Senator Joe Manchin Will Cost Democrats The Majority In 2022 by Robert Covington Jr.
I have some bad news for the Democratic Party. Senator Joe Manchin is going to the primary reason why Democrats will lose the Senate Majority in 2022.
Joe Manchin is a white conservative male that is unwilling to advance the best interests of the Democratic Party, democracy, and the nation by abandoning the filibuster. But what makes it even more disappointing and debilitating for the country is how he is handling it. Joe Manchin is attempting to deceive us with cloaking his selfishness and core beliefs under the guise of a principled stance of keeping the filibuster to advance bipartisanship. Joe Manchin is tightly holding on to the idea that keeping the filibuster promotes bipartisanship and that he sees the current climate as an opportunity to work across party lines. Anyone that follows politics know that Joe Manchin is full of shit.
Senator Joe Manchin was there when the last Democratic President Barack Obama had to endure unrelenting Republican Party obstruction and abusive use of the filibuster by Senator Mitch McConnell. Joe Manchin knows Mitch McConnell is going to do everything possible to insure Joe Biden’s presidency is a failure at the expense of the American people. Joe Manchin knows Mitch McConnel as minority leader has one thing on his mind and that is become Majority Leader again. And to do that, he will exercise the use of the filibuster at every opportunity, regardless of the benefits and popularity of any legislation that is put forth by Democrats.
Joe Manchin knows that there are books and articles out there that can provide him with a history lesson on the nefarious use of the filibuster by white conservatives and racists to maintain power and to stop the expansion of democracy and voting rights for African Americans. Joe Manchin knows his hiding behind disingenuous claims of bipartisanship with Republicans on the other side looks weak because those very same people, the Susan Collins and Mitt Romney’s of the world aligned with almost every filibuster tactic used by McConnell, while maintaining their “friendship” with Manchin.
I would venture to say and believe that Joe Manchin was probably hoping that the Democrats would have won more Senate seats that were within the range of 52–55 seats because it would have allowed him to continue to be himself within the Democratic caucus without repercussions to his brand, Senate seat or democratic goals that he does not agree with. However, it did not turn out that way and now politics of circumstance is highlighting what really matters to him and exposes what his core beliefs are in relation to the rest of America.
Joe Manchin does not want to reveal that his white centered view of power within the Democratic Party will only tolerate safe and uncontroversial forms of progress. Manchin’s position on the filibuster has already forced Biden’s signature legislation into the contortions of the reconciliation process. More importantly, Manchin’s position also tells us that he does not want to be the deciding vote on John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, nor DC and Puerto Rico statehood because his vote would likely be NO on these pieces of legislation. This is crux of his position and the reason why he’s holding on to the filibuster.
All these measures would strengthen and expand democracy, but Manchin’s politics are consistent with racists (of course he would say he’s not racist) of the political past that weaponized the filibuster to stymie black and brown political power and representation. Secondly, because it is likely a no vote on conviction, it removes the requirement of courage to fight against the inevitable attacks of liberalism that would come his way in West Virginia if he voted yes to fortify American democracy.
It is important to remember that Joe Manchin has voted yes on Trump’s policies and nominees more than any other Democratic Senator. We should never forget that he suggested that he may not vote for his own Democratic President Barack Obama during the 2012 election season. Also, he supported the nomination of well known racist, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This is who he is on far too many of these type of issues.
Joe Manchin sees the Republican legislatures across the country advancing white supremacy, anti-democratic, racist voter suppression laws with ruthless determination. Igor Derysh from Salon reports that there are over 253 bills in the pipeline to become law. Manchin knows these laws will make it almost impossible for Reverend Raphael Warnock to win reelection in Georgia and other Democrats in tight Senate races in 2022. Manchin knows Republican gerrymandering will get worse over the next two years and increases the chances of Republicans regaining the House of Representatives without passage of the John Lewis voting rights bill. But his current stance on the filibuster tells us that he really doesn’t care and that it is not his problem to solve.
For the record, I believe Senator Krysten Sinema is gettable on her filibuster stance, but that would only happen if Manchin abandoned it first. He is the key.
Nevertheless, it is going to be painful to watch how many ways Joe Manchin will weaken Joe Biden’s ambitious agenda and presidency over the next few years. And in the process, Joe Manchin will not abandon his bad faith arguments, racism, and selfishness for the greater good.
Senator Joe Manchin needs the filibuster more than the filibuster needs him. He will not give it up and it will cost the Democrats the Senate Majority. And when Mitch McConnell is Majority Leader again in 2022 because of him, Manchin will go home to West Virginia without a hint of regret.
Follow me on twitter: @robcovingtonjr