The Democrats control both houses of Congress, but their control of the Senate is merely a 50-50 tie that’s broken by Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote. With the filibuster still in place, the only parts of the Democratic agenda that can be passed without the 60-vote supermajority, therefore, are so-called reconciliation bills, which have to do with budgetary issues.
This has meant that thus far, the accomplishments of new President Joe Biden have been limited to a lollapalooza of spending. In fact, the only thing keeping the administration from going off the deep end and putting us so far in hock to China that our children’s children won’t even be able to pay it back are two moderate Democratic senators, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
For their efforts, both have been subject to the kind of dangerous public harassment usually reserved for Republicans.
Last month, Sinema was cornered in a bathroom by far-left immigration activists at the Phoenix campus of Arizona State University, where she teaches a class. Biden said he didn’t approve of the tactics but called it “part of the process.”
Protesters followed Sen. Sinema into the bathroom at Arizona State University to confront her on Build Back Better and immigration pic.twitter.com/NDSmeu0h2M
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 3, 2021
It’ll be interesting to see, then, what the president says after Manchin’s car was blockaded by climate-change activists on Thursday morning.
According to Fox News, the video was originally uploaded to TikTok by the user @hungry4climatejustice, who said, “We blockaded Joe Manchin’s car and he tried to run us over.”
The incident happened near where the West Virginia senator docks his houseboat in Washington, D.C.
In the video, one of the protesters can be heard saying, “This is Joe Manchin’s car slowly pressing into our peaceful protesters.”
Other chants included, “We want to live! We want to live!” and “f*** Joe Manchin.”
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive.
Climate change protestors harass Joe Manchin and blockade his car: pic.twitter.com/t6zAoeDOmM
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) November 4, 2021
The group Hunger Strike 4 Climate Justice posted another angle of the confrontation, asking, “is the money worth selling our futures downriver? Is the money that green? Is it that good for you? How’d that Maserati feel while you drove into us this morning?”
.@Sen_JoeManchin, is the money worth selling our futures downriver? Is the money that green? Is it that good for you? How’d that Maserati feel while you drove into us this morning? #WeWantToLive pic.twitter.com/LQzrAKjvad
— Hunger Strike 4 Climate Justice (@HungerStr1ke) November 4, 2021
Thomas Kennedy — who identifies himself on his Twitter account as a Democratic National Committee member — also said he thought the blame lay with Manchin for driving “his car into protestors who are demanding that he stop blocking climate provisions in the Build Back Better package on behalf of fossil fuel and other corporate interests.”
“What an awful, selfish, greedy man,” Kennedy wrote.
Watch Joe Manchin drive his car into protestors who are demanding that he stop blocking climate provisions in the Build Back Better package on behalf of fossil fuel and other corporate interests. What an awful, selfish, greedy man.pic.twitter.com/fM26R1MmXA
— Thomas Kennedy (@tomaskenn) November 4, 2021
The problem with this explanation is that there is a total of zero protesters and one senator at risk here.
Picture any other Democrat — particularly a liberal one — having their car surrounded by protesters like this. Is one of them armed? Are their intentions violent? Given that they’re blocking the vehicle of a man virtually every progressive has fixed their hatred upon, these are pretty salient questions.
Manchin’s Maserati, meanwhile, posed no danger to any of the activists as it crept forward.
Yet, by the middle of the afternoon, #MaseratiManchin was trending on Twitter.
Can we get #MaseratiManchin trending?
— Amy Siskind ?️? (@Amy_Siskind) November 4, 2021
— Ozzy Simpson ? (@lil_ozzy_vert) November 4, 2021
— ontheporch (@ontheporch1) November 5, 2021
Manchin is a wealthy Democrat? Stop the presses. Wait until these poor young souls find out what the Kennedy family is worth. (They’re also more dangerous behind the wheel of a car, it must be noted.)
The anger may be directed specifically at the West Virginia Democrat because he’s been a staunch defender of the coal industry — look at where he’s from — and the fact he’s currently holding up the $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” spending package Biden and the Democrats put together, announcing earlier in the week he wasn’t going to vote on it until the bipartisan infrastructure bill came up for a vote.
In reality, though, both the #MaseratiManchin and Sinema bathroom harassment incidents proved one thing: If progressives don’t get their way from the few moderate Democrats that remain, they’re going to use whatever intimidation tactics are at their disposal to get it.
Never mind the fact the Democrats won’t have seats in either Arizona or West Virginia if their respective senators go full AOC and support these protesters’ agenda. In both situations, the element of danger was clearly present — the possibility that these senators might be subject to something more minatory than just “peaceful protest.”
This can’t just be “part of the process” — because there’s the sick inevitability that, left unchecked, “the process” will end in violence. Democrats of all stripes need to condemn this hooliganry in the most unequivocal language possible before it comes to that.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.