Joy Reid on Tuesday had harsh words for certain Democrats who, she said, are “willing to let this democracy die just so that they can cut the size of an infrastructure bill – I don’t know for who, or whose benefit.”
The comments came during a discussion with MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley and author Max Boot about what Boot described, in a recent Washington Post editorial, as an “existential threat” against American democracy posed by the Republican Party. Boot credited the “alarming” possibility of Trump once again winning the Republican presidential nomination to “the complete moral abdication of the Republican party leadership.”
Reid chimed in that the courts were also to blame, pointing out that sentences for the Jan. 6 insurrectionists “have seemed very light.” Turning to Wiley and Boot, she posed the question: “Is part of the problem that our legal system and the Democratic party are reacting to it too gently, too delicately?”
Wiley responded that “If Congress itself is gridlocked, politicized and not functioning with democracy in mind … it does also have an impact on the powers of the court.”
“We’ve got too many Vichy Republicans, like McConnell and Kevin McCarthy who are willing to play along,” said Reid. “But a few Democrats who are a little on the Vichey side, too.”
While Reid did not name names, it’s likely she was referring to Democratic holdouts to Congress’ social spending bill: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who oppose any changes to the legislative filibuster and as a result have emerged as the Democratic Party’s chief obstacles to passing President Biden’s infrastructure legislation.
On Sept. 30, Manchin and Sinema met with Biden in hopes of negotiating a reduced budget for the social safety-net bill. Both senators have repeatedly expressed that they are unwilling to agree to the bill’s current $3.5 trillion price tag. Without their support, Biden’s domestic agenda will not pass, as the vote is split evenly between 50 “no” votes from Republicans and 48 Democrats. If Sinema and Manchin were to come on board, Vice President Harris’ vote would act as a tiebreaker.