‘Voting Rights’ Letter From WV Sports Icons to Manchin Almost Included Priceless Nick Saban Footnote

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The mainstream media are breathlessly reporting today on a letter sent by notable West Virginia sports icons to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) expressing their support for “Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to enact laws that set national standards for the conduct of Federal elections and for decisions that determine election outcomes.”

The letter was co-signed by WVU grad and former Los Angeles Lakers player Jerry West, West Virginia native and legendary Alabama football coach Nick Saban, WVU grad and former Buffalo Bills player Darryl Talley, WVU grad and former Houston Oilers player Oliver Luck, and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

They were all complimentary of Manchin “for ensuring that such legislation rests on critical features of our Constitution,” but expressed concern over election integrity reform efforts that are taking place in numerous states, which they alleged – without evidence – would “restrict voting access and allow local officials or state legislatures to interfere inappropriately with Federal election outcomes”:

In the last year, some 20 states have enacted dozens of laws that restrict voting access and allow local officials or state legislatures to interfere inappropriately with Federal election outcomes. Motivated by the unanticipated outcomes of recent close elections conducted with integrity, these state laws seek to secure partisan advantage by eliminating reliable practices with proven safeguards and substituting practices ripe for manipulation.

But though Saban signed on to the letter, he also reportedly requested that a footnote be added on his behalf in which he did exactly what Manchin has done since this whole debate got started: express support for preserving the filibuster.

Had it been included, the footnote would have read as follows:

“Coach Saban is not in favor of getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate. He believes this will destroy the checks and balances we must have in our Democracy. The others signing this letter take no position on this aspect of Senate policies.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins first reported on the attempt by Saban, a longtime friend of Manchin’s, to get the footnote added below:

This is too hilarious for words when you think about it.

For starters, Manchin already supports a modified version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, so the letter was a bit redundant in that regard because he didn’t need convincing on that front. Where his issue resides is with any proposed changes to the Senate rules on the filibuster which is the crux of the matter here and which … Saban also supports keeping in place, and which the letter’s other signatories didn’t even take a position on.

In other words, this letter was the very definition of virtue signaling. All sound and fury, signifying nothing but agreement with Joe Manchin on his position on some form of a “voting rights” act and in Saban’s case, at least, also support for the filibuster which, again the other letter signers did not weigh in on.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress 😉

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