Talking Points

The corrupt reality of Joe Manchin's bipartisanship

In a recent Zoom call hosted by the centrist group No Labels and obtained by The Intercept, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) met with numerous big donors. His intent was apparently to round up some pressure on moderate Republican senators to vote for the congressional commission to investigate the Jan. 6 putsch, because GOP obstruction is enabling the left's argument that bipartisanship is impossible.

If Republicans won't even agree to investigate a threat to their own lives, "It just really emboldens the far left," he noted, accurately. "[They say], 'I told you, how's that bipartisan working for you now, Joe?'"

One method Manchin hinted at during the call was lucrative post-office bribes. "Regarding [Sen. Roy] Blunt, Manchin appears to be suggesting — without, perhaps, quite explicitly saying so — that the wealthy executives on the call could dangle future financial opportunities in front of the outgoing senator while lobbying him to change his vote," write The Intercept's Lee Fang and Ryan Grim. 

Manchin is one of the most powerful figures in the American government at the moment, and it is darkly amusing to see what he does with that power. The Senate rules could be changed at any time by Democrats, and as the swing vote Manchin could extract just about any goodies for himself or his state he could imagine. That he is instead using his position to solicit corrupt favors for the opposition party is an instructive example of the bizarre substance of "moderate" ideology among the Democrats.