Democrats are freaking out about West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s Wall Street Journal op-ed calling for “a strategic pause” on President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan. “For the first time, Biden is staring at the plausible vision of a failed presidency,” laments New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait.
But Manchin is not trying to bring Biden down. As Chait points out earlier in his piece, shortly after Biden’s inauguration, Manchin promised, “We’re going to make Joe Biden successful.”
So if Manchin wants Biden to be successful, why is he jeopardizing Biden’s largest domestic policy initiative?
The short answer is that Manchin does not support Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending plan, he is desperate not to even have to vote on it, but he very much wants the bipartisan infrastructure bill he did vote for to pass.
He probably honestly believes that Biden would be a successful president if he got the bipartisan