Opinion: Joe Manchin finally makes it plain: He is in favor of minority rule
I checked in with James Wallner, a longtime Senate aide and rules expert who writes regularly on Senate procedure. Wallner noted that this from Manchin constitutes an unwitting admission of sorts that critics of the filibuster are right about it.
Wallner added that Manchin has effectively admitted that he actively wants the minority to have that power. This constitutes “giving the minority a veto they don’t otherwise have,” Wallner continued, adding that permitting this to remain in place allows “the minority to determine what ultimately is going to happen.”
What’s also striking is that this badly undermines a leading argument for keeping the filibuster, i.e., that it facilitates bipartisanship. As Wallner noted, Manchin is declaring that the filibuster’s virtue lies expressly in the fact that it gives the minority the ability to “say no.”
“That’s at face value what Manchin was saying,” Wallner told me.