AOC and other progressives knew Senator Joe Manchin would tank Build Back Better when it was separated from infrastructure spending, but the Democrats refused to listen.

By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

It seems like almost forever since Cassandra of Troy — blessed with the power to predict the future, cursed by the fact that no one would believe her — has been in the news, but she’s back this week with a thunderclap and yet another, “I told you so.”

Her name this time is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — and Representatives Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley, and everyone else who knew and foretold that Sen. Joe Manchin would ultimately stab President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, his own state and the world in the back to keep his precious coal safe from the environmental protections contained within the Build Back Better (BBB) Act.

joe manchin surrounded by coal next to joe biden and AOC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Biden assured the Congressional Progressive Caucus that they could bring Senator Manchin along on the BBB Act if the caucus relented and allowed a separate vote on the infrastructure bill. The caucus refused, correctly believing that splitting the two would doom the BBB, and the stalemate stood until Manchin started making noises about bolting from the party. After that, it became about “acting responsibly,” and the Progressive Caucus took party leadership at their word. On Sunday, both the leadership and the caucus were betrayed by Manchin in a move the latest reincarnation of Cassandra saw from way up high on the walls of Troy.

“When a handful of us in the House warned this would happen if Dem leaders gave Manchin everything he wanted 1st by moving [the infrastructure bill] before BBB instead of passing together, many ridiculed our position,” Representative Ocasio-Cortez gritted on Twitter. “Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve.”

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