It’s hard to argue that Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) isn’t the most powerful Joe in America. Yes, even more powerful than Joe Biden, the President of the United States, and not because the President suffers from senility and is clearly not in charge of the country. Joe Manchin is the most powerful “Joe” in America because he is the most moderate politician in the entire United States Senate which is currently sitting in a 50/50 gridlock. A “Conservative Democrat” from West Virginia, Manchin has toed the tight rope of centrism for his 11.5 years in Washington. He represents a state in which Donald Trump is the equivalent of at the very least a Biblical prophet. A Democratic nominee for President has not won the majority of votes in a single county in West Virginia since 2008 when Barack Obama won a measly four counties by slim margins.
The state of West Virginia has been rapidly swinging to the right in every election up and down the ticket since 2008, and there doesn’t seem to be a Progressive Revolution in Charleston any time in the near future. Even Governor Jim Justice, a longtime elected Democrat, switched parties in 2017. All of this brings up one obvious and puzzling question:
“How does Joe Manchin keep getting re-elected as a Democrat in West Virginia?”
While Manchin leans towards Democratic policies in general, there are a few points to which he is in agreement with the Republican platform on issues that are most important to West Virginians:
- Pro 2nd Amendment
- Protecting West Virginia Coal jobs
Along with supporting those points, Manchin has long touted himself as the “epitome of bipartisanship,” the beacon of what politics “should be.” That attitude is admirable to many people, and helps his case for re-election each election cycle. Unfortunately for Manchin, the current political climate might turn out to be the senator’s Achilles heel if he decides to run for another term.
There has been talk for years of Manchin switching parties, but even when asked recently Manchin said that he would not do that and was “a Democrat for life”. Truth be told, Manchin has one of the most unpredictable futures of any United States politician: at 73, he’s no spring chicken, and with mounting pressure he very well may decide to retire at the end of his current term.
So What’s the Deal?
This Manchin guy, is he our friend? Is he a friend of liberty, patriotism, and civil service, or is he a cowardly lifelong bureaucrat hiding behind an illusion of centrism and bipartisanship? What decisions will he be the deciding vote on and will his decisions help or hurt the Pro-America agenda that most Americans are thirsty for again after 5 months of declining backwards into a Euro-China friendly Biden/Harris agenda.
Since Biden’s coup in mid-January, Manchin has butted heads with the administration on a number of things, most famously holding firm on the filibuster and taking a conservative stance on COVID-19 relief packages that were put forth under the new administration.
As for my opinion, I will be watching Manchin carefully over the next three years. He has claimed to always put the interests of his constituents first over party. With his party shifting light years to the left, plenty of different scenarios could play out:
- (Friend) Manchin switches parties, aligning himself with the America-First Trump-Era agenda and stands up to the progressive wing of his party whose policies directly threaten the jobs of thousands of hard working coal miners that Manchin represents.
- (Friend) Manchin does not switch parties, but holds the line in the US Senate when his party pushes their radical left “America Last” agenda.
- (Foe) Manchin gives in to the wishes of his radical-left Democratic co-workers, abandons the wishes of his constituents, and pushes through crippling policies that leave America far less safe and far less free than ever before.
Rex’s Final Thoughts
Experience tells me never to give a politician the benefit of doubt, but this is a truly remarkable situation that Senator Manchin is in. For once I would openly like to see a politician like Manchin cave into the mounting political pressure from his fellow West Virginians and switch parties. It doesn’t even matter if the only reason he does it is to secure his re-election in the next election, it will help our quest at to save America. May the Gadsden Fly Forever.