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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has two choices and some homework to do.

Manchin can stay with his current reasoning and his decision that his Don Quixote search for bipartisanship “Trumps” all other reasoning and conclusions. This is despite the fact that Manchin has observed “Dr. No,” in the form of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., submarining Barack Obama’s agenda for the six years he could, and then using all his wiles and powers to save Donald Trump’s bacon twice from Senate removal trials. Remember, Dr. No declared many months ago that his job was to deny any and all of Biden’s agenda.

Manchin could declare that, while bipartisanship is the best of all worlds, he has seen the light. He could say he has changed his mind, after listening to the debate and after watching almost no change in the Senate or the House, even after Jan. 6.

Add to that, Manchin has observed present machinations from Mar-A-Lago. And all of this is in plain sight to see.

Manchin could do lots more after clearing his mind of the false hope that Dr. No will be struck from his horse by lightning and be converted on the spot and announce that, henceforth, he will make his country more precious than the new Re-Trumplican party and his own pocketbook.

With his mind now clear, Manchin could get busy and write a new proposal to amend the filibuster policy (remember, it is not a law) to prevent it from being abused by either party.

Then, Manchin also can write his version of a reasonable infrastructure bill that has a reasonable chance to get those 10 good, patriotic Republican senators to vote for it with enthusiasm. If not, then Joe will know what he must do and will now be well-motivated to do it.

Finally, Manchin can submit his version of the “For the People’s Act” because as he says, “The right to vote and a reasonable path to the ballot box is the most sacred right of all in a democracy.”

Frederick Hufford lives in Charleston.

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