Call me a cynic, but there is more than meets the eye with Joe Manchin’s recent refusal to vote for Biden’s Build Back Better bill. I am glad it failed, but I don’t think we’re in the clear and in the big picture we are still being played.
Since taking office, conservatives have held out hope that Joe Manchin would stand up for rights and freedoms and American principles. Like Teddy Roosevelt a century ago, Manchin has crafted a rough-and-tumble persona, aided in no small part to his affiliation with the state of West Virginia. Like Roosevelt, though, despite a meticulously massaged appearance of rural, small-town, and middle-America principles, Manchin continues to only offer Big Government solutions. His voting record in 2021 is nearly aligned to all of Joe Biden’s positions.
To a lesser extent, a similar illusionary connection to Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D) endured after she received quite hostile harassment from all sorts of illegal aliens. There was the bathroom incident. There was the airplane incident. There was the wedding incident. There was the office incident. There were a lot of recorded incidents, all of which prompted our wondering if she would wake up and realize who the true enemy was. Like many, I even praised and defended her on this site. Well, how has that worked out for any of us? As of late December 2021, she is still voting in lockstep with her party and in support of Biden’s own positions.
Similarly, for the past several days most conservative outlets have been praising Joe Manchin for his courage and convictions. The New York post opined that Manchin’s opposition was a “Christmas present to Americans.” It is not a coincidence that Manchin publicly broke the news on Fox, of all places, where he said he did everything “humanly possible” before voting against it. You’d have to be a political rube to accept his visit on Fox News as anything other than posturing; it is a blatant attempt to appeal to conservative voters, who will now think that Manchin is one of them.
My appropriately-placed cynicism is that by having Manchin appear to be conservative (despite not having many conservative bona fides), West Virginians will keep sending a Democrat to the Senate despite otherwise voting for Donald Trump in the past two presidential elections by nearly 40 points each. Powerline Blog considered the following:
“[W]ithout Joe Manchin in the Senate, the GOP would have a majority. Mitch McConnell would be majority leader.
In this scenario, the Senate wouldn’t be confirming Biden’s judicial nominees at a record pace. Instead, his nominees would be moving at a snail’s pace. The more radical ones — the favorites of the Democratic left — probably wouldn’t be moving at all.
Nor is Manchin’s contribution to Democrats limited to confirming Biden’s nominees, judicial and otherwise. Would the Senate have passed infrastructure legislation if a Republican represented West Virginia? Maybe.”
It’s all the more bewildering when one considers, as Powerline also observes:
“Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden there by 39 points. West Virginia’s other Senator, Republican Shelly Moore Capito, won 70 percent of the vote in 2018. All three current members of the U.S. House are Republicans, as is the state’s governor, Jim Justice, who captured 65 percent of the vote last year.”
For a comparison, Manchin won his own reelection to the Senate, also in 2018 (the same year as Capito), by capturing nearly 50% of the entire vote.
So what is really going on?
In short, I believe this entire charade of Manchin standing up to the Biden administration is nothing more than grotesque political theater. I am glad it happened, but again, I go back to his breaking announcement on Fox News Channel. Manchin gets to make positive headlines in his home state and provide just enough sense of relief that not all Democrats are bad. Of course, this is a lie to anyone that actually follows politics. Like Sinema, Manchin will become the darling of conservative media – all while voting against all conservative interests – just long enough until everyone forgets about what happened and the Fed fires up its printers again. Jen Psaki already said that Team Biden was gearing up for BBB 2.0.
If nothing else, this scenario fits beastly into my long-held belief that Democrats are evil and Republicans are stupid. Here we go again.