Watching American Democracy Melt

Kate Aronoff: “Yet Manchin’s ever-evolving wish list may never have been intended to do anything other than drag negotiations out for as long as possible. As The New York Times reported, he was able to extract some key wins for donors in the fossil fuel industry along the way, including the Interior Department’s recent plan to offer up new federal lands for oil and gas drilling. And Manchin, recall, is himself a coal baron—a living embodiment of U.S. democracy’s inability to tackle conflicts of interest in lawmaking.”