• David Bozell

Joe Manchin is close to betraying West Virginia

Joe Manchin is a Democrat from West Virginia, a state that voted for Donald Trump twice. He understands why his state is so conservative.


The New York Times asked Manchin in late November, “Why do you think West Virginia and the rural areas have gone so red?”


Manchin responded bluntly. “I can tell you what they said: ‘Listen, I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for another Democrat that might give support to the very liberal wing in Washington that I don’t agree with and have nothing in common with. I don’t have anything in common with people who talk about defunding the police. It looks like they’re condoning riots.’”


West Virginians reject the radical left. Manchin knows this and his quote is Exhibit A.


Manchin wants West Virginians to know that he has nothing in common with the Democratic Party of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist “Squad” of radical House members.


He also told the Times, “I can assure you I will not vote to end the filibuster, because that would break the Senate.”


It could also break the country.

Manchin has now signaled that he might be open to weakening or “reforming” the filibuster, giving a Democrat-controlled Senate the ability to push through a far-left agenda much easier.


An actual “defund the police” bill for example, would only need 50 Democrats and a tie break from Kamala Harris, not the 60 votes currently needed that the filibuster rules provides. It’s a scary proposition, in a 50-50 Senate. Radical legislation that passed the House would have a much clearer hurdle in the Senate. Perhaps no hurdle at all.


It would be precisely the radical left agenda so many West Virginians were concerned about. It’s precisely the same radical left agenda that Manchin pretends to be concerned about.


Republicans had hoped that moderate Democrat Manchin could be an important bulwark against extreme Democrat proposals. But some liberals now believe that Manchin could be key in getting what they want.


The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman wrote a column Monday titled, “Joe Manchin’s plan is working perfectly. And liberals may wind up thanking him.”


“So Manchin opened the door to reform,” Waldman wrote. “He still says he won’t eliminate the filibuster, but changing it is now a possibility. If you can do so in a way that gives the minority a chance to extend debate but ultimately allows the majority to prevail (there are a number of ways to do that) it would mean something like majority rule could come to this most undemocratic institution.”


In other words, this lefty writer believes the Senate is a “most undemocratic institution” because it’s silly longstanding rules currently don’t currently allow Democrats the ability to assert their raw will through the Senate and impose on half the country.


Precisely what West Virginians feared.


This liberal writer might be right. Manchin could be the trojan horse that actually helps get the far left what they want.


That would be bad for America. It would be a total betrayal of West Virginia. And it would be shameful for Joe Manchin to put his party over his own people.

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