Like a lot of people these days, Bill Maher is getting really annoyed with conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. And in a joke we suspect a lot of people will agree with Maher said that Manchin is pretty much just a Republican.
“The most powerful republican in the Senate” is how Maher put it.
We hardly need to remind people of who Manchin is, but just to put the joke in context, he’s famous for his obstinate refusal to consider even tepid reform of the filibuster. This is of course causing problems for Democrats because it creates an artificial 60-vote threshold to pass any bill, which means Republicans can veto any piece of legislation they want.
This has forced Democrats to negotiate with Republicans on bills even after Republicans repeatedly said outright that their plan is to make sure nothing passes. Predictably, those negotiations failed, which derailed the possibility of an infrastructure bill, and worse, of any legislation to protect the country from Republican attempts at the state level to severely curtail voting, justified with outright lies about nonexistent voter fraud.
And also, last weekend Manchin wrote a meandering op-ed announcing his opposition to one of the big voter rights bills, and pretty much declaring that nothing will ever change his mind on the filibuster. Which, if so, means Democrats are unlikely to pass any of their agenda for the rest of Joe Biden’s term in office.
“Sunday, Biden is going to go to Windsor Castle to meet with the Queen, the newly widowed queen. He was going to express his condolences for her losing Prince Philip. And she’s going to express her condolences for Joe losing Joe Manchin,” Maher said as he walked into the joke during his monologue.
“This Joe Manchin, boy, have you been reading about him? For a Democrat, he is the most powerful Republican in the Senate. I tell you this guy, he has blocked every big thing that the Democrats want to do — the voting rights legislation, the January 6th commission, even infrastructure,” Maher continued. “That’s f—ing dead now. The talks broke down. They said because of, I love this, irreconcilable differences. Which sounds to me like a marriage. Or a divorce. Which is appropriate considering next year, they may get the House.”
“But Democrats did win one this week. The Keystone pipeline, you’re familiar? That’s dead now,” Maher added. “It’s probably not good, don’t be too happy. Because shutting it down will cost thousands of jobs — mostly of hackers in Moscow who were going to ransom it for Bitcoin. But they are jobs.”
Watch the bit above.