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Manchin sees clearly what his party’s progressives don’t or won’t

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Sen. Joe Manchin III’s declaration Thursday that he wants his fellow Democrats to take a “strategic pause” in crafting the party’s proposed $3.5 trillion domestic spending package does more than derail President Biden’s agenda. It’s an early warning sign for the political troubles Democrats are courting if they ignore his plea and move full speed ahead.

Manchin’s move shouldn’t surprise anyone who understands politics. He represents the deep red state of West Virginia and only won reelection in the 2018 Democratic wave by a 50-46 margin over a weak opponent. He surely knows that result won’t be repeated if he has to defend a massive increase in the size of government that his conservative constituents probably don’t want.

He’s also probably carrying water for other Senate Democrats who see their political futures endangered by moving too far, too fast to the left. Eleven of the Senate’s 50 Democrats hail from states that Donald Trump won in 2016, and another four hail from the close swing states of New Hampshire and Nevada. All these senators would face serious challenges and potentially lose their races if the........

© Washington Post

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