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Joe Manchin and Donald Trump: The two men who threaten it all

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After West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin's comments last weekend in which he refused to consider reforming the filibuster or voting to support the For the People Act, it's been very hard to avoid the dreaded thought that the 2021 Democratic agenda is already on life-support.

Sure, Senate Democrats recently managed to get a bipartisan bill passed to fund programs that increase competition with China and deal with various security threats, but that's because Mitch McConnell granted his rare dispensation since he knows such legislation is not the sort of thing that the public will see as a Democratic "win." And there was word on Thursday evening that the "Gang of 10" working on a bipartisan infrastructure bill in the Senate had come to an agreement, although early reports suggest that the climate change mitigation portion of the initiative has been jettisoned. But even as bad as such a "deal" would be, it is hard to imagine finding even 10 Republicans to vote to break the filibuster in support. Or even 50 Democrats for that matter!

Everything feels very small and insubstantial all of a sudden, which is extremely worrying.

It's hard to imagine the Democrats will be able to keep the Trumpified GOP at bay in 2022 and 2024 if they are unable to deliver more than this. Just saying you tried, kind of, isn't the most inspiring electoral message. On the other hand, it's not as if the Trumpified Republicans are in particularly good shape either. It's always tempting to see them as having some magical hold on the American public because it seems so bizarre and inexplicable that they are able to win at all. But it is important to remember that the leader........

© Salon

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