November 22, 2021

Here's the New York Times headline: "G.O.P. Donors Back Manchin and Sinema as They Reshape Biden’s Agenda."

Seems so normal, right? So acceptable. When really, it should read "Right Wing Donors Buy Two Democratic Senators To Block Aid To Middle Class."

I mean, "reshape"? Like a pair of Spanx?

Even as Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin, both Democrats, have drawn fire from the left for their efforts to shrink and reshape Mr. Biden’s proposals, they have won growing financial support from conservative-leaning donors and business executives in a striking display of how party affiliation can prove secondary to special interests and ideological motivations when the stakes are high enough.

The main thing that the Times finds notable is that donors are crossing party lines -- and not the fact that the Democratic agenda is up for sale, thanks to these two enterprising Democratic senators.

We're supposed to buy into the idea that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are just highly-principled moderates (because they keep telling us), and not prostitutes displaying their wares in the windows of K Street's red light district. The blatant influence of corporate dollars doesn't seem to be the primary story here. Because thanks to Citizens United, it's not news.

John LaBombard, a spokesman for Ms. Sinema, rejected any suggestion that campaign cash factored into her approach to policymaking. She was a lead negotiator on the bipartisan infrastructure deal that Mr. Biden signed last week, and during her time in the Senate, she has positioned herself as an ideologically flexible centrist willing to buck her party in representing a purple state.

“Senator Sinema makes decisions based on one consideration: what’s best for Arizona,” Mr. LaBombard said.

Huh. People give her money, and she suddenly changes her mind! I guess it's that she's too busy running triathlons to inform herself on the issues, and therefore she's grateful to the lobbyists who generously brought her up to speed?

And those protesters who keep following her around the state? They're Arizonans. Maybe they know better what they need than some narcissistic caricature of a "principled" leader.

Nelson Peltz, a billionaire investor who brought a Republican-heavy group of chief executives to have lunch with Mr. Manchin in Washington a few months ago, said the senator “understands that you can’t spend, spend, spend and feel there’s no recourse for it.”

Except for corporate tax cuts. I thought I'd point that out, since the Times didn't. They just write down whatever rich people tell them as if it's true. But give them credit, they did note this about big donor G. Brint Ryan:

The website for Mr. Ryan’s tax consulting firm says it works at “liberating our clients from the burden of being overtaxed.”

Republicans believe the ideal taxation for corporations and wealthy people is... no taxation at all. The New York Times does not seem to disagree.

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