The casual observer can be forgiven for thinking that Democrats are trying to drive one of their own, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, into the arms of the opposition.
As his billing suggested after radical Democrats captured both Georgia Senate seats in January, Manchin has been one of the rare Democrats in the Biden age to appear sane, reasonable, and not so eager to run the country off a cliff – which might expected for a Democratic pol from a state that gave former President Donald Trump nearly 70 percent of the vote.
Yet for his troubles, the side that preaches tolerance and diversity the loudest has been unwilling to extend either to Manchin.
In short, he’s been harshly pilloried by radicals on his own side.
For instance, lefty protesters showed up outside his home – on a houseboat – to berate Manchin for not supporting President Joe Biden’s extravagant $3.5 trillion expansion of the welfare state.
They did so even though it’s been reported that Manchin would support a still-hefty $1.5 trillion version of the same plan.
Then last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermonter who is the most radical senator now that Kamala Harris has moved on, wrote an op-ed in Manchin’s home-state newspaper criticizing him for not supporting Biden’s bloated package.
After offering his usual left-wing menu of gargantuan government giveaways, Sanders noted, “Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote ‘yes.’ We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin.”
Manchin was miffed by the attack, especially since it came from a man whose wife once campaigned for an election opponent.
“This isn’t the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state. Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs. No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that,” Manchin said in a statement.
He added, “Millions of jobs are open, supply chains are strained and unavoidable inflation taxes are draining workers’ hard-earned wages as the price of gasoline and groceries continues to climb. Senator Sanders’ answer is to throw more money on an already overheated economy while 52 other Senators have grave concerns about this approach.”
Besides himself, Manchin was referring to all 50 Republicans and Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who also has been denounced and harassed by liberal protesters because she refuses to automatically sign on with Biden’s agenda.
But having seen his colleagues already swat this hornet’s nest, another Democrat apparently believed another whack would not hurt.
In an interview that Politico published on Monday, Illinois Democratic Rep. Sean Casten called Manchin’s state, and the output of its 1.8 million residents, “irrelevant.”
Manchin’s West Virginia is the second-largest coal-producing state in America – at a time, as The Free Press posted about on Monday, when coal production is surging to overcome the shortages caused by relying on unreliable green energy.
Manchin had questioned a provision in Biden’s grand plan called the Clean Energy Performance Program, or CEPP. The initiative would reward companies that use renewable energy to cut carbon emissions, while sanctioning those that don’t.
Manchin argued that the CEPP is likely unnecessary because companies are already cutting emissions. In fact, America’s contribution to the alleged climate change situation has been receding for years.
In a reply to Manchin, Casten told Politico, “If you came and said to me, ‘We will pass the CEPP as written but we will exempt West Virginia from it,’ I would take that deal.”
“Do I think that’s possible? I mean, probably not, but that would be acceptable, right? Because West Virginia is an irrelevant part of our economy.”
It’s unclear whether Manchin would ever switch parties, as Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby did after the GOP captured Congress in 1994, but if Democrats keep making Manchin feel unwelcome, he might be more than a little tempted to join Team McConnell.
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