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Monday, June 07, 2021

Joe Manchin saved the Republic

This weekend, Joe Manchin showed he is not all about Joe.

This weekend, Joe Manchin said no to his party's No. 1 legislative goal. This weekend, he became a Profile in Courage, which is when a senator stands up to the mob and does the right thing.

He penned a column in the Sunday paper in Charleston, West Virginia, "Why I'm voting against the For the People Act."

Although we elect congressmen and senators directly, ours is not a democracy. America is a constitutional republic, which is why an Electoral College selects our president.

The proposed Democrat voting act would federalize all elections in violation of the Tenth Amendment, which states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

If Congress had power over elections, it would have lowered the voting age to 18 by a simple vote. Instead, Congress needed the approval of 38 states to make the 26th Amendment the law of the land.

However, Manchin does not make the 10th Amendment argument against federalizing the elections. He merely wants Republicans and Democrats to find common ground.

In his column, Manchin wrote, "During my time as West Virginia’s secretary of state, I was determined to protect this right and ensure our elections are fair, accessible and secure. Not to benefit my party but all the people of West Virginia. For example, as secretary of state I took specific actions to establish early voting for the first time in West Virginia in order to provide expanded options for those whose work or family schedule made it difficult for them to vote on Election Day. Throughout my tenure in politics, I have been guided by this simple philosophy — our party labels can’t prevent us from doing what is right."

He took the secretary of state job very seriously. His uncle, A. James, a legendary figure in West Virginia, was secretary of state earlier, and had a lot of fun with it.

But Joe Manchin did the job right and used it as a stepping stone to the governorship. While he lost his first bid in 2000 (in the Democrat primary), he tried again and was elected in 2004. He was one of a string of successful governors who held office from 1997 to today. They stood in stark contrast to the ugly two-term governorships of Jay Rockefeller and Gaston Caperton.

In Manchin's column, he argued for bipartisanship.

He wrote, "congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials." 

I believe Congress should butt out.

But Congress won't, so Manchin made a good argument that Democrats should not run roughshod over Senate rules, disable the filibuster, and pass an 800-page federal takeover of elections without a single Republican supporter.

He wrote, "As a reminder, just four short years ago, in 2017 when Republicans held control of the White House and Congress, President Donald Trump was publicly urging Senate Republicans to eliminate the filibuster. Then, it was Senate Democrats who were proudly defending the filibuster. Thirty-three Senate Democrats penned a letter to Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warning of the perils of eliminating the filibuster."

Did Democrats learn nothing when they removed the filibustering of judicial appointments?

Manchin also attacked the bill itself.

He wrote, "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 can fully explain this bill without reading it.

Democrats want to empower a federal agency to control all elections in the United States. The rules promulgated by a bunch of Peter Strzoks will be so screwy that states will be required to elect minority governors and the like in the name of equity.

In stopping this F-- the People Act, Manchin will serve the nation well. Our heroes are not perfect.

He wrote, "I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening bonds 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." 

West Virginia broke from Virginia in 1863 because it wanted to preserve a nation literally torn by partisan division by a Democrat Party determined to keep black men as slaves.

In standing up to the F-- the People Act, and standing up for the filibuster, Manchin made history on Sunday. He showed he was a West Virginian first, a Democrat second.

I asked last week, "Is Manchin replacing Trump on the Democrat hate list?"

Maybe, dear readers. Maybe.

55 comments:

  1. Believe it when you see it.

    West Virginia broke from Virginia in 1863 because it wanted to preserve a nation literally torn by partisan division by a Democrat Party determined to keep black men as slaves.

    Also something about a punitive tariff.

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    1. Lincoln, elected with 40% of the popular vote, got to decide whether to accept a peaceful succession or kill 2% of the US population. He chose the later.

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    2. Let me guess. The attack on Fort Sumter was “mostly peaceful,” right?

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    3. A “peaceful succession” says the pimple on my butt which has a higher IQ than you. I don’t know what stupid pill you are addicted to Knifecatcher; but your purported summary of Lincoln’s choice is evidence your mind is broken.

      No succession of the USA, or any major country, is ever “peaceful.”

      Just talk to the Chechens about “peaceful succession.” Or even the Basques.

      But as Yodi would say about you “The Ignorance and Hate is Strong in this one.”

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    4. Ummm, your argument is that Lincoln WANTED to be assassinated? Johnson's succession to the Presidency was certainly not peaceful, but I think it's a pretty big stretch claim that Lincoln wanted that to happen.

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    5. kc, the democrats began their rebellion before Lincoln took office or made any politicial action to warrant their departure. Here we sit, 162 years later and dang, the donks still act like jackasses.

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    6. Knifecatcher needs to catch some real history.

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    7. Don't you mean secession and not succession?

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    8. @edutcher and @knifecatcher are both spot on. Our country was founded as a VOLUNTARY union based on individual rights being supreme over government. When the South peacefully seceded, the North no longer had a legitimate standing to remain at Fort Sumter and were asked to leave. Instead, in a provocative move the North not only reinforces the garrison, but threatened shipping on the waterway it commanded. THAT is an act of war, and a violation of our founding principles as put forth in the Declaration.

      Lincoln transformed our country from a voluntary union of free people into an Empire of conquest.

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  2. "Do we really want to live in an America where one party can dictate and demand everything and anything it wants, whenever it wants"

    Californians know what that's like.

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    1. Not sure about now, but in the early 2000s, Idaho was just as staunchly Republican as CA is Democrat today. Quite a few Democrats in Idaho ran as Republicans because they knew they couldn't get elected as Democrats. I guess you could call them RINOs.

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    3. Big difference between California and Idaho. Thanks to the idiot Governor "Arnold" who agreed to change our primaries to "Voter Nominated" elections. Meaning that the top two vote getters have a run off in the general election. This all but assures that Democrats will be the ONLY party represented in elections. The last governor election the Republicans finally fielded a candidate but he was pounded. This is a very unfair. If partys did not exist it would be fair but California politics now is closer to Chinese Communist style than to any free election style. Idaho, even with the majority being Republican runs against Democrats in every election, not true in Communist California

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    4. @knifecatcher - those who want a more totalitarian country certainly DO want that kind of country. What is the downside for them? If Republicans are in charge, they still get all their individual rights. Whenever they get in charge, they can stick it to everyone who doesn't agree with them. For people who think that way, it's win-win.

      This was a fundamental flaw in our Federal government. It should never have had any direct say in the governance of the states, save to prosecute public officials guilty of violating our individual rights and to control the military should the States agree war is necessary.

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  3. @Don —

    I think you give Manchin too much credit. He is never the deciding vote, certainly never when the stakes are high and the partisan interests are at play.

    But he is a willing weather vane when it helps burnish his maverick credentials. So I assume that he is the front man for some institutionalize Dem Senators who privately oppose the legislation.

    Just a thought.

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    1. Agreed -- he proved he's no profile in courage with the Trump impeachment votes. He's a front man for Dems up for election in 2022, and don't worry -- Manchin extracted many pounds of flesh from his colleagues for this position.

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    2. Whatever his motives, if not what he said, I don’t care. I am just glad he said not to the voting debacle act and the end the filibuster movement.

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    3. No - he is the most powerful man in the senate after probably McConnell. Eliminating the filibuster reduces his power. He's not a front man, he knows that voting for either of these dem proposals means he's out of politics at the next WV election. And then goes all of his lucre.

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    4. It only takes 2 Republican defectors to pass the Bill, correct?

      But that’s never gonna happen is it?...

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    5. It only takes 2 Republican defectors to pass the Bill, correct?

      But that’s never gonna happen is it?...

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    6. You don't have to worry about a 50/50 vote, you have to have cloture before you get to that point, and there is no cloture since there is no support by Manchin to change the Senate's rules. Cloture is the opposite of the filibuster in the sense that if you have a successful filibuster, you have no cloture. It takes 60 votes to reach cloture and end the filibuster.

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  4. @Don —

    I think you give Manchin too much credit. He is never the deciding vote, certainly never when the stakes are high and the partisan interests are at play.

    But he is a willing weather vane when it helps burnish his maverick credentials. So I assume that he is the front man for some institutionalize Dem Senators who privately oppose the legislation.

    Just a thought.

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  5. Give him time, manchin is an expert backstabbing demoncrap.

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  6. Sen. Manchin must have gotten volumes of calls from West Virginians over the last 6 months.

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    1. Yes, he has! Indeed, I'm from West Virginia, and the Demoncrats mostly left the state when the mines started closing because the rest of us started hating on the Demoncrats for causing such economic hardship! Most of us don't think there is such a thing as a good Demoncrat, but Joe Manchin is likely as close as you can get right now. But, the mob-like Demoncrats could airmail Manchin a hollow-point and make it look like an accident, then where will be be?

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  7. When has the Constitution EVER stopped LibCommies in the past? I’m with Ed. There are at least three more commercial breaks before this show is over.

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  8. CA and IL are two quintessential examples of the catastrophic results of one-party (Democrat) rule! They both lost Congressional seats due to residents fleeing sinking ships. Don’t California my Arizona!

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  9. CA and IL are two quintessential examples of the catastrophic results of one-party (Democrat) rule! They both lost Congressional seats due to residents fleeing sinking ships. Don’t California my Arizona!

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  10. Democrats represent the Democrat Party first. Kudos to Manchin for bucking that systemic partisanship.

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  11. Whatever his motive, I applaud Manchin for doing this- now he has to live up to his word.

    With that out of the way- the Democrats are deadly serious about getting this legislation, plus the rest of their ideas, passed before the next election. There are no methods they won't employ if they feel they have to, so the following Republican Senators are definitely potential assassination targets by the Democrats: Susan Collins, Pat Toomey, both North Carolina Senators, both Louisiana Senators, and both Senators from Kansas.

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  12. I don't trust Epipen Joe but he's more trustworthy than Mitt.

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  13. Don, just so you should know--Jay Rockefeller was also secretary of state before he became governor.

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    1. For further historical context, Jay Rockefeller IS a Rockefeller and everything that went with it. The only difference is that he is a Demoncrat and not a liberal Republican like his uncles and grandfather, whom you all know.

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  14. For the moment, I won't worry about motivations - just factually, this is good news.

    The donks' master plan has been frustrated - the plan was to rig elections and runoffs and such and get enough power to change the system so that they couls institute their own thousand-year reich. There may be a few sane donks left who realize that were that plan to go forward, the donk thousand-year-reich would be even more short-lived than the 1933-1945 antecedent, and its end would be similarly-bloody. Just as Khrushchev was horrified by Castro's 1962 request for a nuclear first strike on the US, so a few donks may be horrified at the implications of what they are being asked to do.

    As many have said, one reason for the long-term stability of the US has been that - despite often-heated rhetoric - the disputes usually are between the 40 yard lines. The donks have been pushing WAY beyond that, and the result won't be a woke thousand-year-reich but catastrophe.

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    1. Gander, exactly as I feel my Pop's family has been devided since 1861.
      We do not want to go there.

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    2. That's why the Castro-Khrushchev story may be appropriate here. The donks (Castro) are pushing for something which they just don't comprehend and which would be catastrophic, while there are a few sane donks (Khrushchev) left who understand what the loonies would be causing to happen.

      The donks really are a dc-bubble crew at this point, who think that they can sit in their castle and issue orders which will just be pliantly followed. They are wrong. I suspect that the two senators in question understand this to at least some degree.

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  15. Just a slight clarification is needed here, because this isn't a 10th Amendment matter. Don is right that Congress doesn't have control over all elections--that's why they needed an amendment to universally reduce the voting age to 18.

    But, as we've all seen before, there are workarounds. Congress didn't actually have the authority to raise the drinking age to 21 nationwide--but they did have the authority to withhold federal funds from any state that refused to do so, and thus they were able to make it happen even though technically, they didn't have the power.

    There's a similar hook here. Congress does not have authority over all elections. They do, however, have complete control over Congressional elections. That's spelled out explicitly in the Constitution (Article I, Section 4).

    They can set the date, time, and manner of elections for the House and Senate. And if they choose to ensure that these elections run at the exact same time as, say, the election for President, what state is going to choose the hassle, confusion, and added expense of enforcing two different standards on elections taking place at the same time?

    The states would adopt HR 1's standards for every election, simply as a matter of self-defense.

    If this law had gotten through the Senate, the important parts would have held up in court. The Democrats would have gotten away with it. Manchin, should he hold firm--I'm still not taking that as a given--will deserve full credit for having saved the country from a formalized disaster.

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    1. “what state is going to choose the hassle, confusion, and added expense of enforcing two different standards on elections taking place at the same time?” Why should the State have the hassle, confusion, and expense of enforcing two standards? Simply tell Congress, “Our election officials will require a photo ID of everyone voting for POTUS and all State offices. Our election officials will open and count absentee ballots for those offices requested through our office, but our election officials will not open nor count mail-in ballots for Congressional offices. Please let us know when your poll workers will arrive in each county, and we’ll see if we can scare up enough chairs for them.”

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  16. Don, Tim Favero here. Did you try to speak to Senator Manchin about this? I'm assuming you know him. Thanks for posting this.

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    1. I've met him. He's OK. Better than Byrd

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    2. Thanks Don. I figured you would have to know him being involved in the media industry for all those years in West Virginia. Thanks, Tim

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    3. I have a "comfortably" retired golfing friend who was a major player in the WVA coal industry. His accumen has been rewarded by several major Board positons around the USA. His up close view is that Manchin is corrupt, a serial liar, and never to be trusted. He also asserts that Manchin has gotten rich in the pockets of the WVA coal industry. Just saying.

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  18. There are yet more dem votes with Romney, Murkowski, Collins, etc.
    We're not out of the woods yet.

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  19. Breaking News: Joe Manchin found dead. Seventeen gunshots in the back. FBI Director says, "This is the worst suicide we've ever seen."

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  20. When will Joe come out of the "Closet" and announce he has been a real "republican/conservative"?

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  21. Seems like an “America First” vote to me. God bless him!

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  22. Never thought I'd say this to a Democrat; Thank you.

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  23. He needs to change parties. He's be a good replacement for Mitch.

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    1. As a West Virginian, no. This country would not survive Mitch Junior in place of Mitch! But, even Mitch has done the right thing a few times, and the same is true for Manchin.

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  24. I believe this whole idea of bipartisanship is overrated. Sure it sounds nice, friendly, and democratic. At one time I'm sure it was. It's a different world now. Middle ground isn't where it used to be. Society, media, and our culture has shifted and continues to shift the "middle" further and further to the left. We have actual Marxist now in high positions of power.

    Manchin has indicated his support for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act of 1965. This will be his compromise to help bring about bipartisanship. Look up the act and learn that it can take state election control and give it to the feds on an "as needed" basis.

    While he may smell good after this, it still gives Democrats total control, which is what they want.

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    1. In light of your remarks, there is one more way to look at this...

      Perhaps HR-1 won't pass this congressional session, and if the election morass is cleared up by the 2022 election cycle, HR-1 will dissolve into history. However, there is no guarantee this will happen, and it could be that just one more Demoncratic Senator gets elected in 2022 and the Demoncrats keep the House. Then, the filibuster is the only thing standing in the way of the collapse of the country, and that is only a possibility if they don't change the Senate Rules. But, isn't the Cloture rule in the Constitution?

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  25. Once again, as was the case in '16, we came way to close for comfort to losing our Country. I wasn't happy when DJT was elected. I was simply relieved that "she" wasn't & that we lived to fight another day. I feel the same way now. Two times in 5 years is a bit much. I'm afraid sooner ot later they'll succeed.

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