Joe Manchin has thrown cold water on yet another liberal hope that he will find a reason to vote in favor of changing the Senate rules to eliminate the legislative filibuster, stating earlier this week that he would not vote to end the filibuster if enough GOP Senators did not go along with the creation of the Democrat planned January 6 Commission.
“I’m not ready to destroy our government.”
That doesn’t sound much to me like a guy who is just waiting for the right issue to come along to make the Senate a purely majoritarian body.
Manchin has made a parlor game out of getting the hopes up of the radical leftists who know that if he can be persuaded to vote to change the rules, their revolutionary agenda that would change American culture might come to fruition. Several weeks ago, in response to a growing chorus on the left for him to join in the revolution by eliminating the filibuster, Manchin put a carrot out on a stick just a bit out of reach for the radicals and media to grab. He said that he still believes in the idea of negotiation between the two parties in the Senate and he would not consider eliminating the filibuster until such time that he became convinced such negotiations were not being conducted by his GOP colleagues in good faith.
“Aha!!” cried the radicals — “All we need to do is convince Manchin that the GOP Senators are the scumbags we have been claiming they are all along.”
They thought they’d finally found the vessel to bring Manchin over the threshold — the bi-partisan January 6 Commission approved by the House. In response to growing signs that the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was prepared to filibuster the House bill to prevent such a Commission from being created, last week Politico quoted Manchin as follows:
“So disheartening. It makes you really concerned about our country,” Manchin said. Asked if that is an abuse of the filibuster: “I’m still praying we’ve still got 10 good solid patriots within that conference.”
As McConnell’s intentions came more clearly into focus, the “Hallelujah Chorus” grew louder — finally, Manchin would see the light and vote to end the filibuster in order to create the January 6 Commission so necessary to save democracy from itself.
But under the Senate rules, nothing passes the Democrat-controlled Senate unless Joe Manchin agrees. If Manchin were to empower the Democrat Senate to follow the lead of the radical left-wingers in the House by eliminating the filibuster, his 50th vote to pass legislation would have to compete with Chuck Schumer’s efforts to bargain with Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, or Mitt Romney to get the 50th vote from a GOP Senator. At that point, it’s just a matter of how big a legislative bribe would be needed for parts of the Green New Deal or gun control measures.
It would end Manchin’s ability to block bad Democrat-supported legislation where he’s confident Schumer can never muster 60 votes without him.
That is more important to Manchin than passing good Democrat-supported legislation.
I have always maintained since I first started writing about Manchin after the election that he is a unicorn in the Senate. He’s a Democrat elected state-wide 4 times, with an enduring strong base of electoral support in one of the three most conservative states in the country. His fellow West Virginia Senator — a member of the GOP — was re-elected with 71% of the vote.
One thing that has been consistently true about Manchin throughout his Senate career is he has consistently voted for the interests of West Virginians ahead of the interests of a DNC party establishment dominated by urban politicians from large metropolitan cities on each coast. Nothing he has done since Joe Biden was inaugurated has broken that streak.
Each time I’ve written a story on this topic, there are comments down below and on Twitter about Manchin being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and other similar descriptions. The sentiment is that he’s not reliable, and he’s always there at the end to help Democrats get their programs across the finish line when they need him.
I have no expectation of ever convincing the minds of some people in that camp that Joe Manchin is the Democrats’ version of Susan Collins.
But if you want to know what the folks who keep pinning their hopes on the idea he’ll change his mind about filibuster think of him, read the comments under the Tweet I embedded at the top.
I think the radicals who were hoping for a leftwing revolution are finally recognizing Joe Manchin is not going to be the guy who puts it in motion for them. What they intend is a price higher than he is willing to pay to get something like the January 6 Commission legislation passed.
“I’m not ready to destroy our government.”
Joe Manchin knows what they have in mind if 50 votes pass anything they want.