In 1859, Abraham Lincoln related the tale of an Eastern monarch who charged his wise men with discovering words that would everywhere and always be true.
The wise men went away and returned to present the monarch with this six-word sentence: “And this, too, shall pass away.”
So, the question: How long will Sen. Joe Manchin’s hour of power last before it, too, passes away?
What will Manchin make of it? And what will his legacy be?
For, at present, Manchin is the man in the arena, the indispensable senator as far as Democrats are concerned. He alone can make or break virtually the entire agenda that progressives had anticipated whistling through both houses in the first session of the 117th Congress.
Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer must meet Manchin’s demands or see their initiatives fail, one by one, in the U.S. Senate.
What has given this moderate Democrat from West Virginia such an opportunity to write himself into the history books?
It is the unique political circumstances of 2021.
For as long as the 50-50 Republican-Democrat balance holds in the Senate, Manchin’s power to decide the fate of the Democratic agenda is unrivaled and extraordinary.
For if Manchin votes against