He begins:

Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect, assesses the role of Senator Manchin in sinking President Biden’s signature legislation. Manchin surely sunk his constituents: West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the nation. He says he was worried about the cost, especially the cost of lifting children out of poverty. But economists lowered their estimates of economic growth for 2022 after Manchin said no, and the stock market tumbled. What a guy.

Kuttner writes:

You can understand the pent-up rage and frustration. With his yacht and his Maserati, his fake concern for the suffering people of West Virginia, his bad economics and his penchant for moving the goalposts, Joe Manchin III is a first-class phony.

But that doesn’t make rage smart politics. And there is another unfortunate R-word at play this week in Bidenland—recriminations.

Let’s see, who screwed up? Was it Biden for not just taking the $1.75 trillion deal when Manchin made his bargain with Chuck Schumer in July? (Except that Manchin left himself some wiggle room.)

Was it Biden for not shelving Build Back Better in favor of making voting rights legislation the top priority? (Except that Manchin is almost certain to screw his fellow Democrats on this, too.)

Did the Progressive Caucus overplay its hand? Did Pelosi mess up the very complex bargain between progressives and corporate Dems over the bipartisan infrastructure deal? Was it a mistake to whip the House Democrats to pass Build Back Better at $2.2 trillion in the hope of then giving up some of it to Manchin?

Jeezus, give these people a break. They have been dealt a really lousy hand, and Manchin has all the cards.