In April he told me: “I’ve never considered it from that standpoint because I know I can change more from where I’m at. And I still believe in the principles of the Democratic Party that I grew up with.”…
The spectre of a party-switch hangs because it brought a quick end to the last 50-50 Senate. Many reasons to doubt Manchin would do it. Of course if, say, Biden and Schumer went to war against him like some progressives want, might be a different story.…
That's basically what Manchin said to me. Then again that was also true for Jim Jeffords, who did it in 2001. Jeffords acted mainly out of personal pique.

To be clear, things would have to deteriorate waaaaaay further between Manchin and Biden/Schumer for a party switch to be even conceivable.

But that's a main reason why they continue to handle him with kid gloves. Plus the whole "need his vote for anything controversial" thing

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More from @awprokop

8 Jun
There’s been a lot of conflation of separate issues into “the Republican Party’s threat to democracy,” which is effective rhetorically but can confuse things from the “what to do about it” perspective…
I'd frame it as three threats that get the most attention:

(1) Voter suppression / voter access
(2) Structural biases (gerrymandering, Senate and Electoral College skew)
(3) Actually overturning results

But these are distinct problems that would have distinct solutions
The For the People Act does the most on #1, voter access.

It tackles a limited part of #2 — just House gerrymandering (and there are different views on how effective its proposals would be).

It does little of consequence on #3 (overturning results)…
Read 5 tweets
7 Jun
Schumer's plan was to vote on S.1 at the end of the month. Activists had hoped to use it to make the case for filibuster reform.

Manchin has cut that off at the knees, making clear the bill won't even get 50. And focus on bipartisanship means changes to substance won't sway him
See for instance this @sambrodey piece from just a few days ago. This was how activists hoped the drama would play out (a bit of magical thinking here), but Manchin has since made clear it's not happening.…
As I explored in my profile there are two Manchins, depending on the issue. There's one who will play hardball but cut a deal in the end. And there's another who will put his foot down, and keep it down.…
Read 4 tweets
25 May
The way you get bipartisanship on a bipartisan commission is, often, a sort of gentlemen's agreement not to make either party look too bad. Mutually assured destruction.

That's ill-suited for 1/6, because only one party looks bad on that issue…
Recall that it was moderate House Republicans who introduced a bill to create a 1/6 commission, just days after the Capitol was stormed.

The idea was, explicitly, that the country needed something like a 9/11 Commission to provide a full accounting of what happened.
What could such a commission do?
1.) It could uncover new facts. But it wouldn't have special powers to do so. Any ordinary cong. committee has the same powers. And a commission half-controlled by McConnell/McCarthy appointees likely wouldn't be aggressive in using those powers
Read 5 tweets
19 May
One day later, McConnell says on Senate floor that "after careful consideration" he will oppose Dems' 1/6 commission proposal, calling it unnecessary because there are enough investigations already
McConnell had some disagreements with specifics of Dems' proposal, but of course he could try and negotiate on those if he wanted to.

The lines about a new investigation being unnecessary seem to justify blanket opposition to the idea.
McConnell's position is currently being expressed as his personal opinion, not the party's. So still theoretically possible he will not try hard to block the commission and leave it up to his senators. But he isn't helping.

Read 5 tweets
18 May
McConnell on a 1/6 commission will be telling about how subservient he feels he must be to Trump at this point.
McConnell was furious about 1/6, his wife quit the Cabinet, and "sources" talked a big game about consequences for Trump.

In the end he voted against conviction, saying it's because he doesn't think he can convict a former president.
Lately, McConnell has avoided Liz Cheney-ing, and has fully embraced the "GOP must unite and look forward so we can win in 2022" mindset.

But if he wants to put at least one obstacle in the way of Trump coming back in 2024, the commission could be a way to do that.
Read 5 tweets
11 May
Per @Catalist_US, it's tempting to generalize, but:

-32% of Biden's voters were non-college whites

-46% of white college grads voted for Trump…
Punditry shorthand is Biden won because of nonwhite voters and white college grads. Not the whole story. His coalition was:
-39% voters of color
-29% white college grads
-32% non-college whites

That is, he got more actual votes from non-college whites than college whites.
That's because, well, there are lots of white people in the USA, and lots of them vote. White share of the electorate has been shrinking but is still quite high (72% of 2020 voters).

Non-college whites were 44% of the electorate.…
Read 4 tweets

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