A Musing by DB - "Pause" and "Step back" September 2, 2021 - Popular Culture Connections and Politics


Senator Joe Manchin III should give everyone pause when he says he doesn't understand why the $3.5 trillion spending package needs to be approved now.

"Pause." "Step back," says Sen. Manchin III.

The Senate should take a “strategic pause” on advancing its $3.5 trillion tax and spending package according to Manchin.

The senator cited the uncertainty created by the combination of the coronavirus, the tumultuous withdrawal in Afghanistan and the economic threat posed by inflation as he made the case for his colleagues to “step back” and “see what happens.”

“I have always said if I can’t explain it, I can’t vote for it, and I can’t explain why my Democratic colleagues are rushing to spend $3.5 trillion,” said Manchin as reported in The Washington Post, September 2, 2021


The existential threats to beings on Earth and the social action imperatives required to be a leader and a first-world country are long overdue for the United States of America. Manchin should help us understand what "pause"' really means. Is it to take a break and refresh ourselves in the nostalgic world of Coca Cola's ad campaign "Pause and Refresh?"


Is Manchin's "Pause" like hitting the Pause button of a movie or a Spotify song? Probably not, as it seems Manchin doesn't really want to see the movie or hear the song that is currently scripted in the spending package.

No, Manchin's "Strategic Pause" is a euphemism for let's hit the "Stop" button on this spending package. Manchin has no intention to pause, step back and then support this package, as-is.


"Step back?"

This is not the time or the place to step back and "see what happens." Why do we have to pause and 'see what happens'? According to Manchin it's because “Everything has changed.”

Manchin, however, is wrong. Everything has not changed. And that is the problem. We are still standing on the precipice and as this 1946 The New Yorker cartoon by Alain reminds us we must move forward, not backwards.


The New Yorker, cartoon by Alain, 1946




In short, Senator Joe Manchin III, what specifically is your objection to this package, what is it you can't explain, and if not Now, When?