Acting 'out of ego': Robert Reich calls out centrist Dems Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema

Acting 'out of ego': Robert Reich calls out centrist Dems Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema
Economist Robert Reich in 2013, Wikimedia Commons

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is voicing his concerns about the latest controversy surrounding centrist Democratic lawmakers Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-Va.). As Democrats work to pass another large package, Manchin has reportedly agreed to approximately $790 billion, it is still unclear whether Sinema will agree or not.

To Reich, it appears both lawmakers enjoy the spotlight they receive through the suspense of their decisions.

"It’s been joked that the word 'politics' is derived from the Latin 'poli,' meaning 'many,' and 'ticks,' meaning small blood-sucking insects. I don’t hold such a cynical view," Reich wrote. "But I do know from 50 years’ experience in and around Washington that most of the people who serve in our nation’s capital have very, very large – shall we say? – egos."

READ MORE: 'Divorced from reality': Robert Reich breaks down just how delusional GOP lawmakers have become about Jan. 6

Recalling Manchin's actions on Sunday, July 31, Reich wrote, Manchin made the rounds of all five Sunday morning talk shows. "He thereby achieved what’s known as a 'full Ginsburg,' after William Ginsburg, the lawyer for Monica Lewinsky, who was the first to appear on all Sunday talk shows, on 1 February 1998."

He added, "Manchin treated it as a victory lap. He took credit for his newly named 'Inflation Reduction Act.' (He refused to allow it to be named 'Build Back Better' because he’s still smarting over what he viewed as the Biden administration’s criticism of him for blocking the original BBB.)"

Reich also emphasized how Manchin's silence on certain topics during those interviews was more telling than what he actually said. "When Manchin was asked by the Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd, whether he wanted Democrats to keep control of the House and Senate after the midterms, Manchin declined to answer," he noted as he posed the question, "Does he want to hold out the possibility of becoming a Republican kingmaker if the Dems lose?"

He added, "Tellingly, Manchin wouldn’t even use the pronoun 'we' when talking about the Democrats."

READ MORE: Millionaires and billionaires are bankrolling a 'radically anti-democratic agenda': Robert Reich

Moving on to Sinema, Reich noted that the pronoun she typically uses suggests she operates on a lone basis as opposed to being part of the Democratic unit. "Which brings me to Kyrsten Sinema – who uses the pronoun 'I' perhaps more frequently than any other contemporary politician."

He went on to criticize Sinema for her presumed lack of morality and how it could be influenced by the substantial donations she's been receiving from Wall Street. "Yet Sinema appears to be absent when it comes to moral principle. Although not up for re-election until 2024, she is one of the Senate’s major recipients of Wall Street cash. The finance industry has donated $2.2m to her since she took office in 2017."

So, how long will it take for Sinema to make a decision? According to Reich, it may not be anytime soon. "Sinema’s office says she’s still reviewing Manchin’s bill. How long will Democrats have to wait until she breaks her silence on it?"

"If there’s one thing Sinema loves more than Wall Street dollars, it’s national media attention. So it could be a while," Reich added.

READ MORE: Robert Reich debunks inflation myths

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