Manchin Says No To S1 Voting Bill, Left Flips Out
Manchin Says No To S1 Voting Bill, Left Flips Out
For a multitude of reasons, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is not marching in lockstep with the hard left.
Mostly, he would like to keep his Senate seat in a red state, so that means as a Democrat, he has to be pragmatic, not radical. His stance, if not his voting record, has been tempered – as in, he’s not frothing at the mouth to kill the filibuster and immediately rubber stamp everything that Joe Biden wants. This position means that both Manchin and fellow pragmatist Senator Kyrsten Sinema, got some backhanded snark from Biden just this week, as he complained that they weren’t falling in lockstep with him.
Biden did not name the Democratic senators that could stand in the way of passing bills like the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, although he was likely referring to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Both senators are moderates who have come under heavy criticism this year over perceptions that they are obstructing elements of the Democratic agenda, particularly due to their refusal to support eliminating the Senate’s filibuster rule.”
“I hear all the folks on TV say, ‘why doesn’t Biden get this done?'” said Biden. “Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate—with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends. But we’re not giving up.”
Second, this tactic has well and truly backfired. The media have been routinely hounding both Manchin and Sinema, because they won’t take “no” for an answer. They are either bullies or Democrat shills, or both. So when Sinema told them the end of the filibuster was not going to be a thing, they were shocked, SHOCKED.
Q: "So you're not going to budge on the filibuster?"
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, standing next to GOP Sen. John Cornyn: "No." pic.twitter.com/GlDJzyYoD1
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) June 2, 2021
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday he’ll vote against his Democratic colleagues’ far-reaching election bill, the For the People Act, because it’s too partisan.”
“It’s the wrong piece of legislation to bring our country together and unite our country, and I’m not supporting that because I think it would divide us more. I don’t want to be in a country that’s divided any further,” Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think there’s a lot of great things in that piece of legislation, but there’s an awful lot of things that basically don’t pertain directly to voting,” the senator said.”
Lest you think that Manchin is doing this in some noble moment to preserve the norm, it’s not. This is self-preservation, as he pretty much admitted in an op-ed.
Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?”
The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.”
With that in mind, some Democrats have again proposed eliminating the Senate filibuster rule in order to pass the For the People Act with only Democratic support. They’ve attempted to demonize the filibuster and conveniently ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.”
Yes, this process can be frustrating and slow. It will force compromises that are not always ideal. But consider the alternative. Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants? I have always said, “If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.” And I cannot explain strictly partisan election reform or blowing up the Senate rules to expedite one party’s agenda.”
I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.”
Now, Manchin is plenty experienced in playing both sides of the aisle. Republicans can’t look to him to routinely save their butts in this divided Senate – which is why the midterm elections are absolutely vital in order to wrest the legislature back to Republican control in order to reliably counter the radicalism that Biden and Harris would love to shove down our throats. But in this moment, we should all be grateful that the political considerations – and reelection prospects – are keeping Manchin and Sinema from joining in with the reactionary left to blow everything up.
So of course, the media and other Democrats are flipping out.
You’d think this tweet was for a NYT opinion piece. It isn’t. https://t.co/hG2jtXP9wD
— Joseph A. Wulfsohn (@JosephWulfsohn) June 6, 2021
Manchin’s op-ed might as well be titled, “Why I’ll vote to preserve Jim Crow.” https://t.co/pS1xEvkwEz
— Mondaire Jones (@MondaireJones) June 6, 2021
And there’s a lot more where that came from. Expect the whining to get louder, especially from the White House, as the hard left realizes that they can’t blame Republicans or Mitch McConnell for this one. But trying to shame Manchin and Sinema is what got the left to this point. We should feel fortunate that these two senators still feel accountable to their voters, instead of blindly following whatever Biden wants – and we should fight to make sure that Congress switches hands in the 2022 midterms so we aren’t in this position again.
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Featured image: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), official portrait, cropped, public domain