MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2021
A tale of two dueling columns: This morning, it's Kim Potter who we want to lock up.
No one alleges that she intended to shoot Daunte Wright. The prosecutors want 25 years all the same.
A few weeks back, it was the teenager, the one who lives "across state lines" from nearby Kenosha. Having been forced to drop his fire extinguisher, he'd shot and killed a mentally ill man who was chasing him through the streets, having threatened to kill him.
From there, we moved on to the 15-year-old in Michigan, but also to his parents. We're hoping to lock all three of them up. Can we possibly charge the high school counselor too?
Increasingly, more and more, this is the way we function. We've been drifting in this direction for years. Along the way, a lot of disappeared information helps keep our anger on track.
Also this morning, it's Joe Manchin who is the focus of our tribe's righteous anger. It isn't clear that this makes perfect sense, in part because he represents (massively pro-Trump) West Virginia, but also because of this:
COCHRANE AND EDMONDSON (12/20/21): Mr. Manchin outlined the conditions for his vote in a July 28 memo signed with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, which became public in late September, saying that [the Build Back Better bill] must be fully paid for and that any revenue over $1.5 trillion must go toward lowering the federal budget deficit. That memo also included limits on who could benefit from new programs and a ban on repealing fossil-fuel tax credits—and a warning that his vote would not be guaranteed if his conditions were exceeded.
However, Mr. Manchin has largely focused his attention on what he does not want in the package and has been vague about what programs and policies he might support.
In recent weeks, he has continued to insist that the bill shrink, and that it refrain from short-term budget gimmicks, which would most likely require lawmakers to fund fewer programs over the long term.
So it says, though only as a reminder, in today's New York Times. You can see the detailed memo here—but it was duly delivered, and jointly signed, way back in July.
That formal memo constituted a fair amount of notice. With respect to those "short-term budget gimmicks," yes, they're very much there, though you may have not heard a lot about them at our favorite liberal sites, or from our tribe's cable news stars.
Despite these facts, Manchin is being widely name-called today—except by AOC. For our money, the tweet she offered makes more sense than some others do:
OCASIO-CORTEZ (12/19/21): People can be mad at Manchin all they want, but we knew he would do this months ago.
Where we need answers from are the leaders who promised a path on BBB if [the infrastructure bill] passed: Biden & Dem leaders. They chose to move [the infrastructure bill] alone instead of w/ BBB, not Manchin.
So they need to fix it.
In fairness, no one "knew" that Manchin was going to do this, but there were plenty of reasons to think so. If people feel the need to be mad at someone today, we think AOC's suggestion may be worth considering.
(In the larger sense, it does seem that someone misjudged this whole shebang from the start. Sometimes that can happen.)
By the way:
Why are we name-calling Manchin alone, when 50 other senators—including the other senator from his state—have opposed every part of this thing every step of the way? That includes the less reliable Republicans who sometimes vote with the Democrats. Why aren't we yelling at them?
Given the unfortunate way our electoral system works, it's increasingly hard for Democrats to assemble an actual Senate majority. That isn't anybody's fault, but along the winding road to this day, have we possibly chosen to keep ignoring that fact?
Have we perhaps been living in a bit of a fantasyland? If so, why aren't we mad at ourselves?
A lot of anger has been floating around; we'd call it free-floating fury. As our system comes apart at the seams, it's understandable that this anger exists, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's helpful or right.
This week, we want to suggest that we within our struggling tribe should take a look at our anger. Should we really want to lock everyone up? Should we loathe so many Others?
Tomorrow, we'll start with a pair of columns. One of them appeared last week; one appeared a few years back.
Blow spoke in favor of fury; Powers spoke for forgiveness. We'll also speak in favor of pity this week.
That includes pity for the apparently dangerous man who threatened to kill Kyle Rittenhouse, then chased him through the streets. Joining the ghost of Christmas past, we'll show you the history of his childhood. We'll show you how his very substantial difficulties seem to have gotten their start.
There but for fortune, we may even say! Along the way, we'll show you some of the actual facts, about various issues, which were talked about on Fox more than on our own channels.
Under current arrangements, information is frequently withheld from our tribe too. Whichever side of the current divide you may be on, it's happening every day of the week. This tends to make all of us angrier, and perhaps less helpful and wise.
Tomorrow: Fury v. regrets