Last week, a phone call between Joe Manchin and billionaire activists from a supposedly centrist group called “No Labels” leaked. What was revealed was a senator with a spine made of overcooked spaghetti who was desperately trying to find a way to straddle the fence on the For the People Act, the Democrats’ gambit to federally take over elections and turn the country into a one-party state.
Manchin has already announced he would vote “no” on the bill, explaining that such a move would only cause further division. Yet, in a move repeated over and over in his career, he’s going back on his word, trying to tout an amendment watering down the bill a bit (which won’t pass Democrat muster, much less Republican) as some kind of magic compromise.
Now, under pressure from Chuck Schumer, Manchin has folded like a wash-and-wear suit.
Manchin: “Today I will vote ‘YES’ to move to debate this updated voting legislation as a substitute amendment to ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot and participate in our great democracy.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) June 22, 2021
Here’s how this typically works. If you are against a bill, you do not vote to open debate on the bill you are against. To do so makes no sense whatsoever. Manchin, being a weak-kneed coward of a senator, has now changed his mind based on an empty promise that his doomed-to-fail compromise amendment will get a vote. This lends legitimacy to the Democrat push for passage while opening the door for even more pressure to be piled on Manchin for the final vote. Further, it’s in direct contradiction to Manchin’s pledge to oppose the bill outright. You don’t say that if you are going to turn around and try to “save” the bill with changes.
Will Manchin fold on the final vote as well? You can probably bet the house he will, citing some largely insignificant change that supposedly fixes everything about his ability to support it. This has been Manchin’s game for a long time. He wants to be the moderate, blue dog from West Virginia when his voters come calling, but when push comes to shove, he bends the knee to the Democrat establishment, which is more and more being run by the far-left.
The big question now is how this will relate to the filibuster. If Manchin is cowardly enough to fold on this issue, will he do so on the filibuster as well, claiming that this bill is just “too important” to not pass? I don’t know, and at this point, I don’t trust Manchin as far as I can throw him.
Luckily, Manchin isn’t sitting in the catbird seat by himself any longer. Kyrsten Sinema reiterated again today that she’s not touching the filibuster and she seems to actually enjoy sticking her finger in the eye of the media. While Manchin is searching for a non-existent compromise, Sinema is simply saying it’s not going to happen.
West Virginians need to take note. They had a chance to boot Manchin several years ago and they’ll have another chance soon enough. This guy is not the mythical unicorn of a moderate Democrat he pretends to be. No one should be buying his act anymore, especially his constituents.