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Say It Ain't So Joe

The Joe's Don't Care, Make Them!

“Baby Killer” Joe Manchin is the clear and obvious villain in many of our country’s recent trials and tribulations. From his scuttling of the Democrat’s “Build Back Better” bill, and single-handed killing of the child-tax credit, to his continuing refusal to change any Senate rules no matter how dysfunctional the government becomes nor how many rights we lose, and now his unilateral announcement that climate policy is dead in America, Manchin is making his case for most harmful American in 2022. A position with tragically stiff competition. The man is almost enough to make us forget about even greater foes of the American people, like Mitch McConnell, who are salivating at the opportunity to put “Baby-Killer” Joe to shame with their minoritarian nightmare if/when they regain national power. For now, however, we have Joe to deal with, another petty, smug narcissist, whose heart is as black as the coal in his mines. The most recent blow concerning environmental legislation, in which he killed his own proposal, is yet another demonstration of Manchin’s bad-faith negotiation strategy with his “fellow” Democrats. For those paying attention, as painful as Manchin’s stymieing of every Democratic policy is, it’s not surprising. Not only had Manchin promised to be a roadblock to the Democratic agenda from day one, as Bernie Sanders points out, many of Manchin’s top donors are Republican billionaires! With “baby-killer” Joe running the show, it’s clear the Democratic agenda was doomed from the start. But for all the glee Manchin clearly takes in robbing Tiny Tim to line his own pockets, we would be remiss if we let the buck stop there. People like Manchin can only get power when others abdicate their own and enable, if only tacitly, this ongoing abuse. Biden, Schumer and Pelosi demonstrate daily through their silence and inaction that they either support Manchin’s behavior, or simply don’t care about the people who suffer from it. Still, it’s easy to criticize, but what could these “leaders” of the democratic party do to deal with big bad Manchin? Certainly, the best option would have been to deal with this last year, as progressives have been constantly screaming, before Manchin found his stride and solidified his donor base and WV propaganda network. Back then, direct threats of criminal investigation of his daughter’s Epipen price-fixing scandal would have almost certainly gotten him with the program so to speak, who knows, it still might. Options are definitely sparser now, but not absent. As just one example, Chuck Schumer could remove Manchin as chair of the energy committee. A move that would both allow popular climate policy to be pushed to a full vote on the Senate floor, and fix the obvious conflict of interest in allowing Joe Manchin, a coal baron, to decide energy policy. Could such a move provoke backlash? Perhaps, but what exactly can Manchin do at this point? He’s already blocked every piece of the Democratic agenda, and undermined Democrats ability to campaign in 2022. The only remaining advantage afforded by a Democratic majority in the Senate was to appoint federal judges, but with the horrendous deal Biden was previously trying to strike with McConnell, appointing an anti-abortion judge, even that well seems to have run dry. Don’t expect Biden and the rest of Democratic leadership to act on Manchin, however, even at this late hour. Why would they? Has Biden used his executive authority to eliminate student loan debt like he campaigned on? NO! Has he used his power to decriminalize cannabis and wind down the failed immoral drug war? NO! Has Biden taken action to protect reproductive rights after the overturning of Roe v. Wade? NO! Promise after promise, even with the American people behind him 60, 70, even 80% Biden refuses to act. On the other hand, this past Friday, Biden acted swiftly on behalf of big business to prevent exploited railroad workers from striking. When protecting the people of the United States, let alone those abroad, Biden is asleep at the wheel, powerless and feckless. Risk the money of powerful interests and donors, and suddenly Biden leaps into action. All of these people have the same donors, which is why regardless of position or party their activities move in one direction. Without a change of leadership in government, and a shift in the balance of power towards the people, our government will continue to drift ever further from representing us. The first obvious response is political power. We must organize and GOTV. Go vote in your primary election! (Looking at you Maryland). We must commit to protest and petition to make our voices heard and provide pressure in the public square. Through this we can grow our representation inside the halls of power, and highlight our government’s failures to its citizens. Alone, however, this isn’t enough. As Joe’s Biden and Manchin frequently remind us with their deeds, their decisions are based on money and the needs of their donors. To speak this language and get the donors attention we need an economic cudgel to convince the powerful that a government that works for all is in their interest too. Building economic power has two sides, production and consumption. On the production end, we the workers can unionize, using our collective power in the workplace to combat corporate power. Efforts by workers at Amazon and Starbucks are exciting and show a new path towards growing union power. In society we don’t just have power as workers, but as consumers as well. By combining organizing in the workplace and the street with controlled consumption, by refraining from shopping just one day a week, we can begin to shift the balance of power and direct the donor class towards working for all of us. So join us each week on Tuesday as we grow our collective power and win back our democracy and rights! #DSOT #UPM

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