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Letters to the Editor: Why Joe Manchin might have saved the Democrats from themselves

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks to reporters in a hall outside his office in Washington.
Sen. Joe Manchin III leaves his office after speaking with President Biden about the “Build Back Better” package on Dec. 13 in Washington.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

To the editor: While many prominent Democrats and commentators in the media are venting their anger toward Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) for declining to join the “Build Back Better” chorus of support, we should remind ourselves that this is what true democracy is all about. (“I really didn’t think he’d do it. But I was wrong about Joe Manchin’s weak character,” Opinion, Dec. 21)

I applaud Manchin’s courage on his stand against the tyranny of the Democrat majority. Remember that it was not too long ago that a Democratic congresswoman, Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, casted the lone vote after the 9/11 attack against going to war against Afghanistan.

Perhaps instead of castigating Manchin for his dissent, the Biden administration should promote a “Budgeting Better” bill in the failed proposal’s stead. If the Democrats insist on calling Manchin’s concern over inflation irrational and disloyal, the coming election will be theirs to lose.

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John T. Chiu, Newport Beach

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To the editor: Remember the photo of Manchin loftily looking down from his huge houseboat, “Almost Heaven,” on the Potomac River in Washington? His constituents were looking up from their little boats imploring him to support the “Build Back Better” legislation that would improve their lives.

Now we know their pleas fell on deaf ears. The photo is now reminiscent of a king looking down on his subjects.

Could Manchin ever really relate to his constituents and their needs? Or for that matter, the needs of all Americans? Does he really care? That photo says it all.

Donna Sloan, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Manchin isn’t holding the Democratic purse string. This “Democrat” is up for reelection in his primarily red state, and he will do whatever is necessary to ensure that he wins, regardless if what he stands for is best for his party, constituents or the country as a whole.

Trump did that, and he got booted out — and he’s still crying about it. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) tried to look at the bigger picture and she got shunned by her own party. Others recently have waited to speak out only after they announced they are no longer running for office. Those with loud mouths are now catapulted to the limelight.

Politics today is not a sad reality; it is the new reality.

Conrad Angel Corral, Cathedral City

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To the editor: Columnist Nicholas Goldberg was no more wrong about Manchin than Columbus was when he supposedly thought the world was round.

Walking away from the table is a common negotiating technique, though Manchin should have done it more quietly.

Enough pearl clutching. It ain’t over till it’s over.

Michael Helperin, Los Angeles


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