Democrats lament dealing with Joe Manchin means starting over with everything each time
Joe Manchin on Facebook.

It's unclear whether Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) simply can't remember what was discussed or he simply doesn't care. Either way, Democrats told Axios that dealing with the senator is "like negotiating via Etch A Sketch."

"You think you're just about there. You think you've got an agreement on most of the things and it's settling in. And then you come back the next morning and you're starting from scratch," Axios quoted one source explaining after making the Etch A Sketch analogy.

It sounds a bit like "Groundhog's Day," the film with Bill Murray, in which a local newsman must relive the same day over and over again until he finally gets it right.

It's unclear whether such a negotiation tactic is part of Manchin's strategy of delaying or the 74-year-old senator is growing more and more confused. Either way, it has ultimately obliterated the entire agenda for his party of choice.

The report also said that the White House is working with "Sens. Angus King (I-ME), Jon Tester (D-MT.) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) to lobby Manchin over the Freedom to Vote Act." Manchin developed his own voting rights bill, claiming that he could craft a bill that Republicans would support. While he crafted the bill, he was never able to get any Republicans to support it, even if Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is growing increasingly concerned about the turn of the GOP.

According to those negotiating with Manchin, the senator will meet with colleagues to negotiate on bills. He'll then go home and "outsiders" will call him. He then comes back with new questions, restarting the debate.

"I think he listens to everybody, which is the problem. Whoever he's heard from most recently has the upper hand," the source told Axios.

Even Manchin's Senate office seems to conflict with where he is on the issue.

"Senator Manchin believes strongly that every American citizen of legal age has not only the right, but also the responsibility to vote and that right must be protected by law. He continues to work on legislation to protect this right," Manchin's spokesperson said in a statement.

The problem is that Manchin doesn't support a bill that makes that clear. Instead, states around the country are placing restrictions on Americans who have every right to vote. The bills mandate that across the board, one person gets one vote. Instead, without the voting rights legislation, "one person, one vote" will become one person jumping through several hoops and facing barriers just to cast a ballot.

At the same time, colleagues have been trying to work with Manchin on what they call the "talking filibuster."

In the past, Manchin told reporters that he would absolutely support changing the filibuster to the "talking filibuster." Less than a month later, Manchin changed his mind. Then weeks after that, he claimed he didn't think it would matter because it would take a vote to end the filibuster anyway. He's correct there would be a vote, but a 60-vote majority would either end the filibuster and move for a vote, or the filibuster would continue. If 60 members don't vote to end the filibuster, the senator holding the filibuster must continue speaking until he or she can't hold the floor any longer. Those were the rules that existed before it was decided anyone could stage a filibuster just by threatening to hold one. Mandating that rule would end the gridlock in the Senate, says former senior aide to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Read the full report at Axios.