Trickery, Deceit, and Victory?
I am not counting my trees before they are hugged, but with the help of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Joe Biden is one Democratic party vote away from passing a historic climate bill. The former Build Back Better legislation is now called the Inflation Reduction Act. There are still a few hurdles before a final vote of approval— reconciliation (deeming the legislation a fiduciary matter) by the Parliamentarian and Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema. Most satisfying was that Manchin borrowed a page from senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and got the Democrats close to the finish line with trickery, deceit, and a lie.
Except for one year when I voted as an idealistic independent, I have campaigned and marched for Democratic causes since age 19. Although not perfect, I feel like the party has worked for the people since the late 1970s. What they have lacked recently was the cutthroat win-at-all-cost attitude of Republicans. Knowing my party pulled a GOP fast one to pass the IRA, I felt a bit of a guilty twinge. Still, when I think of Mitch McConnell, who said his top priority was taking down the Joe Biden administration, “One-hundred percent of our focus is on stopping this new administration,” said McConnell, that guilt pang was easy to overcome. For those of you a little behind the curve, Senator McConnell got assurances from Mr. Manchin a week ago that if he got enough Republicans to vote for the Democratic Chip bill, Manchin would hold the fort against the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.
Enter Lucy and the football
Pulling away the football from Mitch McConnell seldom happens because McConnell operates without a moral compass. One has to ask what Joe Manchin got from a deal that hurts his bottom line in the fossil fuels industry. A side deal concession engineered by Manchin and Schumer limits Biden’s clean climate initiative. According to Leah Stokes, a climate policy expert at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “It would get us 80% of the way to President Biden’s climate goal. This is a game changer.” I came close to saying that sacrificing the climate was worth taking the smug smile off Mitch McConnell’s face, but that would be insane, but it was fun for a moment. Once again, that is why I am a Democrat; cruelty is not the point.
For his part, Manchin made it clear his chief priority is not clean energy but profitability, [legislation] “does not arbitrarily shut off our abundant fossil fuels,” he said. With the blessings of Majority leader Chuck Schumer, the proposed bill gives ‘guarantees of new offshore and onshore drilling, including a stipulation that millions more acres of public lands be opened for fossil fuel companies before new solar or new solar or wind energy projects can do the same,’” according to an article by Oliver Milman.
As for the disgruntled GOP, Lucy only charges five cents an hour for her psychiatric counseling. The GOP voted against cancer care for veterans and tax reductions for the poor. I am sure they will vote against codifying a woman’s right to choose. Unlike Democrats, cruelty is their point, and party over conscience feeds the beast. Dirty play is the bread and butter of the Republican party, and the Democrats must continue to toast them on high.
Continue to Vote for Change.