Joe Manchin Leaves the Democratic Party in Desperate Bid to Save His Career

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

After years of speculation, Sen. Joe Manchin has officially left the Democratic Party, and the West Virginia senator is now a registered independent. 

Manchin had long presented himself as a moderate, facilitating his political survival in one of the most Republican states in the union. It wasn't immediately clear if the move was a setup for him to backtrack on not running for re-election in the Senate or to stage a late gubernatorial bid.


Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) officially left the Democratic Party on Friday and registered as an independent.

Why it matters: Manchin, who flirted with an independent presidential bid earlier this year, has said he's not running for Senate re-election. But leaving the party could give him the flexibility to change tack and run for Senate or  West Virginia governor as an independent.

With all due respect to West Virginians, if they fall for this, they deserve the representation they get. To the extent that Manchin's "sane Democrat" act was ever real, it ceased to be in 2022 when he voted for the Inflation Reduction Act. 

For those who don't remember how brazen Manchin's betrayal was, he promised Republicans he would not move Biden's big-spending boondoggle forward using the reconciliation process. In return, GOP senators agreed to pass the CHIPS Act. 

A bit of an aside, but take a wild guess at how that's going. 

Regardless, after Republicans gave up their leverage with the CHIPS Act, Manchin reversed course and announced he would vote for the Inflation Reduction Act. The reason? It appears all it took was fluffing Manchin's ego while making a few false promises. 


SEE: Details of How Joe Manchin Was Bought Off Reveal the World's Biggest Sucker

As the above link shows, I called Manchin the "world's biggest sucker" at the time. It didn't take long before I was vindicated. Democrats refused to move forward on overhauling the permitting process for energy projects while the White House used the Inflation Reduction Act to set money on fire in the name of "climate change." 

Manchin's response? To go on Fox News and threaten to repeal the act he enabled, something that he knew was impossible given Biden would have to sign such a repeal. In other words, it was yet more kabuki theater from the "moderate."  

SEE: Joe Manchin Pathetically Tries to Flip the Script After Nuking His Career

Becoming an independent has not made any of the above go away. As I said when he first folded and voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, Manchin's career should be over. This wasn't a case of him being bamboozled. He was warned over and over what he was signing on to and he did it anyway. 


So he can appear on Fox News and throw his hands up, pretending he can be counted on to oppose the Democrat agenda, but everyone knows the truth because he showed it to them. He could have stood firm and not voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act. He could have chosen to stand by his friends who were counting on him to keep his word. He didn’t do those things, and now he will pay the price for his actions. Manchin should look at upgrading his houseboat because he’s going to be spending a lot of time on it after 2024.

I stand by every word of that. Manchin could register as a Republican at this point. West Virginians should still never give him another vote.


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