it were an Elizabethan stage production, Senators Joe Manchin and
Kyrsten Sinema would be the ones to stab the protagonist-hero in the
back, in this case, the working class and marginalized of the
Biden's infrastructure plan of $3.5 trillion over 10 years is
designed to bring some aid to children and their parents, to the
elderly, to ill-funded schools, and to increase the benefits to
those who are on Medicare, among other benefits to the American
people. Like the Republicans in Congress, they are now fretting
about the cost of the benefits to society and the legacy of debt
that such an expenditure will leave for future generations.
doesn't seem to be worried so much about the debt burden that future
generations will inherit when he votes to add billions to the
military and the defense apparatus every year. He doesn't mention
that and is not likely to bring that up as an issue. Silent Sinema
has not revealed what she stands for, either in domestic or foreign
policy (as in the military-industrial-media complex). By her
silence, she has allied herself with those who pay her freight, the
pharmaceutical donors and the banks, which have paid untold money
into her political coffers.
does not seem to be serious in addressing the requirements of her
job as senator from Arizona. Recently, when a reporter pointed out
that the progressives in her state said that they don't know where
she is (on the issues), she replied, “I'm in the Senate.”
That pretty much summed up her answer to everything of substance.
She's crafty and she's smart enough to keep playing that role for
the next three or four years, the length of her senate term. Time
and the patience of her constituents will wear out. Already, the
progressive groups in Arizona who are credited with pushing her to a
win are planning to support a primary opponent, should she decide to
run for reelection.
out in the Green Party of Arizona, she eventually became a Democrat
and apparently lost some of the fervor of reform that her former
party, and she, represented. One of the hallmarks of her
transformation was her vote on raising the minimum wage. She walked
across the floor of the Senate, came back before the podium,
curtsied while giving a thumbs-down on a raise, then walked away.
If that didn't show her total disdain for the working class, nothing
ever will. For her, as it is for her Republican colleagues, the
working class, minorities, and the marginalized do not exist in
America. Otherwise, she would be fully in favor of the modest $3.5
trillion Build Back Better bill.
Sinema and Manchin and most of the nation's press never seem to
mention is that the $3.5 trillion is spread over 10 years and is
essentially dwarfed by U.S. military and defense spending. Both of
them have begun to sing the GOP song about the national debt that
Republicans seem to pull out of their songbook whenever Democrats
are in power. For them, when Republicans are in power, anything
goes. Then, the sky's the limit in spending.
of these senators love the limelight. They love the attention and
they love the power that has been conferred on them by the 50-50
split in the U.S. Senate. They are soaking up as much of the
feeling of power as they can get because their days are numbered.
The American people get tired of such people eventually and that
time is approaching. Neither one could be described as a leader
since neither one has expressed what they are really for in the way
of programs or policy. Leaders usually believe in something,
develop policies or write laws and fight to fulfill them. These two
is quite transparent. As a multi-millionaire, he is trying to
protect his assets and his wealth, most of which is built on coal, a
dirty fossil fuel. Sinema is protecting the assets and wealth of her
donors in the banking and pharmaceutical industries. She does not
express support for any of the programs that the Biden plan seeks:
expanded Medicare benefits (new dental, eye, and hearing benefits),
two years of tuition-free community college, improved housing and
home health care benefits and increased efforts to address climate
change and global heating by encouraging clean energy. If she does
support these issues, she doesn't discuss them with anyone or
advocate for them, except possibly with her corporate donors.
politicians are a usually slippery lot, Sinema is no slouch at that
and knows how to work the press, staying in the spotlight for her
short time of fame and celebrity. She does have a GOP counterpart in
Marjorie Taylor (MT or “Empty”) Greene, a member of the
House of Representatives from a backwater of Georgia, who also knows
how to work the press, only her modus
is outrageous statements and loud public confrontations with
Democrats. On one occasion, she followed and harassed on the street
a survivor of a deadly school shooting, saying that he was a coward
for walking away from her. No one would say that Sinema is the exact
equivalent of Greene, after all, she has a Ph.D. Degree, but that
does not confer common sense or a sense of decency on a doctoral
all of the press is playing the Manchin-Sinema game, however, with
The Guardian weighing in on Oct. 3, quoting New York magazine's
phrase "for the oversized power resting in the hands of the two
otherwise unremarkable Democratic holdouts: Manchema." Writing
in that magazine, Sarah Jones, said, "They are, in effect,
holding the president's priorities hostage to their personal
whims...That is not a new story in politics. But their stubbornness
in the face of contemporary challenges reveals the bottomless
emptiness of their brand of centrist politics."
pair are not "centrists." They are betraying the untold
number of working-class citizens who gave them their votes, thinking
that their needs would be represented in the Congress. Instead, the
two have been representing the needs of two people: Manchin and
Sinema. If greed were a state, that's what they would be
representing on the national stage...for money and power.
a coal baron, has told his constituents, the people of West Virginia,
that he is their champion since he is "one of them." His
actions say otherwise and the people of his state might show him the
door. Sinema already is facing the ire of the progressive and
liberal Democrats in Arizona. She may believe that things are fine
and that she will be reelected. The polls say otherwise and she
won't be able to imagine herself out of her political troubles.
seems to think that her erratic and quirky behavior is playing well
with her constituents and Democrats across the nation, in general.
That kind of behavior may be welcome on a reality television show,
but the stage on which she is performing is not primetime television.
It is the real world and what she is doing by playing the Republican
game is further hurting working-class and minority citizens who are
already hurting. She needs to stop trying to play the part of the
Democratic Empty Greene and start voting to help Americans in dire
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, John
Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who
lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor
work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the
land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land
Mr. Funiciello and BC.