Naked Capitalism: On Joe Manchin
“Let’s Go Manchin” [Eoin Higgins, The Flashpoint]. “Democrats could deal with this problem by enforcing party discipline, but they appear unwilling to use their power. It’s past time they start fighting back.” • The notion of “party discipline” is alien to the Democrat Party institutionally; see above. It’s comprised of “funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.” You don’t “discipline” a structure like that; “herding cats” is indeed an appropriate metaphor. The Democrat Party hive mind* may in fact come to a collective decision — as it did when declaring a state of exception during RussiaGate — but that’s not at all the same thing as party discipline as a whip among the electeds might conceive it (and not even then, really; look at Sinema). Recall that the Democrat Party is not a membership organization; you can’t pay yearly dues of twenty bucks and get a party card, as you could with the Labour Party in the UK. There, it’s theoretically possible to enforce party discipline by revoking membership. But not in the United States. Higgins’ article is an enormous category error. NOTE * “Hive mind” is a sloppy concept that I should replace.