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It is very painful and embarrassing to watch our own alleged Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin hold up the passage of progressive legislation and pander to Republicans who betray agreements time and time again.

We have a Democrat president and both houses of Congress and a chance to finally move ahead and help people and our own Democrat is committing sabotage.

Manchin worries about cost, but much of the cost of these bills is to be covered by raising the taxes of the very wealthy. Remember that many of the companies like Amazon pay no taxes and others hide their wealth overseas, which should be illegal.

Manchin loves the filibuster and wants the minority to “have a chance to participate.” But he is pandering to them and letting them act like a majority. So progressive legislation and needed reforms don’t get passed. I think he is already lost to the Democratic Party and is needing Republican votes to stay in office in this sadly red state. He is betraying Democratic Party ideals.

We face open voter-suppression laws in Texas, where there has been no fraud and now vigilantes can turn in women who exercise their 50-year-old constitutional right to make private medical decisions and be rescued from rape and incest. We have crumbling infrastructure and the climate crisis. Manchin even thinks statehood for the District of Columbia should be voted on by the American people, never done before. D.C. is the only capital on earth where the residents lack full voting rights, which violates the basis of our of own Constitution.

Manchin wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal expressing his views but didn’t bother to share them in our newspaper. He has become an obstructionist and is pulling us backward.

Bettijane Burger, of Charleston, is a former president of the West Virginia National Organization for Women.

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