Senator Joe Manchin's intransigence in negotiations with members of his own party over a massive bill to develop America's infrastructure was blasted in an op-ed in his hometown newspaper -- just days after the same paper ran an op-ed from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who also took him to task.
On Sunday, Sanders wrote, "The Build Back Better plan is not only vitally important for seniors, but it is enormously important for working families and their children. As a result of the $300 direct payments to working class parents which began in the American Rescue Plan, we have cut childhood poverty in our country by half. It would be unconscionable to see those payments end, which is exactly what will happen if we do not pass this bill."
Manchin fired back at Sanders by issuing a statement that read, in part: "This isn't the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state."
Manchin won't be able to make the same response to the former Charleston Gazette-Mirror contributor who penned Thursday's criticism of the senior Democratic senator. According to Dan Kurland, "Manchin wins, West Virginia loses."
Noting that Manchin is holding the Democrats hostage and appears to be winning, Kurland wrote that it is a pyrrhic victory as far as West Virginia residents are concerned.
Writing, "He's won. It appears that Manchin has killed the inclusion of the Clean Electricity Performance Program that would have paid utilities to switch from greenhouse gas-emitting electricity sources, and that Manchin has killed a proposed carbon fee and dividend program that would have increased market pressure on all industries to move from the carbon-based fuels responsible for the climate crisis," Kurland added, "Manchin has given credence to the claims that he is more motivated by obeisance to the coal and gas industries than to the health of his constituents; that Manchin, personally, and his campaign's fundraising, benefit more financially by perpetuating climate change than by attempts to avert it."
Kurland piled on the accusations, writing, "He has proven that any individual senator can subvert the collective action of the Senate on the basis of their own interests, rather than the interests of the country as a whole," before bluntly adding, "Coal is dying."
"The writing is on the wall: Climate change is upon us, and has been for a long time," he wrote before getting to the point "Surely, hope for new training opportunities and new jobs and new investment opportunities might be a bit rosy at this time, but is it really better to do nothing to address a long-term solution? " and then concluding, "Manchin has chosen his place in history. Is this really how he wants to be remembered?"
You can read his op-ed here.