According to NBC News, at 11AM today, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) will call for his fellow senators to “sign a pledge to not campaign against a sitting colleague.”
Manchin, widely considered to be one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents up for re-election in 2018, according to the pledge language itself, is dressing the pledge up as a way of “restor[ing] civility to the United States Senate and our political discourse” in order “to return to an era of bipartisan cooperation and agreement.”
The pledge specifically calls for sitting senators not only to avoid campaigning or fundraising against a “sitting colleague,” but also not to “use or endorse social media campaigns that attack them.”
Presumably, that means that all sitting Republican senators need to quit following or retweeting President Trump, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner, the RNC, the NRSC and voluminous other GOP-aligned accounts, while Democrats will need to shun the accounts of Sen. Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and various other Democratic-aligned accounts, which can be expected to contain anti-incumbent senator content.
Manchin’s move with this pledge might be one of the best, most recent examples of politicians invoking the veils of “civility” and “bipartisanship” to engage in self-preservation, and attempt to use supposedly moral-high-ground-occupying calls to inoculate themselves against electoral challenges.