Just a week ago, it was anything but likely that Joe Manchin would throw his support behind literally any funding to deal with the climate emergency. Now he’s shocked all of Washington, backing the Inflation Reduction Act and its attendant $369 billion dedicated to combating the climate crisis and addressing energy security. In this episode, we take a careful look at this surprising face turn and analyze the political situation underlying it. Our guest David Dayen, Executive Editor for the Prospect writes:
If you told me a cosmic ray hit Washington and flipped everyone’s brains, giving Schumer the Machiavellian cunning of a Republican and giving McConnell the guileless approach of a Democrat, that might be a more plausible explanation for this display than the truth.David Dayen is the executive editor of the American Prospect. He’s written extensively about the long and winding road of Build Back Better, pressing issues like the climate crisis, and the stranglehold of corporate power on American life. Now, he’s joining us for Episode 83 of Krystal Kyle & Friends, covering the latest updates in the Democrats’ attempts (and failures) to wield power as attention shifts to the midterms. From a look at the status of clean energy to the Manchin-Schumer deal that seems to defy understanding, Dayen brings his keen insight to our discussion of this week’s most critical developments.
The deal has some clear good, bad and major questions remaining. There is literally no one better positioned to lay out the details and the stakes and the road ahead than David.
David’s right to note that more funding and attention to the climate crisis were promised; we’re not looking at an expansion of the boundaries set by past bills, but following Manchin’s seemingly definitive rejection of any action on climate spending, the landscape has changed. Perhaps we should note here that the past criticism aimed at Manchin after his forestalling of the modest public spending in Build Back Better led the senator to claim he was vilified and “victimized,” isolated by his colleagues. Manchin clearly hasn’t been able to hide from that criticism, and its effect on him is evident.