”.

    Or maybe they should start with the laundry list of media outlets that carry The Aspen Beat.

    The Supreme Court abdicated their responsibility to adjudicate the election by refusing to entertain a simple presentation of evidence because they did not want to explain their concurrence of the lower courts usurpation of the “states reserved” management of their election processes.

    C’mon man!

  9. You ask, “Which “court of public opinion” are you referring to?” as if there are none that would publish actual evidence that the election was stolen.

    I’ll answer your question. There’s Fox news, The Federalist, American Thinker, Brietbart, NewsMax, Daily Caller, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Townhall, Instapundit, PJMedia, Redstate, Lucianne, American Spectator, Althouse and the list goes on.

    That’s a few of the hundreds of conservative and even hard right websites that would publish such evidence. For others, see

    Your notion that there are NO outlets that would publish evidence that the election was stolen is farcical. Some of the ones I’ve listed have indeed published evidence of fraud, but they are unable to contend that there’s enough of it to overturn the election. If there were, don’t you think they’d say so and publish the evidence to back them up? Or do you seriously think they’re all part of the conspiracy? Sean Hannity too?

    I’m a vociferous critic of the main Stream Media. But I don’t think for a moment that they’ve got a lock on the dissemination of information in this country. Anyone who thinks so has not discovered the Internet. This unsupported “they stole the election!” meme, at this point, sounds like the whining of a sore loser.

      • It counts as fraud, if proven. But bear in mind several things:

        (1) You’re getting only the prosecution’s side of the story, from a partisan news outlet whose business model rests on feeding click bait that panders to its partisan readers.

        (2) Even if it does count as fraud, it doesn’t overturn the election. There’s no evidence translating it into a number of votes in Georgia, and of course it has no bearing on the vote in the other states that Trump lost.

        There a tendency for our tribe to look at a single instance of fraud (and there are some instances of fraud, as there always is) and say “Ah ha! That proves the election was stolen!”

        Of course it does not. Trump would need a lot, lot more than that.

        Now’s where the faithful attack me personally for being of little faith and perhaps being untrue to the cause. Fine, but faith doesn’t go far in law, and in choosing whether to be true to the law or true to my candidate, I’ll take the former.

      • Only look to engage in a fact based conversation. I only offered that as anecdotal evidence of potential misconduct. I would prefer voter ID and inked thumbprints during elections but that will never happen. My goal is to expand the conversation and let the data set us free. The ability to engage in constructive conversation is what gives me hope until we reach critical mass and change the process more inline with the intents of the Founders. The Leftists want the rewards of Capitalism distributed by the means of Socialism. It is unsustainable by experience.

        There are only two ways to solve a problem. Control the inputs OR become robust to them. The Leftist are doing both by influencing the voter counts and passing laws to take national control of the process. If they succeed the Republic dies.

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…Long live the Republic!

  10. At the risk of spinning off into the “election was stolen” meme, I have to ask the believers a question. It’s not entirely rhetorical.

    Here it is. Since by your own contention the evidence of sufficient fraud to steal the election has not been reported by the MSM — or even any of the sidestream media like Brietbart — and has not been heard in court…

    … drum roll …

    … what exactly is your reason for believing it exists? In other words, what exactly do you know — what exact evidence you have — that I don’t, that the MSM doesn’t, and that the sidestream media like Brietbart doesn’t?

    Please don’t tell me the Dems are perfectly capable of stealing an election and that they’re the kind of people who would. Motivation and opportunity don’t prove crime. Evidence proves crime. And please don’t attack me personally for being naïve or dense. I can take the attack but my naivete, too, is not evidence that the election was stolen.

    So I repeat: What’s your specific evidence? Asking you to reveal the evidence for your belief isn’t too much to ask, is it? We’re not talking about religious faith here, we’re talking about criminal acts.

  11. do you have enough decency to acknowledge the death, maybe the murder, the grisley, surely, bloody, murder that it surely took to cancel Green Nude Eel? where is your heart?\
    we beg you to comment
    sob, sob, sob, help us

  12. we should have said, ÿou surely intelligent, analytical “Aspen Beat”/glenn readers should, morally,if with no other justification, that you should ask “was he pushed, or was he pushed?”

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