How to Win Manchin And Sinema Over By Appealing To Their Cruelty

They want centrism? I'll show 'em centrism.

Every single item in Biden’s “Build Back Better” human infrastructure bill has the vast support of the majority — over 2/3 — of the American people.

And over 96% of elected Democrats support Biden’s bill. So why hasn’t it passed? Because there are two corporatist Democratic senators who are against it. But why? They refuse to say which of the measures in the bill they’re against. They just hate that number — $3.5 trillion — mainly because they and their wealthy donors are going to lose their Trump tax cut if this bill is passed. That’s how the entire $3.5 trillion is paid for — making the rich pay what they paid under Ronald Reagan. 

But I think I know the things that Senators Manchin and Sinema hate about this build back better bill — and I know what we need to do to make them happy and get them to come on board.

These types of senators, and the corporate media infrastructure that elevates them, are always calling for “compromise.” They always want us to “reach across the aisle” and strive for the holiest of Washington labels: “moderate” or “centrist.”

To break the logjam, I am offering a number of suggestions to my fellow progressives and to the president — reasonable ideas that I believe Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will love and thus give us their votes to pass this important piece of legislation.

Here they are:

1.  In his “human infrastructure“ bill, President Biden wants to expand Medicare in order to provide free hearing aids for the elderly. But let’s be honest — these geezers only need one ear to hear! Why pay for two ears? We can cut the cost of this item in half by giving seniors only one hearing aid for one ear. More than that is overkill. Listening, as we’ve learned in recent years, is overrated. 

2.  Biden also is trying to push free dental visits on our grandparents. Really? They had their whole lives to take care of their teeth and not end up like this! Why is it our responsibility to build back their teeth? We can also cut this item by half by giving seniors a choice regarding the care of their teeth: uppers or lowers? They pick. The government will cover fully one-half of their mouth! And the two hold-out senators can claim a savings in the billions. 

3.  The president thinks old people should get free eye check-ups and glasses. How about, in order to convince Manchin and Sinema, we skip the free check-ups and save another whopping 50% by giving old people only a half pair of glasses — a government paid-for monocle! 

4.  Biden’s plan forces the pharmaceutical companies to negotiate lower drug prices. Which means 42 million seniors will pay practically next-to-nothing for prescriptions. I have a cheaper idea: Just load the old folks on buses and take them to Canada to fill their prescriptions! They can pick up their insulin for ten bucks a pop (compared to $120 in the US), the bus trip gets them outta the house for some sun and fresh air — and we get to contain socialism in Canada without having to build a wall! Win-win-win! (For seniors down South, the government will pay for the boat ticket to Cuba where they can pick up their asthma inhalers for 20 cents apiece!)

5.  The Biden plan wants to make sure ALL kids in America eat a healthy breakfast and lunch every day at school. We can cut a lot of money here. Look. We adults turned out OK with a quick bowl of Froot Loops before rushing off to school (I mean, a misspelled version of the word “fruit” was literally in its name!). And what was wrong with having Cream of Tuna on Toast with chocolate milk and fries for lunch at school? I mean, that covers ALL FIVE FOOD GROUPS!

Let’s save billions by sticking to the tried and true! Ok, ok, maybe the bowl of Froot Loops can have some real fruit in the loops. We’ll still save billions!

6.  The child tax credit parents got this year — $400 per kid — may cut child poverty by 50%!!! But why stop at 50% — why not eliminate ALL child poverty? Exactly what Bernie’s and the Pope’s best friend is proposing! Joe Biden’s bill would extend the child tax credit PERMANENTLY! Yowza! C’mon Kyrsten and Joe M! Can’t you be for that? Oh. I see. Ok — how ‘bout this for a compromise: We give the parents the child tax credit — but we make the kids work it off. The youngsters have to mow the city hall lawn. Sweep the streets and sidewalks. Clean up dog poop in the parks. Sew the school’s uniforms. Make those chips we need for American cars! And serve the younger students the Cream of Tuna on a Stick! Win-Win! 

7.  Universal Pre-K for 3- and 4-year olds. We can cut billions here by hiring minimum wage babysitters  — or better yet, just park the toddlers in a room with spy cameras that are monitored in one big control room. All they need are TVs playing their favorite shows nonstop. And, yes, there will be a Pre-K graduation ceremony before they move on to kindergarten. The tweens in middle school will sew the little caps and gowns in the school’s sweatshop.

8.  The Biden bill pays for two years of community college tuition. One year is enough. This will save hundreds of millions each year. Plus, GrubHub and Uber are short of workers. Get these adult students out of school and into the workforce!

9.  If this human infrastructure agenda is passed, all Americans will be entitled to 12 weeks of PAID family leave for a variety of needs. C’mon — we only need 12 days! That’s all it will take to move mom into the nursing home and sell off her house. Or for us to get over the flu. Or when our daughter gets the next variant. Or the grief of losing a loved one. 12 free weeks is for sissies. Or the French. Oh. I see. They get 20 weeks? Well, F’em!

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So as you can see, we can easily bring this $3.5 trillion down by half! That should secure Manchin’s and Sinema’s votes. What a country this is where two politicians can hold Congress — and the country — hostage. They know the vast majority of Americans support this bill. But that doesn’t matter to them. Being a moderate means telling the majority to F--- off. The privileged few ruling over the vast, mass majority. That’s how it’s always worked. Until it no longer does. Who amongst you is ready to be heard? 


P.S. If you’re one of those bleeding hearts who believe old people should be able to hear, see and chew and you still want congress to pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill as is, please let Senators Manchin and Sinema know by calling or emailing them:

Senator Manchin: 202-224-3954 or email here:

Senator Sinema: 202-224-4521 or email here:

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