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I read in some book that when a person would come to FDR imploring him to support a policy, he would say, "Make me support it." In other words, create the groundswell, get the votes, just generally create the parade that he would feel compelled to get in front of. This isn't exactly on point with this situation, probably, but there is no parade that the Democrats can create that Manchin will want to even watch given his political persona. The only solution is more senators. Unlikely as that may be, my naturally positive nature is hoping for a Hail Mary pass next November so we can pick up at least one more vote in the Senate.

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One point on your Economist article.

It is not the Republican Party, as you point out here, which has a big tent coalition with inherent contradictions that can be exploited. It is the Democratic Party which leads a big tent coalition with inherent contradictions, and its these contradictions which are causing Democrats all their problems. The Democratic Party is simultaneously the party for well educated, well off, voters, AND: extremely progressive whites, AND: relatively conservative minorities, AND: rural minority voters. These 'wings' of the Democratic Party do not share the same values, the same needs, nor the same desired policy outcomes. As a result, they cannot decide what's important.

A well functioning Republican Party would woo relatively conservative minorities away from the Democratic Party...this may be happening (we shall see if new GOP voters from 2020 were a blip or a trend). A well functioning Democratic Party would prioritize what it needs to keep its marginal voters happy. But the Democratic Party is not well functioning. Joe Biden is a back slapping old deal maker, but I have not been impressed with his ability to prioritize. Instead Joe Biden has attempted to be all things to all wings of the Party. He's already disappointed African-Americans...largely because their wants (a new Voting Rights Bill) is being blocked by Joe Manchin, and his new spending bill is not likely to satisfy anyone.

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Joe Manchin is a boon to democrats. Every democrat should thank their lucky stars he's a senator. Manchin's input has both made the bill more popular, and more focused (which helps both him and the party.

Kyrsten Sinema is useless, she needs to go. It's clear her politics neither makes bills more popular, nor follows any principles of her own. She has both made the bill worse and less popular.

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I do wonder about Manchin's calculus regarding the power of being a committee chair when his party is in the majority versus holding back on voting reform and slipping out of the majority and giving up a chairmanship. Not sure how powerful Senate chairman really are though, and whether that means much to his individual political aspirations.

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Hi Elliott,

Nationalization of politics led to increased polarization (particularly geographically) and partisanship. One of the questions I have is whether Democrats who are pro-life and/or pro-gun for example would win in rural states and appeal to rural voters. Could more social/culture conservative Democrats help Democrats win more seats in the Senate? Could a more conservative social/culture Democrat appeal to swing states during Presidential election? Certainly a pro-life and/or pro-gun Democrat couldn't win a Presidential primary, but could it help with Senate races?

I hope everything is well,

Elliot

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