“Manchin, a centrist Democrat, has objected to key provisions of a multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation bill that would slash planet-heating emissions and help the US, and the world, to avert catastrophic climate breakdown… In the current electoral cycle, Manchin has received more in political donations from the oil and gas industry than any other senator.” — The Guardian, 10/20/21

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Listen, I am fully aware that this country has deep issues that need legislative action to course-correct. Climate change is a problem, families are struggling to make ends meet, and our children’s futures are in jeopardy.

We just need to ensure that progress is extremely slow and has no repercussions on my own self-interests. Slow and steady wins the race, even though California will probably be totally scorched and Florida entirely underwater by the time the race is over.

Understand that my allegiance is with the good folks of West Virginia and the oil and gas industry that lines my pockets. Despite the fact that coal is a dying industry that we need to begin moving away from, I will continue to do everything in my power to defend it so long as it benefits me.

We also can’t let this country slip into a desperate state of “entitlement mentality.” I support a $60K cap on the child tax credit and a work requirement because children must be responsible for the actions of their parents. If a parent is unemployed but the child still has breakfast every morning, what kind of message are we sending?

I like to think of myself as the hero of every story, and right now, the story is doing everything in my power, which surprisingly does not need to be very much, to sink any piece of legislation that would help most Americans. I have fought to slow progress my entire political career, and it’s really, really hard, you guys. I can’t just sit back and watch as rich people who make $100K in cities where the threshold for low-income is $117K zap federal resources I have worked so hard to divert back to the people who really need it: me.

Recently, I was taking a hike in my home state when Senator Kyrsten Sinema appeared next to me out of thin air.

“I have to tell you something important,” she said in a whisper. She never speaks louder than a whisper. “I do all my shopping at Ross Dress for Less. Great deals. But this stays between you and me.”

Then she vanished in a cloud of purple glitter and knock-off Chanel No. 5. I think about this a lot even though it happened yesterday. She’s absolutely right: as conservative Democrats who think only about themselves and no one else, we have to stick together.

What’s more American than using the most powerful legislative body in the country to preserve your self-interests? Kyrsten gets it. It’s why we’re best friends even though she doesn’t answer my texts and hasn’t invited me to Europe yet. At the end of the day, I just want everyone to like me and go along with what I say, even though I make practically no effort to do the same for anyone else.

And, please, don’t get it twisted—I care deeply about the future of this country, the climate, and our children. I just believe that if Americans want fundamental rights and a basic social net, they have to prove they’re responsible enough to handle it. People need to work in order to receive government assistance so they can be disqualified from government assistance for making too much money.

What has our climate done to prove that it’s ready to handle the responsibility of government legislation? Frankly, nothing. When I see the climate putting out its own fires and paying us back for all those hurricanes, then maybe it can have a little assistance.

I love the smell of undoing progress in the morning! I might be a Democrat, but I am not one of those silly, naïve Democrats who care more about the people they represent than their own interests. Also, let’s face it, as a Democrat from West Virginia, I’m basically just three Republicans in a trench coat.

Now, If you’ll excuse me, I have to go tank this bill that will lower drug costs.