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Senator Joe Manchin is the centrist of attention

Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, speaks to reporters at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington on Dec. 13.Stefani Reynolds/NYT

His ‘no’ on social spending bill is a crushing betrayal

Re “Manchin’s ‘no’ leaves Democrats furious” (Page A1, Dec. 20): Senator Joe Manchin declaring that he is a “no” vote on the Build Back Better bill demonstrates his true nature as a DINO, or Democrat in name only. While he has expressed his concern about justifying this bill to his constituents in his native coal country of West Virginia, where is his allegiance to a national agenda supported by the rest of his party and the majority of the American people?

Manchin’s “no” is a betrayal that tilts the balance of power toward the Republicans, who can already taste victory in the 2022 midterm elections even as the Democrats are doing all that they can to address child care, COVID-19, and climate change.


Gordon D. Chase


Blow to Biden administration is self-inflicted

“Manchin’s ‘no’ leaves Democrats furious,” says the headline. I am a bit furious with the Biden administration. You do not introduce a big bill on which you stake your reputation without counting the votes first. That’s legislation 101.

The Build Back Better bill should be divided into its component parts. Make the Republicans and Senator Joe Manchin vote against universal prekindergarten. Make the Republicans and Manchin vote against free community college. Make them vote against each of the things that the country overwhelmingly supports, and then trumpet those negative votes to the world, over and over. That’s politics 101.

Clement Brown

Fall River

If West Virginia Democrat won’t budge, maybe a GOP senator could be nudged

I realize that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has great control over the Republicans in the chamber, but I suggest that President Biden try to find just one GOP senator who might like to make history and serve the country by replacing Democrat Joe Manchin as the crucial vote to pass a truly meaningful change to our social safety net. The president should start with Susan Collins of Maine but, if unsuccessful, move on to other possibilities, including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, and others who passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Even the prospect of such talks may bring Manchin back on board. Or, if finally unsuccessful, Biden would have tried everything possible.


Bill Cotter


The writer was president and professor of constitutional law at Colby College from 1979 to 2000.

Joe Manchin is only one of 51 senators who say they will vote against Build Back Better, against investing in our children, including with free preschool; against improving health care and lowering prescription costs; and against combating climate change. Constituents must implore every Republican senator, especially Susan Collins of Maine, to do what has broad support and is crucial for the future of America and the world. I hope at least one will change their mind and vote for Build Back Better.

Douglas C. Johnson


Stop calling Manchin a ‘moderate’

Why does the Globe, along with many other news outlets, persist in labeling Joe Manchin a “moderate” Democrat when he is clearly a conservative Democrat? What matters equally is that calling him a moderate implies that any Democrat who disagrees with him is a wild-eyed radical.

Nan Levinson


LBJ would have made it happen (but Biden’s no LBJ)

Given the editorial cartoon by Ward Sutton in Monday’s Globe (“Biden’s silent night”), does anyone think that Lyndon Johnson would have let a Joe Manchin vote no on something as important as this bill? I doubt it.


We needed an anti-Trump who could undo the mess we were put in, and Joe Biden might have been a fine president in the Eisenhower years of “Ozzie and Harriet,” but he is not what we need in today’s world.

Alan Jay Rom